1. SAVE SERVICE!
Have you heard? Congress is considering cutting Americorps from its budget. While we can probably agree that the budget needs to be balanced, should we cut off a program that:
1) provides low-cost but highly qualified labor to agencies which might otherwise be able to afford a full time employee
2) provides jobs and more importantly, practical job skills to recent college graduates as well as people at other stages of their life
3) provides educational support for former members, giving people the opportunity to either pay off debt or continue their education
Ultimately, what I’m getting at, is that while Americorps does cost the government, the benefits the country receives are worth MUCH more than the cost.
Americorps also supports the Catholic Network of Volunteer Services which supports the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest, which I spent 2 years of my life serving with. The JVs I knew worked in elementary schools on reservations, in homeless shelters, in women’s shelters, at daycares, at food banks, as nurses, with the mentally handicapped, with the elderly. My cousin is currently serving an Americorps year in New Orleans, working at a place that educates children about environmental issues and does vegetable oil drives for biodiesel engines and all sorts of other neat things.
Americorps is basically a win-win-win-win. The country wins by keeping people employed and having a cost-effective way to take care of its low-income citizens, the agencies win by getting employees they would not otherwise be able to afford, the clients served by these agencies win by receiving all sorts of services that would not be available otherwise, and the members win by receiving a life changing year that will ultimately shape their future.
2. I can’t say enough about how important I think this type of service is to this country. But maybe you can say something. Feel like contacting your congressperson and asking them to save service?
Stand up for those who are most needy in our country. Save service! Gotta love that democratic process.
3. Husband and I made kale chips the other day. The result? Delicious. Basically cut up kale in bite sized pieces, drizzle with a little olive oil, add slat, bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Ta da! Healthier version of potato chips. Serve with bison burgers.
4. Can I tell you how awesome my husband is, or will you get jealous? He makes dulce de leche. Which is a milk based caramel sauce. Technically, *we* make it, but basically I just holler “of course you’re doing it right” from the couch while he does all the work. It’s a pretty awesome deal.
5. This is one of those weeks where I have had lots of existential questions about what I am doing in grad school. Its just kind of boring after working. Read, class, read, class. The subject matter is interesting and all, but the day to day routine is fairly meh.
6. What did you do Saturday? We went over to the house of a couple that live next door where the JV house used to be. They are in their 70s and maybe some of the nicest people in the world. Every time I see their wife she asks about the shelter I work at and gets into an impassioned discussion of the needs of the homeless who are mentally ill. We played dominos with the current JVs, some of the couple’s friends and children, and a few former JVs. Well, I played like two rounds of dominoes and John watched basketball with the head of the house. Plus we ate chili and brownies. (well not me, I snacked on veggies but it was still awesome).
7. One of the guests in attendance was my husband’s not-so-secret-admirer. She’s 3. Remember how I mentioned that he was going to be his cousin’s Godfather? Well her mother was the stand in Godmother. Apparently since then she hasn’t stopped asking about the “Godfather.” They pray for the Godfather at night. I asked her if she remembered me from the baptism and she said, “Yup! You sat next to the Godfather!” When we were trying to open up the thing of Chinese Checkers, she said, “maybe that Godfather in the kitchen can open it!” and then dissolved into a fit of giggles whenever he came near. Or ignored him. Basically habits that will stay with her for the next 20 years.
7.1. Scroll back up and click on one of those links to save service! Thanks. 🙂