SHOSHONE, Idaho — Lincoln County is again in the process of hosting another Americorps team to work on a variety of community projects across the area.
This team is now on the tail end of their trip, and their work has made a tremendous impact on communities throughout the region.
Americorps operates in four different regions across the United States. This team specifically works in the pacific region. The group consists of 18-24-year-olds, and for 10 months they will be traveling to various locations to help other communities in need.
Following the success of the first Americorps team in Lincoln County during the summer, officials jumped at the opportunity to bring in a new group.
“For a little town like us, they make a huge difference," said Karma Fitzgerald, a chairman for the Lincoln County Youth Commission. "They can take a huge project that none of us have time or energy to do, and they turn it into a small project.”
The team has been working in the area over these past seven weeks. They have been lending their assistance to a variety of projects across the county.
“The Lincoln County Youth Center, the Lincoln County Historical Society, specifically, with their museum," said 24-year-old Maddie Eiler, the team leader for this specific Americorps group. "Over at Neher Community Park, which is an up-and-coming park. So, we’re helping with the beginning stages of that. Over at Hiatus Ranch and then wherever hands are needed within this small community.”
One of the main projects the group has been working on has been helping to improve the local Lincoln County Museum. Throughout their time, their work has made a significant impact, and many locals are showing their appreciation.
“When I had a chance to have these people, I was excited, they were willing to do whatever I wanted," said Ken Haught, chairman of the Lincoln County Historical Society. "I brought the materials, and they put them to work, and I’m telling you we’ve revamped this place completely from the back to the front, storage areas and everything, and it’s just been terrific.”
The group has been put in nearly 3,000 hours of community service. Although the work can be busy and tiring at times, many team members feel that it's worth it to try and help improve local communities.
“It’s hard sometimes, especially if you’re far from home and it’s not the environment you’re used to," said 18-year-old Americorps team member Amy Flores. "But, definitely the people make it, and just impacting people and impacting communities we never thought we would impact is what drives us to keep going.”
Lincoln County officials are so pleased and thankful for these teams they plan to continue utilizing Americorps services into the future.
“These kids set incredibly positive examples for our children," said Fitzgerald. "These are kids that have given up a year of their life to serve their country. They believe in community. They believe in connection. So, absolutely we will be pursuing another team, plus some other Americorps opportunities as we move forward.”