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Celebrate Service: Happy National Volunteer Week 2023 on Cape Cod!

National Volunteer Week is a time to celebrate the impact of volunteers and their service to their communities. This year, the theme is “Celebrate Service,” and we want to highlight how service brings people together on Cape Cod. From AmeriCorps Cape Cod to the Medical Reserve Corps, there are many opportunities to get involved and make a difference.

AmeriCorps Cape Cod

Did you know? AmeriCorps Cape Cod – AmeriCorps is a national service program that aims to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement. On Cape Cod, AmeriCorps members work on various projects, such as habitat restoration, disaster response, and environmental education, and they provide invaluable support to nonprofit organizations in our region.

In response to the Cape’s environmental threats, the Barnstable County’s Resource Development Office proposed the creation of an AmeriCorps program back in 1999. Through a series of community meetings, Barnstable County cultivated enthusiasm and support for the idea while enlisting partners and local municipalities as key collaborators. Partnerships with the Job Training and Employment Corporation (JTEC) and the Cape Cod National Seashore provided the initial management, housing, and funding for the start of the program. Today, the management of AmeriCorps Cape Cod is the sole responsibility of Barnstable County.  Learn more about AmeriCorps Cape Cod.

Cape Cod Medical Reserve Corps

The Medical Reserve Corps is a national network of volunteers who serve their communities during public health emergencies and other disasters. On Cape Cod, the Medical Reserve Corps works with local agencies and organizations to ensure that the community is prepared for emergencies.

From 2020 to the present, the Cape Cod MRC has focused its efforts on COVID-19 response and outreach throughout the region. At the height of the pandemic, MRC volunteers delivered groceries to the elderly and high-risk individuals throughout the Cape, served breakfast to homeless individuals at the Federated Church of Hyannis and Duffy Health Center, contributed to 3D printing and distribution of face masks, picked up and delivered donations of personal protective equipment to frontline workers, and staffed a regional helpline to answer the public’s questions related to COVID-19. Cape Cod MRC volunteers also staffed and managed many of the County-run vaccine and testing clinics, which helped thousands of community members stay protected during the pandemic.

Going forward, the Cape Cod MRC hopes to resume its pre-pandemic functions, which include CPR and Choke Saver training for volunteers, tick education to summer camp staff, first aid and medical support to public functions, community education and outreach, and emergency preparedness in partnership with the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee.

Happy National Volunteer Week 2023! We hope you are inspired to celebrate service and explore the various volunteering opportunities on Cape Cod. Whether you’re interested in conservation, public health, community building, or animal welfare, there is something for everyone on Cape Cod. By volunteering, you not only make a positive impact on the community but also enrich your life with new experiences and connections. So, let’s join hands and celebrate service on Cape Cod!