AmeriCorps Spotlight – Matthew

The AmeriCorps “Together We Prepare” program is looking for new members! The Together We Prepare AmeriCorps program, administered by the American Red Cross, utilizes AmeriCorps members to improve the capacity of communities to prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters in locations across Michigan.

Today’s AmeriCorps spotlight is on Matthew who serves in Ann Arbor.

What were you doing before you joined AmeriCorps?

I was working at a restaurant. It was a pizza shop, and I got to learn some new skills. But after a while, I was feeling unfulfilled.

What made you want to join the Together We Prepare program with the Red Cross?

The Together We Prepare program seemed like a good fit for me for a few reasons. The first being that this program was the closest to home. I had another interview for a position with AmeriCorps in Alaska and it seemed quite daunting. Four thousand miles from home, with extreme weather, and during a pandemic was just too much. The TWP program also seemed a good fit for me because it is public health-related. It also gets me office experience and more customer service experience.

What duties/responsibilities do you perform for your chapter?

I am a member of a Disaster Action Team, responding to provide immediate relief to people in fires. I also work in shelters after a larger-scale fire has occurred. I will be doing Dispatch Duty Officer work, receiving new calls, and assigning and managing DAT response. I also do outreach for our preparedness education. 

What is your favorite thing you do as an AmeriCorps member?

So far my favorite thing that I do is Disaster Response Operations, which, for me are working in shelters for displaced apartment residents. It is my favorite thing because I feel like I can do a lot to make their experience better. It is so good to have someone around who will remember your name and face. Someone who will care, a little more personally, about your unmet needs and be able to give you some indications about the future of your recovery.

What advice would you give to someone joining the program?

My advice would be to stay organized. It will pay to plan your weeks out in advance. Give yourself days you want to do outreach, days you will be doing DAT, and days you will take for yourself.

If you’re interested in joining the AmeriCorps Together We Prepare program contact Program Director: Eilis Gambill Phone: (810) 358-4357 Email: eilis.gambill@redcross.org  

Or apply at the links below.

Ann Arbor: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do;jsessionid=RDLzN-ch0P_Mb3iR1pNPUYqboev4NKpEUliWzOafF2O1fg1PQR04!126839335?id=81725&fromSearch=true

Detroit: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=91632

Traverse City: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=81729

Kalamazoo: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=81727

Grand Rapids: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=81723

Lansing: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/listing/viewListing.do?fromSearch=true&id=6757

Flint: no openings

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