Our AmeriCorps member strengthen communities through a year of service.
During National AmeriCorps week, we want to honor the AmeriCorps members that serve Habitat for Humanity locally. Jasmin Lopez-Ortiz first got involved with Habitat for Humanity three years before taking an AmeriCorps position with Habitat Tucson. When Jasmin had free time or breaks off high school, she started volunteering at the HabiStore and on build site with her mom.
About five months ago, Jasmin joined Habitat AmeriCorps.
AmeriCorps engages people in public service work in order to meet critical needs in the community. Families are able to achieve strength, stability and independence through shelter with the help of Habitat AmeriCorps program members.
Now, Jasmin works with the volunteer resources program department at the Habitat Tucson office. She also lends a hand at the build site and assists the A Brush with Kindness program.
The main goal of A Brush with Kindness is to help homeowners maintain the exterior of their homes with painting, landscaping, exterior cleanup and more. A Brush with Kindness brings volunteers and neighbors together in order to create a safer home for the homeowner through exterior repairs.
One of the experiences that really stuck out in her mind was when she was helping paint a woman’s house for A Brush with Kindness.
“There was this lady named Carmen. We helped paint her home. She was the sweetest lady ever. We painted right beside each other,” Jasmin said.
Meeting the kind homeowners and getting to talk to them and hear their story is an experience in itself that also stands out to her.
AmeriCorps is also helping Jasmin expand her service to a much bigger scope. For example, when AmeriCorps sent her to the leadership conference in Alabama, she met many members of Habitat AmeriCorps from all over the U.S. She took leadership classes. AmeriCorps is also sending her to Colorado in June for Habitat AmeriCorps annual Build-a-Thon.
Build-a-Thon brings together Habitat AmeriCorps members, alumni, community volunteers, families and other partners for week-long blitz builds. The project will help the community’s need for affordable housing while celebrating the service and impact of AmeriCorps members.
Jasmin says that working with Habitat Tucson and having the opportunity to expand her involvement in Habitat through AmeriCorps has helped her “become more open.”
“I used to be really shy and when I would go to the sites I wouldn’t really talk to people as much but now I feel like I try to talk to everybody I see,” said Jasmin about how Habitat AmeriCorps has helped her open up.
Jasmin has seen firsthand what the volunteers and employees at Habitat for Humanity are really all about.
“Everybody cares about each other and about what they’re doing. They put their heart into their work, and at other places that I’ve worked, people aren’t like that. So that’s what I love about working with a nonprofit like Habitat — that people put their heart into their work.”
She added, “I have learned a lot about Habitat that had never really crossed my mind before. It is a lot bigger than I had thought.”
AmeriCorps changes lives and communities. Habitat for Humanity Tucson is proud to be part of this national service program. AmeriCorps members like Jasmin help strengthen communities through a year of service.
During National AmeriCorps week, we want to say thank you to our local AmeriCorps members for building strength, stability, self-reliance and shelter.
To find out how you can be part of Habitat for Humanity’s AmeriCorps program please visit, http://www.habitat.org/volunteer/long-term-opportunities/americorps/about