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Hearts, Hands, and Voices

Posted by in AmeriCorps | Comments Off on Hearts, Hands, and Voices
Hearts, Hands, and Voices

(TALLADEGA, AL) Oct. 18-21 – Last week, AmeriCorps members serving with Habitat for Humanity affiliates across the country gathered at the Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center in Talladega, Alabama, for the ninth annual Habitat for Humanity National Service Leadership Conference. Two AmeriCorps members from the Habitat for Humanity Riverside affiliate joined their fellow AmeriCorps peers from across the country, as they took part in four days of workshops, networking, team-building exercises, and round-table discussions.  Additionally, they were able to participate in a wide variety of fun activities such as paintball, rock-climbing, zip lining, and bowling!

Led by experts in the fields of housing, public service, and volunteer management, AmeriCorps members gained valuable knowledge that would help their affiliates serve over 110 communities across the United States. They were also given the opportunity to hear the first Habitat for Humanity volunteer, Clive Rainey, give a heartfelt speech about the impact the organization has, how it has grown, and its vision to provide everyone with a decent, safe, and affordable place to live. In addition, Joel Wright from the Center of Creative Leadership, delivered a commanding keynote speech about leadership in which he stated “A lot of young people don’t see themselves as leaders… everyone has leadership capacity”, which resonated greatly with most of the members and served as inspiration and encouragement for the remainder of the conference. This year’s conference theme, “Hearts, Hands, and Voices” emphasized national and global connectedness to spread Habitat for Humanity’s vision and help teach new and returning AmeriCorps members that those are their most powerful weapons to eliminate substandard housing.

The two AmeriCorps members from our affiliate returned with a new understanding of the importance of their work, immense knowledge of their roles and responsibilities, and are even more motivated to work to improve the lives of residents in our community. AmeriCorps member LaRandi stated that “it was surprisingly enlightening, motivational, informative, and fun, which is not what I expected!”

(AmeriCorps members serving in Hawaii and California gathered for some networking exercises.)