Serve Wisconsin 
April 2021 Newsletter
Volunteers making a difference with Mobile Vaccination Teams throughout Wisconsin 
Ruhamah Bauman, Serve Wisconsin Program Officer, is serving as the lead volunteer coordinator for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Mobile Vaccination Teams.

Since January, she has filled over 300 requests through a partnership between mobile vaccination teams (MVTs) and local agencies. She explained that "Each mission correlates with a local clinic and the MVTs provide support. The missions have a varying number of vaccinators requested and sometimes multiple days." Each mobile group comprises five National Guard members who assist with screening, observing, data entry and support, and one volunteer vaccinator. Over 1,500 active and retired health care professionals have registered to be volunteer vaccinators by signing up on the Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry (WEAVR).

To provide greater awareness about the volunteer vaccination teams, Ruhamah and two nurses serving as volunteer vaccinators, Leah Haag and Wendy Read, were interviewed by Wisconsin Public Radio to discuss the role volunteers have played in helping with Wisconsin’s vaccination efforts.

The interview began with Leah and Wendy describing their experience as volunteer vaccinators. Leah Haag described why she was volunteering, saying that “being able to get out and be on the front lines helping vaccinate people has been really fantastic. You just see it in the people's eyes when they come that they're so happy and thankful that you're there." Wendy Read explained that "I loved every minute of vaccinating people. It's such a joyful occasion for people. They're just happy…They're like, 'Thank you. Thank you for being here. Thank you for giving me this vaccine.’ I think people are ready to get this going and get it behind them."

The interview concluded with Ruhamah describing how people can sign up to volunteer with the volunteer vaccination teams and other local COVID-19 efforts through the WEAVR website and the Volunteer Wisconsin website. There are several roles that volunteers without medical training can fill. She described that “we need those extra people opening doors, telling people which direction to go and which table they need to see first, second and then bring them to the vaccinators. So really, anybody could offer their assistance."

"It takes more than just an individual to make things happen," Ruhamah stated about this effort. “You have to come together as organizations, as communities, to figure out how to best meet the needs that arise."

Wisconsin Public Radio interview and article on volunteer vaccination efforts:
Sixteenth Street Community HealthCorps AmeriCorps members volunteering at Milwaukee mass vaccination site
Wanting to help their fellow Wisconsinites receive the COVID-19 vaccine, Sixteenth Street Community HealthCorps AmeriCorps members and their program director volunteered on April 16 at the mass vaccination site at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee.

“I wanted to help out was because I wanted to take part in the efforts to get people vaccinated to eventually find an end to this pandemic,” said Brianna DaNamur, AmeriCorps member with Sixteenth Street Community HealthCorps. “I also wanted to see the process of how Wisconsin has been handling our vaccine distribution since we are among the states with the highest percentages of doses administered. It seemed to be a very smooth process, and it was great to see it in action and be a small part of these vaccination efforts.”

The AmeriCorps members were assigned different tasks at the clinic. Some were assigned as runners, communicating between the tents of medics and where people were waiting to receive their vaccines and escorting individuals to the medics to receive their vaccine. Others were assigned to assist at the exit. Collecting and cleaning the cards recipients were given indicating when their 15-minute wait time after receiving the vaccine would end so they could be used by others, as well as handing out free masks and stickers to those that wanted them.

"Before becoming an AmeriCorps member at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, I was a transporter at Froedtert Health last year. It's been so meaningful to see a vaccine developed for COVID-19 after taking care of numerous positive patients and witnessing the viruses ravaging effects on the community first-hand," said Emily Nadolski. "Volunteering at the vaccine clinic really felt like things coming full-circle; instead of helping those already ridden with the virus, I was able to be a part of the efforts to prevent it. I am very grateful to have had the experience and thankful to see so many people being vaccinated."
Several Sixteenth Street Community HealthCorps AmeriCorps members and staff are returning to volunteer at mass vaccination site on April 30.
PASS AmeriCorps completes team Earth Day project for Madison Parks and individual projects with their students  
The AmeriCorps members serving with Partners for After School Success (PASS) came together for an early Earth Day project at Hoyt Park in Madison on April 16. Not only did this service project celebrate Earth Day, but it was also the first time that their AmeriCorps cohort had the opportunity to spend time together since completing a project together last fall.

After learning how to distinguish garlic mustard, an invasive species, from other plants, they worked together to pull it from the park’s prairies and oak woodlands. Following this removal effort, they divided into small groups to pick up litter throughout the park. “Getting to work in small groups like this really allowed members to connect and get some valuable time together, which we don't get since we never meet in person with each other,” said PASS AmeriCorps member Kate Ferguson. “It is nice in a virtual world to be able to see everyone in person and get to connect with each other and spend so much time outdoors!”

In the afternoon, they completed additional projects, making homemade dog toys that were donated to Shelter from the Storm and planting seed starters that would grow herbs and vegetables. PASS AmeriCorps member Kayla Wasserman stated that “completing this service project with my AmeriCorps cohort was an awesome bonding experience as well as a great opportunity to serve a local Madison Park and celebrate Earth Day!”

Wanting to help the middle school students she serves at the Elver Park Neighborhood Center make a difference on Earth Day, Kayla involved them in planning their own celebration to take place on Earth Day. The students created the plans for their event, including getting the elementary students at the center involved in a trash cleaning competition. Kayla described that by coming together, “the youth picked up so much trash around the center that we filled up several bags before we even reached Elver Park.”
As part of the Amazing Eau Claire Clean-Up, six AmeriCorps members with Chippewa Fresh Start YouthBuild spent Earth Day joining with the Chippewa Valley Railroad Association to help make a difference in their community.

 "For Earth Day we cleaned up the railroad tracks in Carson Park so that kids can ride the small trains this summer," said AmeriCorps member Mason Swedlund. "It feels good helping the community in any way that I can."

In addition to celebrating Earth Day through this service, they also marked the 18th birthday of AmeriCorps member Beau Girard, who said "even if I wasn't in this program, I'd be doing it. It's just fun to be outside this time of year." Describing taking part in the project, Girard noted that "my favorite part of the day was spending time with my peers while helping out in the community."
Public Allies Milwaukee honored at the Force for Positive Change Awards
Public Allies Milwaukee was recognized on April 7 at the Force for Positive Change Awards, sponsored by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and Marquette University. The Force for Positive Change competition began in 2016 to honor organizations focused on creating lasting impact in Wisconsin by addressing social challenges locally. Public Allies Milwaukee was honored at the ceremony with the Special Consideration Award for addressing racial equity.

“We are incredibly honored to have been chosen as one of the winners this year out of the nearly 200 organizations to apply for the Force for Positive Change competition,” said Anthony Espinoza, Program Manager - Director of Partnerships at Public Allies Milwaukee. “We are thankful for the process that WARF and Marquette put in place that allowed us to speak to our work in a meaningful way, and it especially feels good to have been recognized for our work addressing structural racism.”

Links from Force for Positive Change Awards
Blugold Beginnings providing virtual STEAM lessons for students in Eau Claire area
This spring, the Blugold Beginnings AmeriCorps members serve in eleven elementary and middle schools in the Eau Claire area. The members, which are all University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students, are divided into three teams that provide virtual after-school programming focused on science, technology, engineering, the arts, and mathematics (STEAM).

The STEAM Team members are leading students through a survival island-themed program that focuses on developing science, technology, engineering, and math skills. The Coding Team members teach students the fundamentals of computer science with different types of interactive games and activities. The Art Team is leading students in a week of exploration of different creative genres, including film, literature, art, music, and language. Additionally, they hosted a month-long Creative Writer's Club this March. Their middle school students explored topics such as story design, character building, and plot development and then created their own short stories by the end of the month.
2021 Governor's Service Awards - Now Accepting Nominations (Due on June 14)
Serve Wisconsin is pleased to announce that the 2021 Governor's Service Awards will be held on Wednesday, August 4, at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. The ceremony will take place from 10:00-11:30 a.m.
The Governor's Service Awards honor outstanding national service members, volunteers, and programs that have helped address pressing needs in their communities. Those honored by these awards will have made significant contributions to Wisconsin through their service efforts, with their generous service impacting the lives of countless Wisconsinites.
The nomination form, which is the same for all award categories, and information on past recipients can be found at

The deadline for nomination submissions for the 2021 Governor's Service Awards is scheduled for Monday, June 14. Nominations can be submitted electronically to [email protected].
The nomination categories for this year are listed below, with descriptions on the application form.
  • AmeriCorps Member of the Year
  • AmeriCorps Program of the Year
  • AmeriCorps VISTA Member or VISTA Program of the Year
  • AmeriCorps Alumni of the Year
  • AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteer of the Year
  • AmeriCorps Seniors Program of the Year
  • AmeriCorps Seniors Lifetime Impact Volunteer
  • Veteran Volunteer of the Year
  • Volunteer Coordinator of the Year
  • Marty Stein Friend of National Service Exemplary Supporter
  • COVID-19 Response Service Award - Individual
  • COVID-19 Response Service Award - Organization
2021 Nomination Form (deadline for submissions is Monday, June 14)
Apply to be an AmeriCorps VISTA host site by June 1 
Serve Wisconsin is seeking to place 20 AmeriCorps VISTA members in nonprofits, schools, and government agencies to help them build organizational capacity to alleviate poverty in Wisconsin. The application deadline for hosting an AmeriCorps VISTA member through Serve Wisconsin is June 1, 2021. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and we encourage organizations to apply before the deadline. These VISTA members will begin serving by August 2021.
AmeriCorps VISTA members can assist organizations with resource development, designing or improving programming, volunteer engagement and management, developing outreach plans and materials, assessing community needs and assets, and other services to build organizational capacity. To learn more about this initiative and the service that AmeriCorps VISTA members can provide, organizations can watch a recording of our virtual presentation on our VISTA initiative.

We look forward to supporting organizations and agencies working to address poverty in numerous ways, such as programming to address health disparities, the educational achievement gap, employment, housing, child poverty, and poverty due to racial disparities. Organizations can complete this application to become an AmeriCorps VISTA host for an August 2021 start date.
Registration and Application links
Welcome to Tony Schultz as AmeriCorps member with Serve Wisconsin's VISTA initiative
Serve Wisconsin is proud to welcome Tony Schultz as the third member of our initial VISTA cohort.

Tony will be serving as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator with the Great Lakes Inter-Tribal Council (GLITC). He is currently finishing a double major in Anthropology and Classics at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and he hopes to apply some of the knowledge he has gained from his fieldwork and studies to his VISTA service. Some of these experiences include serving as a volunteer at the Milwaukee Public Museum educating visitors with the Mummification Curiosity Cart, conducting ethnographic fieldwork on race relationships at the Milwaukee Police Station on Wells Street, presenting research on Southwestern Native American ceramics, acting as a peer reviewer for Field Notes: A Journal of Collegiate Anthropology, and participating on excavations at the sites of Tell Timai and Mendes in Egypt.

Tony is looking forward to applying his passion for anthropology and coursework on contemporary and traditional Native American tribal histories and policies to helping several initiatives this year at GLITC that include a focus on cultural preservation. “I am incredibly excited to put my skills to use in this position,” he stated. “I hope that this work will allow me to be part of a solution as tribes create their own sustainable programs for their communities and create lasting cultural revitalization.”
Deadline for NCCC AmeriCorps Concept Papers is May 4 for Projects in September-December 2021
For nonprofit organizations and government agencies interested in working with an AmeriCorps NCCC team this fall, the deadline for submitting a concept form is May 4. This is the final opportunity to apply to for projects to be completed in 2021, with concept forms due for organizations interested in working with a team either between September 20 and November 8 or between October 21 and December 15. Information on the application process for this upcoming period is available in their Request for Proposal (RFP) for 2021 service dates.

AmeriCorps NCCC teams are constituted of 18-24 year-olds that travel regionally to help communities meet their critical needs by completing projects that typically last 6-8 weeks. NCCC partners with a variety of nonprofit organizations, government entities (federal, state or local), educational institutions, neighborhood associations, Native American Tribal Councils, and community-based or faith-based organizations to complete projects which address a compelling community need. These projects address five main service areas: natural and other disasters, energy conservation, environmental stewardship and conservation, infrastructure improvement, and urban and rural development.
Become an AmeriCorps Member Today!
If you wish to engage in meaningful community service and acquire job skills, consider joining AmeriCorps!
To learn more about AmeriCorps or if you are ready to join and have questions about which program is right for you, contact us! We are happy to answer your questions and help you explore the different opportunities available. Program information is also available on our Serve Wisconsin website.
Please email us at [email protected] or call (608) 492-2928.
We look forward to speaking with you!
Calendar: Upcoming Events and Key Dates

  • May 4-7 - ASC 2021 National Service Training Virtual Conference 
  • May 14 - Racial Justice Training Series - Session 7
  • May 24 - Program Evaluation & Development Committee meeting
  • May 28 - Racial Justice Training Series - Session 8 

  • June 2 - Wisconsin National and Community Service Board meeting
  • June 14 - Nominations due for 2021 Governor's Service Awards
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