Meet a couple of Toledo’s AmeriCorps volunteers

The volunteers have had a uniquely Northwest Ohio experience!

Jaden Jefferson
2 min readMay 31, 2023
You can watch the story, here.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The AmeriCorps is an independent agency of the federal government that was founded by former President Bill Clinton. Made up of civilian volunteers from across the country who complete service projects at various organizations, there are a few groups currently in the Glass City, and one of the organizations that is greatly benefiting from their efforts is Toledo GROWs.

“They’ve been helping to weed gardens, they’ve been helping to get some mulch and things laid down so that we can plant, and they’ve also started to help to plant and weed; just really kind of getting the gardens going for the spring,” said Toledo GROWs Executive Director Yvonne Dubielak.

Dubielak says having these paid volunteers has been a big help, due to the fact they’re able to accomplish so much, especially being in the area for two months.

“A lot of times it’s one time, you know. They’ll be here for a couple hours. So you train them, and just when they get going, they’re done. So, this group of people, they really can learn the farm a little bit, they can learn a little bit about growing, they can pick up where they left off yesterday or last week, and they can really continue. So, they make a big difference,” she explained.

Of course, the term “paid volunteer” may suggest this is work you can live off of, but Dubielak notes these young volunteers aren’t making a living wage, rather they’re dedicating themselves to a cause — and she appreciates the morale boost they bring.

I spoke with a couple of volunteers, both from different backgrounds, who ended up fulfilling the same purpose.

“I just graduated high school last year, and I was going to go off to a university, and then I decided that that just wasn’t for me. So, I decided to apply to AmeriCorps, after hearing about it from my mom, who had done it in the 90s,” said Liv Waubanascum, an AmeriCorps volunteer from Wisconsin.

Volunteer Jerry Green says he’s enjoyed his experience so far.

“The work’s been nice, the place where we’re staying is really nice. We’re at Camp Miakonda right now, which is a boy scout camp, and it’s pretty nice. We have a nice little cabin and it’s a cool camp. I’ve just enjoyed hanging out; we’ve met some nice people here on the farm, too,” said Green, hailing from New Jersey.

The volunteers, which includes another group working with Maumee Valley Habit for Humanity, will remain in the area through June 26th.

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Jaden Jefferson

🎤 16-year-old Journo 🎥 Story idea? jadenjeffersonreports@gmail.com / DMs | IG 📸: @jaden_reports | Award Winner🎖️ | Y2K Pop 🎵😎 | Dogs.🐾