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AmeriCorps Alums Chapters And Alumni Step Up On MLK, Jr. Day

January 18, 2011

A New Orleans Chapter volunteer installs a CFL during 2011 MLK, Jr. Day activities

AmeriCorps Alums MLK, Jr. Day chapter and individual alumni grantees celebrated MLK, Jr. Day 2011 by making it a day on, and not a day off.  Across the country, AmeriCorps Alums chapters focused primarily on environmental action related to energy savings and CO2 reduction.  Through their combined efforts, AmeriCorps Alums MLK, Jr. Day grantees engaged 1,393 volunteers and 199 Service Leaders, accounting for 5,247 volunteer hours and 1733.5 service leader hours.  Over the course of the next 12 months, our goal for this project was to create an annual estimated $96,000 in energy savings and reduce CO2 emissions by 1 million pounds.  What were the results?  Chapter and individual alumni grantees partnered with over 64 organizations saving consumers an estimated $238,284.66 and reducing CO2 emissions by an estimated 3.98 million pounds, all over the course of the next year[1].  If you are an AmeriCorps alum or are part of an AmeriCorps Alums chapter that ran a project on MLK, Jr. Day, tell us about what you did here.  Below are some highlights from AmeriCorps Alums participation in the 2011 MLK, Jr. Day of service:

St. Louis Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums: The St. Louis Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums coordinated a partnership between public, private and nonprofit organizations that focused on environmental impact  They facilitated the distribution of nearly 20,000 Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL) to 4,800 households.  The project garnered the participation of Mayor Francis Slay and Alderman Jeff Boyd.  The project’s impact over the next year is expected to save households $217,248 and reduce CO2 emissions by 3.628 million pounds.

Maine Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums: The Maine Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums trained 12 crew leaders to lead teams of volunteers in step-one weatherization and winterization techniques.  These crew leaders led 35 additional volunteers to weatherize the homes of 16 low-income residents in our community.  Weatherization of homes will save the home owner’s money and reduce their energy consumption.  The Maine Chapter also increased awareness of AmeriCorps and the need for weatherization in the local community, while increasing capacity of both volunteers and homeowners to do similar work in their own homes and the homes of their neighbors and friends.  Their efforts are expected to save residents $557 in energy savings and reduce CO2 emissions by 9,310 pounds (includes CFL impact only, as measurement tools for weatherization impact are not currently unavailable).   Media coverage from our Maine Chapter includes:

TV media: Local Non-profits Assist Those in Need (Channel 8 )
TV media: Rob Ellis on Channel 6
Radio media: MLK Day Marked Around the Nation (National Public Radio)
Photos (credited to Steven Davis Phillips):

New Orleans Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums: New Orleans Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums engaged 50 volunteers that visited 32 homes in the New Orleans area.  The accumulated small actions of these volunteers created a huge impact on the local community.  In just one day, the volunteers installed 550 light bulbs, thus helping residents conserve 216,700 kWh of electricity, save $25,300 in electricity costs, and reduce CO2 production by 245,850 pounds of CO2 over the lifetime of the bulbs.

Metro Detroit Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums: The Metro Detroit Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums engaged seven partner organizations in the project, from the planning process through the creation of dryer balls and their distribution.  These partnerships are likely to continue into the future, as will the project.  The project created and distributed 364 dryer balls that will produce an estimated impact of $6,825 in energy savings  and reduce CO2 emissions by 114,004.80 pounds over the course of the next year.

Southern Arizona Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums: The Southern Arizona Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums held projects in Tucson as well as two rural communities in Southern Arizona; Amado and Willcox. In Amado, volunteers installed CFL’s and faucet aerators for a total energy savings that amounted to $5,880.88 in energy savings and 98,205.07 pounds of CO2 emission reductions.  Additionally, in Tucson, 196 volunteers pledged to replace at least 3 incandescent bulbs with CFL bulbs in their homes.

Buffalo Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums: Handing out CFL bulbs to be installed in 100 homes

Buffalo Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums: In Buffalo, the Buffalo Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums partnered with Western New York AmeriCorps to weatherize over 100 homes in the Old First Ward and MLK Park neighborhoods and distribute 500 National Fuel Conservation Incentive Program kits.  Over the next year, the impact is expected to save residents $3,085.08 and reduce CO2 emissions by 51,539 pounds.

Quad Cities Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums: In Davenport, Iowa, the Quad Cities Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums strengthened its partnership with the River Music Experience.  The two partnered to put on Let Freedom Ring!  Rhythm, Soul and the Dream. The event focused primarily on youth and music, and engaged 68 volunteers and 6 volunteer leaders in service during MLK, Jr. Day.

Angel Sandriepe and buildOn: AmeriCorps alum Angel Sandriepe partnered with buildOn to teach   Oakland High School students about local plants and prepare students for the next phase in this multi-phase project, planting native plants at their next Campus Clean Up on Feb. 12th. This event was crucial for Oakland High students to become familiar with plants and lead other students on how to plant.  Her work engaged 50 volunteers and 25 volunteer leaders during MLK, Jr. Day weekend.

Imran Khan and Develop U: Imran Khan’s Develop U broke ground on an urban community garden that will serve social and educational needs of the South Dallas community.  This was another multi-phase project and once completed, the urban community garden will function as a teaching, learning, and community building mechanism.  The project engaged 40 volunteers and 5 volunteer leaders on MLK, Jr. Day.

[1] Energy savings and CO2 estimates primarily based on research from the EPA and Earth Aid Network. See assumptions and calculation figures at

One Comment leave one →
  1. Greg Heinrich permalink
    January 18, 2011 3:45 pm

    AmeriCorps Alums wants to hear about what you did on MLK, Jr. Day. If you are an alum or a member of a chapter that hosted or coordinated a project, please share your experience at

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