Google Meets AmeriCorps
Friday, October 5, 2007
As part of AmeriCorp's strategic goal to increase the number of Americans who volunteer in their communities, the Corporation for National & Community Service has been exploring a variety of ways of using the Internet and social networking tools to engage volunteers. To that end, AmeriCorps is collaborating with Google on its upcoming International Cleanup Weekend taking place on October 13-14.
The idea of the cleanup weekend is simple -- to get together with 6-10 of your friends, identify a park, beach, trail or other area in your neighborhood that needs some help (ensure you get jurisdictional approval if needed), and go out and clean it up. Google has a free map-making tool (called the My Maps tab in Google Maps) that lets users create their own maps and share them with friends, so users can easily organize where they're meeting and what area they're cleaning.
This is an opportunity for programs, current members, alumni, and other volunteers to use free, widely-available technology to organize for the common good. This time the purpose is cleanups, but in the future these tools could be used to organize interested parties to turn up at service projects, recruitment meetings, or other kinds of events.
You can help by sharing this information with your members, volunteers, and staff encouraging them to organize their own cleanups. Remember that this is a volunteer event, and member hours and costs can only be claimed if this is the type of service approved for your program. To find out more and start planning your cleanup, visit the International Cleanup page at http://maps.google.com/help/maps/cleanup/.