United Keetoowah Band Receives Assistance from AmeriCorps Volunteers

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. --- The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma got a helping hand by a group of AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps volunteers for several weeks this summer. According to a press release, seven volunteers spent the past three weeks working with the tribe and assisting tribal elders.

AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country.

Since the program's founding in 1994, more than 800,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.

AmeriCorps programs do more than move communities forward; they serve their members by creating jobs and providing pathways to opportunity for young people entering the workforce. AmeriCorps places thousands of young adults into intensive service positions where they learn valuable work skills, earn money for education, and develop an appreciation for citizenship.

AmeriCorps NCCC strengthens communities and develops leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. In partnership with non-profits-secular and faith based-local municipalities, state governments, federal government, national and state parks, Indian tribes, and schools, members complete service projects throughout the region they are assigned.

The group arrived in Tahlequah on May 21 and one of the first projects they worked on was to create a walking trail around the tribe's 76 acre tribal complex. The group cut branches and cleared brush which made a nice walking trail for UKB employees, tribal members and community members' use.

They have visited elders in several UKB districts and did yard work, including weed eating, mowing and cleaning debris. They painted two elder's houses and also assisted the UKB Elder Council with a fundraising event, "Sock Hop 2014."

The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corp members include Jamie Colvin, Brianna Denlis, Thomas Moore, Samuel Potter, Edward Stern, Anna Williams, Charon Wilson, and team leader Janet Namkung.

UKB grant writer and host to the volunteers, Georgia Dick said, "I would just like to say on behalf of the elders we would like to thank the team for all they provided and wish them well in life! They were all a good group of young people, they seemed to enjoy interacting with our elders and were all hard workers! I got a lot of positive comments from the elders."