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Stop Hunger & Eat Brains for Service This Halloween

October 24, 2012

Today’s guest post comes from our AmeriCorps Alums Knoxville Chapter Leader, Jason Scott. Jason is the Stormwater Coordinator for the Town of Farragut, TN where he manages a water quality program with the help of an AmeriCorps Water Quality Assistant.  Scott is a 2 term alum of AmeriCorps having served in 2006 with AmeriCorps*NCCC and 2007 with AmeriCorps Florida State Parks (State/National).

Tiz the season for a zombie apocalypsin’ good time!  The Halloween season is upon us and around the country, Halloween themed events are popping up all over the place.  On Saturday, October 13, 2012 AmeriCorps Alums Knoxville decided to combine a service event with a separately planned Halloween event with a similar objective, to feed people in East Tennessee.  Knoxville has been host to a “Zombie Walk” for the past several years (as have many other cities) and experienced steadily increasing popularity.  Zombies have really become the monster flavor of the decade and I would argue they have probably outpaced vampires and werewolves as America’s most beloved monster although that is a highly biased personal assessment.

Sara Scott, a 2 time NCCC Alum, helping out with Act I.

The Zombie Walk here in Knoxville is actually held as a benefit/canned food drive for the Knoxville Area Rescue Ministry (KARM).  Our core Alums planning group had been talking about doing some work with Second Harvest Food Bank and the idea to combine these two events came to me during a long drive, shower, or other moment where brilliant ideas just seem to kind of appear.  We called Second Harvest and scheduled a 3 hour work block in the morning that would allow members to sort and package food, but then provide them the time to return home, get zombie up, and come out to the 2012 Knoxville Zombie Walk and bring cans creating an event that has both a charitable component as well as a service component.

For promotional purposes we broke the event into 2 “acts” which we gave seedy thematic titles like “Act I. Sorting the Dead & Packing Heat” referring to what we would be doing at Second Harvest (sorting and packing) and “Act II. Stop Hunger, Eat Brains” (helping combat hunger by providing food donations.)

This holiday season (or any holiday season really), you might consider engaging  your chapter in thematic service events that build in a fun social component that allows people to serve, mingle and have a good time.  What about a vampire themed blood drive event?  Maybe a creature from the black lagoon stream cleanup?  Why not throw in a costume contest and have some sort of fun prize? Theming your events can give them a compelling hook and offer unique opportunities to have a good time while performing service.

Allison Miller with CAC AmeriCorps, 2nd Year CM & Jason Scott at the 2012 Zombie Run.

I’d like to thank our Alums who spent their day participating in the “Stop Hunger, Eat Brains!” Event.  In the morning a cumulative 6 hours and 40 minutes were spent sorting and labeling food materials at Second Havest Food Bank of East TN. Approximately 756 cans were sorted and labeled. To top it off, Alums took part in the 2012 Knoxville Zombie walk bringing their own canned donations to the event!

What are Halloween themed service events will you be participating in?

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