HOUSTON (October 13, 2022) – After the successful pilot year of Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston’s (Interfaith Ministries) SERVE HOUSTON program, the initiative has expanded into a full AmeriCorps cohort this fall. Interfaith Ministries received a grant from AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism through OneStar, the Texas Service Commission.
SERVE HOUSTON is part of the Vic Samuels Center for Volunteerism and Civic Service, whose mission is to establish a positive and lasting impact on the Greater Houston community through organized service and leadership.
SERVE HOUSTON is a diverse service corps of adults, working to strengthen the health and well-being of underserved communities. After a competitive application, interview, and vetting process, Interfaith Ministries selected 25 natural leaders out of 200 applicants to participate in this year’s cohort. These new members participated in a two-week orientation and training that culminated in their official swearing-in as AmeriCorps members.
The Swearing-In ceremony was hosted by Bank of America on Saturday, October 1, at the Bank of America Tower in Downtown Houston. The participants confirmed their commitment to national service by citing the AmeriCorps pledge in front of family, friends, and Interfaith Ministries staff. The words of the pledge are:
- I will get things done for America – to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.
- I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
- Faced with apathy, I will take action.
- Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
- Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
- I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
- I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.
A video of the Swearing-In Ceremony may be viewed here.
The AmeriCorps SERVE HOUSTON members will manage projects at Interfaith Ministries and at partner agencies throughout Greater Houston including Avondale House, Kids’ Meals, Houston Food Bank, Houston ToolBank, L.I.F.E. Houston, Precinct2gether, Santa Maria Hostel and The Tejano Center for Community Concerns. AmeriCorps SERVE HOUSTON members expand the capacity of these organizations to meet growing community needs.
AmeriCorps, the federal agency for national service and volunteerism, provides opportunities for Americans to serve their country domestically, address the nation’s most pressing challenges, improve lives and communities, and strengthen civic engagement. Each year, the agency places more than 250,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in intensive service roles; and empowers millions more to serve as long-term, short-term, or one-time volunteers. AmeriCorps offers opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to be a part of the national service community, grow personally and professionally, and receive benefits for their service.
To follow AmeriCorps SERVE HOUSTON members on social media, visit Volunteer Houston on Facebook and Instagram.
ABOUT INTERFAITH MINISTRIES FOR GREATER HOUSTON
A United Way partner, Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston brings people of diverse faith traditions together for dialogue, collaboration and service, as a demonstration of our shared beliefs. Interfaith Ministries’ core programs are: Meals on Wheels for Greater Houston and Galveston County and Animeals, providing meals and more to over 5,200 homebound seniors, veterans and adults with disabilities and their pets; Refugee Services, working in conjunction with the U.S. State Department and Episcopal Migration Ministries, to resettle refugees fleeing political, social or religious persecution; Interfaith Relations and Community Partnerships, engaging individuals, houses of worship, businesses, organizations and nonprofits in dialogue, collaboration and service to embrace the philosophy of “Respect Thy Neighbor”; and The Vic Samuels Center for Volunteerism & Civic Service, whose mission is to establish a positive and lasting impact on the Greater Houston community through organized service and leadership. The Center includes Volunteer Houston, which actively connects volunteers with nonprofits in need, increasing impact and benefiting the community at large, and SERVE HOUSTON, a diverse AmeriCorps program of natural leaders, working to strengthen the health and well-being of underserved communities. For more information, visit https://www.imgh.org/.