The YWCA Central Alabama’s “Building Communities, Bettering Lives” AmeriCorps program recently recognized three members of the year for their outstanding service and commitment to the AmeriCorps mission. These members have demonstrated multi-year dedication to the YWCA’s AmeriCorps program, and their service has contributed immeasurably to their host sites. The 2012-2013 members of the year are Irion Lane, Bridget McDaniel and Stacy Oliver.
Irion Lane is finishing up her second term of service with Pathways, a transitional shelter designed to help women on their path to finding employment and permanent housing. At Pathways, Lane serves as the Programs Coordinator – a role that allows her to engage Pathways’ clients in meaningful programming that can assist them on their road to self-sufficiency.
Lane says of her service, “The last two years have been eye opening, refreshing and the start of a journey to finding and becoming my authentic self. I have truly fallen in love with my service site, Pathways, and its mission of moving women and children toward independence through hospitality, housing and hope.”
Bridget McDaniel is a third-year member who is coming to the end of her service with the YWCA’s My Sister’s Closet, a re-sale boutique committed to providing clothing and accessories free of charge to women residing in area shelters. In this role, McDaniel serves as the Volunteer Coordinator, and as such is a welcoming, mentoring presence to volunteers wishing to donate their time to the YWCA.
When asked about her service McDaniel is quoted as saying, “These past three years have changed my life and I have enjoyed every moment. Some of the best moments of my service have been working with the women that we serve in the community. I am particularly moved by having women come back and update me on their progress and tell me thank you for motivating them.”
Stacy Oliver is completing her second service term with One Roof, an umbrella organization whose mission is to streamline services offered to the Birmingham homeless population. There Oliver serves as the Outreach and Communications Assistant, a role that has allowed her to organize volunteers for One Roof’s many events, maintain positive public relations for her organization, design a homeless simulation game and coordinate the first ever Cardboard Connect.
Oliver describes her AmeriCorps experience as transformational, saying “AmeriCorps has changed my life in a number of ways and I will tell anyone who asks about my service how thankful I am that I could serve the past two years in the YWCA’s program.”
Each YWCA AmeriCorps member devotes 1,720 hours a year to serving these programs and volunteering with agencies benefiting the metro-Birmingham area. Members continue to further our vision of creating a more caring community and achieving positive changes in the lives of individuals and families whom we serve.
“Our 30 AmeriCorps members provide invaluable service to the YWCA and our partnering sites. All of our members are dedicated to service and many of them go above and beyond their required responsibilities. The three members who were selected as Members of the Year are truly outstanding in their service and in their support and mentoring of other AmeriCorps members, says Joan Witherspoon-Norris, Director of Social Justice. “The YWCA is so grateful for the dedication they have shown over multiple years. They each have truly made a difference to individuals and to our community.”
The YWCA’s AmeriCorps program is made possible by federal funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service and support from Serve Alabama: The Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Volunteer Service.
The YWCA and its AmeriCorps staff thank these women for the invaluable service they have provided our organization and the city of Birmingham. Click here to learn more about the YWCA AmeriCorps program or to donate.