MLK Day 2013



On January 21st, 2013 over 1,000 community members marched for justice, marched for peace, and marched in honor Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. march

Over 60 Spokane Service Team and YouthBuild members celebrated Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday by volunteering to set-up and host a resource fair and children’s fair after the peaceful march at the River Park Square. Children of all ages enjoyed making crafts, such as puzzle piece aliens, paper love bugs, and peaceIMG_5699 necklaces.

The Children’s fair also had a table that gave away over 400 books to help encourage parents and their children to spend more time reading at home together. AmeriCorps also helped recruit over 40 new community volunteers by decorating place mats for Meals on Wheels by children participants of the children’s fair.

The day was full of interesting people, celebrating diversity and appreciating a man’s dream that continues to inspire positive acts today. Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped.

“The time is always right to do what is right”- Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.


Make a Difference Day 2012

Forty-five AmeriCorps members and community volunteers ventured into the Spokane community to participate in Make a Difference Day. Volunteers at 2nd Harvest helped sort 12,191 lbs of potatoes, feeding 4,063 hungry people. Volunteers also helped plant trees at Turnbull and at Dishman’s Hill in honor of National Wildlife
Refuge Week. Youth of Spokane learned the importance of volunteering from AmeriCorps members and Staff as they baked dog biscuits for SpokAnimal.

Make a Difference Day is a national movement to help gain awareness, build community and provoke meaningful relfection.

Other projects included, coaching, cooking meals for Crosswalk and helping clean a local school. YouthBuild students also helped Rebuilding Together Spokane, by painting window trim and replacing bedroom doors for a grandmother and her three grandchildren.

Volunteers reflected about the day’s experience over a taco bar at Riverside and helped decorate Thanksgiving Day cards for Meals on Wheels to distribute to patrons. Thank you to all those who participated.

September 11th, 2012: National Day of Service and Rememberance

On September 11th, 2012 students of the YouthBuild Spokane lead a day of volunteerism in remembrance for the victims of the 9/11 attacks in partnership with Spokane Service Team AmeriCorps. Participants recognized the sacrifice and service for those serving in the military, the police force and firefighters in the Spokane community.

The event was made possible through a grant from the Washington Commission for National and Community Service and Director Debbie Schuffenhauer participated in the day of volunteerism and remembrance. Forty nine participants including AmeriCorps members, community volunteers and NEWESD staff joined the international nonprofit movement dedicating September 11th as a day of positive action.

The morning began at the Combat Vet Riders’ Outreach center with speaker Andy Hail, Valley Deputy Fire Chief. Deputy Hail shared about the important lessons learned from the 9/11 attacks and shared how better communication procedures are in action today. He also spoke about the difference NEWESD made for his son who is an alumnae of both
YouthBuild and AmeriCorps Participants completed community service projects at various sites: 2nd Harvest, Catholic Charities, Ronald McDonald House of Charities, SpokAnimal and St. Joseph’s Family center.

Then participants enjoyed pizza at Liberty Park, where volunteers reflected about their experiences and had a moment to share their “I Will” statements. Schuffenhauer promised, “I will continue to pay tribute to those who lost their lives, as well as the first responders by donating blood”.

The celebration included recognition for YouthBuild participants, Dylan McCauley and Stephon Forte, who received their GEDs wearing a graduation gown/cap with family and friends there to watch with pride.

Below are other Commitments of “I Will” wrote on the wall by participants…

“Help local veterans with their needs/fundraisers”-CK
“Show respect to firefights by shaking their hands”-SG
“Appreciate people”-DC
“Stop and help when I see someone in need” -DB
“Keep my students safe by protecting their dignity and welcoming them with a smile everyday”-AR

“Tell my grandson about 9/11 and the people who were lost”-TW
“Make the world a better place”-KS
“Do more good deeds”-LK
“Thank every service person I meet for their sacrifice”-D
“Donate to charity”-ST
“Remember our heroes and serve”-ME

A special thank you to Cohort 9 and their teacher Jessica Cross for taking the time to plan September 11th Day of Remembrance. The day was full of thought provoking information, meaningful volunteer work and great company among AmeriCorps members, ESD 101 staff and members of the Spokane Community. The victims of the 9/11 attacks were remembered well and inspired “I will” statements that will continue positive action.

Article written by AmeriCorps member, Whitney McKelvey

A video of the event is available online at:

“In corporate giving, I frequently tour sites and watch people work. Today I wanted to serve”.-Nicole Trimble, Washington State Commission Chair


On May 10th 2012 the Washington State Commission for National and Community Service held their spring meeting in Spokane. The visit was unique, as the commissioners did not only come to listen to a presentation or to give speeches. Instead they rolled up their sleeves and served alongside the AmeriCorps members,
as they volunteered at the 2115 & 2116 West Mallon work sites. Together they painted a garage, tiled a backsplash and shoveled a virtual mountain of soil. Most importantly, these Washington leaders spent time talking with AmeriCorps members, learning about real needs and personal goals.

Building a Home; Building a Dream

Brianna Solis, a mother of two, wiped a tear from her eye as she unlocked the door to her new home in the community of Covey Glenn. “I keep thinking that one day I will wake up and it will all be a dream” said Solis. But, it’s actually a dream come true.
When First Story, a Northwest non-profit, dedicated a new Spokane Valley home in late September, it did more than provide a beautiful, affordable home to a deserving family. Indeed, the dedication ceremony also showcased the talent of local youth, members of NEWESD101’s AmeriCorps YouthBuild program, who built the house.

Youth in the NEWESD program have long been involved in the construction and rehabilitation of affordable housing in the Spokane area. This, however, was the first constructed in partnership with First Story, a non-profit based in Bend, Ore. Students, under the supervision of trained professionals, built the home from the ground up. The home is located in the Covey Glen community near Barker Road.

YouthBuild students learned many new skills while building this home and appreciated the opportunity to be part of such a valuable mission. “Our partnership with YouthBuild allows us to transform the lives of at-risk young adults,” said Shon Rae, executive director of First Story, who traveled to the dedication from Bend. “The trainees gain a valuable education, job training and leadership skills while helping a family right here in need in the Spokane Valley.”

“I have learned more while building this house than any other job. I learned about carpeting, roofing, caulking, tiling and many other skills. But, what will be my most prized memory is the memory of today; the day that we get to give this house to Brianna Solis and her family.”
– YouthBuild Member, Marissa Dire

First Story serves families that don’t qualify for government-assisted housing, but still lack the resources to own their own home. The organization is building six homes this year in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

AmeriCorps Builds Community

New bike racks in the Spokane International District = functional art

Spokane, WA – October 21, 2010

The installation of eight artistic bike racks on September 29th is the latest addition to the ever-improving landscape of East Sprague Avenue in the Spokane International District. Several organizations had a hand in bringing the racks to the neighborhood, including the East Central Neighborhood Council, the East Spokane Business Association, SNAP ,the Spokane Service Team and the City of Spokane.

The East Central Neighborhood Steering Committee allocated Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for streets-related improvements along Sprague Ave. In directing those funds, the East Spokane Business Association made the decision to purchase the bike racks. Finally, SNAP worked with the City to purchase and install them, through a contract with Spokane Service Team’s job training program. The bike racks are custom-designed for safety, durability and aesthetic value. They can be found on either side of the Sprague arterial, between the Checkerboard Tavern to the west and Northwest Seed & Pet to the east.

Impact Capital partnered with the City of Spokane and SNAP to launch a Vibrant Communities initiative in the Spokane International District in 2009. The Vibrant Communities program works with stakeholders on the ground to strengthen neighborhood commercial districts, increase public safety and cleanliness, create parks and open space, improve educational opportunities and help families build assets.

The addition of bike racks is one of many improvements in the wider comprehensive approach to community revitalization being implemented in the Spokane International District. “They really spruce up the corridor adding functional art,” says Tracy Reich, Director of Community Programs at Impact Capital. “The district is becoming bike friendly with style,” adds Boris Borisov, Impact Capital Program Office.

YouthBuild Candidates Enrolled Quarterly

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Eligibility Requirements:
*Ages 18-24
*Released from high school
*Interested in construction
*Committed to earning a diploma or GED

Call Tim O’Halloran for an application at 340-7822

Rebuilding Together: Spokane


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Saturday, April 25th 2009 – Tens of thousands of volunteers across America performed rehabilitation and revitalization work for over 2,000 needy homeowners and non-profit organizations as part of Rebuilding Together’s National Rebuilding Day.  In Spokane, Washington hundreds of volunteers from businesses, churches, schools, non-profit organizations and AmeriCorps came together to perform over $60,000 of life changing work at six homes and two non-profit organizations.  In all, there were over 250 volunteers and the work benefited approximately 300 people in the Spokane community.  This one-day event was a true success, bringing together a variety of people for the betterment of the community. Continue reading

Home for Veterans


Volunteers of America is honored to open a second Spokane facility providing transitional housing for homeless and disabled veterans. This five-bedroom house, which will house up to six veterans at a time, is currently being renovated in a collaboration between Volunteers of America and the ESD 101 AmeriCorps Spokane Service Team (pictured above).

The Veterans Administration is covering 65 percent of the renovation, with additional support from Downtown Rotary Club 21 of Spokane. We need your help to gather the remaining 35 percent of the nearly $14,000 needed to make the home worthy of our veterans.