TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Lincoln County Youth Center Commissioners welcomed a team from AmeriCorps Wednesday afternoon to help the Lincoln County area finish a few projects.
The team consists of nine individuals from all over the United States, ranging from age 18 to 24.
“They’re young kids that are serving their country for a year," said Karma Fitzgerald, the Chairman of the Lincoln County Youth Center. "They’ve been all over, and they’re ready to work. They can’t wait to get started.”
The group will be in Lincoln County for three months, primarily focusing on the development of the new youth center so they can offer summer programs for children.
“They’ll be putting all new flooring in. On the outside, they’ve got to take down a bunch of dead shrubberies. They’ve got to build our outdoor classroom area. They got to paint the outside,” said Fitzgerald.
The team will also be working in the community as needed.
"They are going to be painting the swimming pool. They are going to be painting the gun range. They will be painting several buildings in town," said Fitzgerald. "We’re going to be working with senior citizens in town and make sure all the yard work that needs to get done for people that need help.”
The AmeriCorps team has been together over this past year, traveling all over the country to lend their assistance. Some of the more notable adventures include going to Louisiana to help with hurricane relief and going to California to help with vaccine distribution.
While the work has been tough, those involved are glad to be putting their time to good use.
“When I was stuck at home like last March through August, that dearth of community is something that just weighed really heavily on me and that oppressive loneliness," said Claudia Maurino, a team member from Massachusetts. "To be able to travel and to do it with an incredible group of humans is something I’m really really grateful for.”
The trip to Lincoln County is the last one the team will take together before they part ways and return home. Many of them feel this final phase of their year-long adventure with one another is the best way to end it, especially since they will be able to help in a variety of ways.
“We’re going to be spending the longest amount of time out of all the projects here and I can’t think of a better way than getting to get to know people really well and just growing with them seeing the projects that we’ll be working on here just come to fruition,” said Stefan Lunte, a team member from Texas.
To find out more about AmeriCorps, click here.