Thursday, January 12, 2012

The NCCC Blog will be hosting guest bloggers during the month of January, 2012. We will be back with a brand new team blog in February.

Today’s guest blogger is Joe, an AmeriCorps NCCC Alum. He served as a Corps Members in Class XVI and a Team Leader in Class XVII, both at the Southwest Region campus in Denver, Colorado. Joe currently serves as the Development Officer-Annual Giving for the Edmundite Missions, headquartered in Selma, Alabama and serving rural Alabama and New Orleans, LA (

Selma Water tower

Working at a non-profit in rural Alabama creates a Christmas season that even Santa himself would find stressful. Our direct mail campaign is going at full force, our non-stop food kitchen is serving upwards of 500 meals every single day, parties are being thrown for our senior adults and kids, and, all the while, our meals on wheels program is still going and growing and, as the head of the Donor Relations Department, plans must be made for the New Year and meetings must be kept with my boss.

Mass delivery of groceries to rural poor families

It’s easy to begin fearing for the hair that’s left on my head when this stress combines with the stress we all find when preparing for the holidays. However, I never wonder if I CAN accomplish all the tasks in front of me every day. I know I can get all these things done because of the skills I learned during two years of service with AmeriCorps*NCCC.

More important than the skills I learned that I use every day to help the Edmundite Missions, AmeriCorps*NCCC taught me to become part of a community in order to learn how to help.

People usually don't believe that this kind of poverty is in the U.S. I work with it everyday
The fact that 56% of the children in Selma, Alabama live in poverty is startling enough for anyone to want to help, but NCCC prepared me to learn names and faces and search for answers in the community.

The fact that more than 65% of all residents in Dallas County are food insecure (not sure where their next meal is coming from) could easily overwhelm anyone looking to help a community from the outside.

This is a picture of me with an elderly lady that receives our assistance in every way we offer it, including our Bosco meals on wheels. We also provide her with utility assistance and clothing. I got out of the office one day to help with the delivery and her gratitude nearly brought me to tears. She wouldn't stop hugging me and telling me that without us, she wouldn't make it. This picture means a lot to me.

But when you view a community the way the NCCC experience allows, it becomes in a big way your community. It’s not about feeding these poor people; it’s about feeding my neighbors. I love my job and I love helping the people of rural Alabama through fundraising and the dozen other tasks I do every day. And when I’m seeing the results of all that “paper pushing”, I feel like that "A" should still be proudly displayed on my sleeve.

I owe AmeriCorps NCCC so much. I am proud to have been selected to serve as a Southern Region representative to the AmeriCorps NCCC Alumni Leadership Council. Through the next few months, I look forward to working hard with the rest of the LC to connect the fantastic alumni across the nation to the program we all love and the communities that program serves. As a proud alumnus, I must say it is truly a great time to be a member of the NCCC family!


Joe serves as a member of the AmeriCorps NCCC Alumni Leadership Council. The AmeriCorps NCCC Alumni Leadership Council was recently established to increase NCCC's alumni engagement. The council currently consists of 11 members including 2 alums representing each region and 1 Chair. Alums are currently spear-heading committees related to new member recruitment, building relationships with project sponsors, fundraising, national days of service days, and 20th Anniversary planning. For more information or to become involved as a regional rep, please contact
Brought to you by AmeriCorps NCCC, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.
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