April Summary

The final month, the final stretch, the final “go-around”…..you get the idea. Getting into a productive working rhythm was something that Delta 4 knew how to do in a matter of hours at this point in time. First day on the job with HomeFront New Jersey we were oriented to their history and mission. The mission: to break the cycle of poverty in the central New Jersey area by harnessing the caring, resources and expertise of the community.

The organization’s way of holistic approach to diminishing the poverty percentage in the central New Jersey area includes providing hot meals, emergency housing, children programming, a FreeStore, affordable housing, job placement, and so much more. A running organization for 25 years now, they have had in just a year alone 14,000 heads of household come through their open doors.

For the last project—this is such important work and I felt a range of emotions. Shock, sadness, hope, etc. I was eager to do anything I could to help HomeFront out. For only 3 weeks with the organization we were able to relocate and organize client files from way back in the mid-90s, brush clearing and beautifying the ground of their campuses, re-organizing an entire warehouse of products and food and cleaning statues.

Another exciting twist to the month was that I travelled back to my university town—Athens, Ohio! Not taking any days off the entire year seemed like a well-deserved and timely adventure to head Westward! And of course I needed more travel in my life! I spent a long weekend catching up with friends and doing fun Athens activities (live music, creating jewelry at Beads and Things, and drinking a cold one with some good friends). It was awesome to walk the brick streets and bask in the sun—a good re-charge before wrapping up the project in New Jersey.

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Reflecting on my 3 weeks with Homefront, I was so impressed by the hospitality that the HomeFront team extended to Delta 4. Always checking in on us and providing recommendations and groceries—whatever made our stay in Trenton more comfortable. It was truly appreciated.

As celebratory conclusion with HomeFront, they gifted us tickets to the Grounds for Sculpture in Trenton, New Jersey. It was a beautiful 42-acre garden with SO many statues. It was awesome! IA great way for the team to wrap up our time before a long 3-day travel back down South.

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With no issues during the trek back to Vicksburg, we arrived on campus and were greeted by hot summer weather (not complaining)! Being back on campus meant one final week of transition conclude a year of service. It was crazy to be living the final days, when the adventures felt like they were 1 month ago rather than the 10 we experienced. I sound like a broken record when I say, “time flies” because it truly did. Soon enough I would be back in Cleveland, Ohio.

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Once graduation was upon us, the entire Corps class was dressed in “stylish” AmeriCorps tuxes and ready to walk in front of peers, families, and our leadership. Shaking hands, reminiscing…it was a good way to conclude and celebrate the good work we accomplished across states.

The AmeriCorps NCCC Class 24C completed a total of 171,541 hours. This included:

 
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“Got Things Done”

Shannon Looney