AmeriCorps NCCC Arrives in Schoharie
By Anna Henzy, Buffalo 2 Team Leader
A team with the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), an AmeriCorps program, is working with SALT. For five weeks, 9 NCCC members will be working alongside other volunteers and families to rebuild their houses from the ground up.
The team, Buffalo 2, will help SALT which addresses the long term effects of hurricane Irene. During its five-week term with SALT, the team aims to maximize the effects of the recent 250,000 dollar donation.
“The AmeriCorps NCCC team will increase the effects of the monetary donations significantly. Providing an effective source of labor is key” said Chris Small, an AmeriCorps VISTA member also working with the SALT project.
The Buffalo 2 team is based in Perry Point, MD, but consists of members from around the country, from Alex McDonald, from Olympia, WA, to Genevieve Shephard, from Deer Isle, Maine. They have experience in everything from hotel management to forklift driving to landscaping, but will be channeling their combined skills into serving the Schoharie community.
The best part, according to Buffalo 2, is meeting the homeowners directly. “I enjoy seeing the faces of the people I’ve helped. It’s such a warming feeling,” said Mariah Hoke, Buffalo 2 member.
The team also has a motto which they use to stay motivated: “Made to get dirty!” Which is a good thing, because gutting houses in dirty work! The first two weeks have been divided among such jobs as ripping out destroyed sheet rock to tearing down damaged electrical wire, leaving the team covered in grime and loving it. They have also put their energy into serving at the CARE 4 NYS donation warehouse, painting, building sawhorses, and assisting at the local food pantry at Breakabeen Presbyterian Church.
Two weeks in and Buffalo 2 is highly motivated and permanently moved by the stories and passion of the Schoharie community. The team can’t wait to keep getting down and dirty, and to get things done with SALT!