It seems like just last month we were wishing you a happy Thanksgiving. This month we get the joy of wishing you all the best this holiday season has to offer. Catch up with the AFHA and learn how AmeriCorps members are aiding the community this holiday season.
AmeriCorps is Looking for YOU
As you can see by many of the stories in our E-Newsletter, AFHA AmeriCorps members are getting things done at a wide variety of partner sites around our region. From conservation to community development, heritage tourism to historic preservation, members are helping to improve our environment and communities. If you know of someone interested in AmeriCorps service, we have 3 positions still open for the current term:
- Community development in the Potomac Highlands
- Conservation field position restoring red spruce
- Heritage museum position in Lewisburg
See www.appalachianforest.us/americorps.htm for more information.
If you represent a non-profit or governmental site that might be interested in sponsoring an AmeriCorps member next term (starting September 2018), send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will open site applications in January. Potential members for next term should check our website in May
AmeriCorps Helps With Polar Express
The Polar Express train experience brings approximately 17,000 people in to ride the train over the course of 32 days. Every single one of them steps foot into the Elkins Depot Welcome Center at some point because the Durbin & Greenbrier Railroad shares the same building. While some riders are local, most are from outside of Elkins and even from outside of West Virginia. My AmeriCorps position with the Elkins Welcome Depot is to ensure that every single visitor has a welcoming experience.
These Polar Express riders benefit the local economy outside of the railroad. When guests are early for the train, I recommend nearby restaurants and shops that they may be able to check out. Families walk around downtown in their pajamas enjoying themselves and liven the area up. It makes me happy to know that I contribute to the community in some way.
Old Fashioned Christmas
The Beverly Heritage Center kicked off the holiday season with Beverly Old-Fashioned Christmas. This annual event held on the first Saturday of December coincided with activities throughout the town, including a craft bazaar and lunch at Beverly Presbyterian Church, special open houses at several Beverly businesses, and caroling and tree lighting in the town square.
Admission to the Heritage Center was free during the festivities, as costumed docents roamed about the complex and throughout town. A special exhibit in the gallery featured early Christmas decorations. Glass ornaments with cardboard hangers—manufactured to conserve metal during World War II—were particularly interesting. Children’s crafts were available for our younger visitors, and they had the opportunity to leave a letter in Santa’s Mailbox. Father Christmas (the Victorian version of Santa Claus) was also on hand throughout the day to meet and greet with our visitors.
Following the tree lighting in town square, we concluded the day with our first ever Contra Dance at the Beverly IOOF building. We hope to make this a monthly event in Beverly. Join us for our next scheduled contra dance on January 6—no partner required!
Beverly Old-Fashioned Christmas was a great way to kick off the holiday season and get Beverly residents involved in their community and their heritage. Thank you to AFHA AmeriCorps members who helped make this event a reality, and it was nice to see many of you as visitors.