Big things can happen when a community comes together. Since 2010, Trident United Way has served as a home to the AmeriCorps program in the Tri-County.

AmeriCorps members serve at our Resource Connection Centers in Summerville and Moncks Corner, along with 10 other partner sites across the Tri-County. As Family Navigators, they seek to add capacity to partner organizations by addressing economic hardships and providing financial education by leveraging the unique strengths of Trident United Way and our community partners. During the COVID-19 pandemic, AmeriCorps members have literally been lifesavers to people throughout our region who have been devastated by the health and economic impacts.

“You have to have that love, that compassion; you gotta want to help somebody. When you help somebody, you feel so much better, yeah, you really do,” said AmeriCorps member Brenda Williams. Brenda worked at the Moncks Corner Resource Connection Center and recalls providing lifelines to many people who needed support financially and beyond. “I had so many people call me and say thank you so much for listening. You can just lend an ear, and that’s helping somebody.” 

AmeriCorps members make a significant community impact through multiple service projects. On Veterans Day, they partnered with One80 Place for an essentials supply drive for veterans and their families. That same weekend, they also grabbed hard hats, goggles and gloves to work with Dorchester County Habitat for Humanity to help build a home for a single mother and her children. 

Members gain and give back. For Latoya Lewis, this meant moving from serving as an AmeriCorps member to applying her professional skills and military service to become the  manager of Trident United Way’s Resource Connection Center in Moncks Corner.

“AmeriCorps has given me the opportunity to pay it forward, meet and work with wonderful people and change the course of the lives of so many families through conversation and teaching,” Lewis said. “I’m blessed to do this work full-time with the organization that started it all and show the team that help is available and we’re in this together.”

AmeriCorps members range in ages from recent college graduates to retirees looking to give back. While the work can be tough at times, the life-changing moments and gratitude are what it’s all about.