DANVILLE – While home construction skills are new to some of the AmeriCorps members serving in the city for a few weeks, they say they are learning life skills through each of their projects in Danville and elsewhere.
Josh Krysiak, 19, of Springfield, Mo. was working in a bathroom in a Habitat home on Columbia Street earlier this week.
He said after high school he was trying to figure out what to do. He was looking at service projects and other programs and wanting to travel. He eventually wants to be a mountain guide and involved with search and rescues.
The other team members come from California, Virginia, Texas and other states. They’ve also had eight-week projects in New Hampshire, South Dakota, Kentucky and Ohio.
In Danville, they’ve been putting up dry wall and working where needed on the house projects, Krysiak said.
“It’s cool to learn,” he said about these skills.
Krysiak said they’ve also been completing individual service projects, such as with the Eastern Illinois Foodbank’s Foodmobile.
Some of their free time has been spent at local eateries including Mad Goat Coffee and Charlotte’s, he added.
Team leader Amanda Williams, 24, of Mason, Ohio, was working outside earlier this week on a shed behind the Habitat home.
She said she heard about AmeriCorps through a college speaker. Williams had been majoring in graphic design.
Williams said the two words she’d use to describe her AmeriCorps experience so far is it’s been “an adventure.”
For example, she didn't have much experience working with power tools.
Williams said they don’t really know what they’ll be getting into next with their projects. They’ve had projects working with senior citizens and working in a cave.
She said if students are interested in AmeriCorps, they should go into it with an open mind.
“You get out of it what you put into it,” Williams said.
The AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) team started serving with Habitat for Humanity of Danville on Jan. 31 and will be here through March 11.
The team is helping with Habitat home rehabilitations of a couple houses and assisting at Habitat's ReStore with dock and other work such as unloading donated items.
The AmeriCorps NCCC team of 10, four females and six males, from the North Central Region campus in Vinton, Iowa, is performing activities such as: flooring, window replacement, dry walling, mudding, interior painting, trim, ceilings and landscaping and outdoor work as weather permits.
Through their service, AmeriCorps NCCC members are helping area families. Families living in owner-occupied homes have increased stability in the areas of health, education and finances when compared to renting a house.
“I’m super hyped to be supporting Habitat for Humanity. Their mission to help improve homes and provide affordable housing for low-income families is something I believe is very important,” said Tyler Suttler, AmeriCorps NCCC member from Missouri, through a press release.
Habitat for Humanity of Danville is nonprofit organization that helps families build and improve places to call home. Habitat believes affordable housing plays a critical role in strong and stable communities. Habitat homeowners help build their homes alongside volunteers and pay an affordable mortgage.
AmeriCorps NCCC and its FEMA Corps unit engages up to 2,200 young Americans in a full-time, 10-month commitment to service each year. AmeriCorps NCCC members address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, and urban and rural development.
FEMA Corps members are solely dedicated to disaster preparedness, mitigation, response and recovery work. The programs are administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). CNCS is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs and leads the nation's volunteering and service efforts. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.