The Belle Center

AmeriCorps Week 2012: Safety First with Buffalo AmeriCorps

AmeriCorps Week 2012: Safety First with Buffalo AmeriCorps

Buffalo, New York – March 2, 2012 – To kickoff the celebration of AmeriCorps Week 2012, Buffalo AmeriCorps members from The Belle Center & The Mayor’s Impact Team are teaming up with It Takes A Village (I.T.A.V), WNY Prisoner Re-entry Coalition Inc., Johnetta R. Cole AMVETS POST #24 Veterans and volunteers from other local non-profit groups to work on a two day Go-Green Home Rehabilitation. A former drug house turned community hub for change and empowerment will be renovated for community members in the city of Buffalo.

The kick-off event to AmeriCorps Week 2012 will take place at 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. March 5, 2012 at 425 Normal Avenue Buffalo, NY 14213. During the kickoff, volunteers will help begin renovating the home by rebuilding stairs, removing debris and painting.

A ribbon cutting will mark the official start to AmeriCorps Week 2012 where members will continue to assist rehabbing the home for the day; in addition to, partaking in team building exercises and trainings. The main event will be at 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. March 12, 2012 at 425 Normal Avenue Buffalo, NY 14213. AmeriCorps week is a time when a direct focus and awareness is placed on the positive impact of AmeriCorps in communities nation-wide. Members focus on issues such as disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, veterans and military families.

Buffalo AmeriCorps members who have recently earned OSHA 10 certification will help spearhead the beginning of the home rehabilitation. The property to be renovated was donated to a local non-profit-It Takes A Village by United States Attorney William Hochul and Mayor Byron Brown to be transformed into a transitional house.

Once It Takes A Village (I.T.A.V) completes the renovations, the house will serve as a transitional home for females ages 15 to 25 where members will also be able to receive training classes in life skills, work ethics, career placement, construction, social skills, re-entry mentoring, CDL permit / license, Veteran assistance, G.E.D. and more. Some classes are being provided by Erie Community College and Cornell University. "Empowering Communities to take ownership of their neighborhoods fosters unity and reduces crime." said Pamela James-Buffalo AmeriCorps Program Director

'It Takes a Village' Executive Director and Buffalo AmeriCorps member, Beverly Newkirk said, “through building relationships and collaborating with local organizations that have shared missions, allows us to create greater avenues for underserved members in our community to develop self-sustainability.”

For more information about volunteering during AmeriCorps Week 2012 contact: Jacqueline Ornsby, Buffalo AmeriCorps Program Coordinator at (716) 845-0485 extension 224 or jornsby@thebellecenter.org