AmeriCorps at Camphill Kimberton
Kimberton Hills is grateful to the many outstanding volunteers who have chosen to share their AmeriCorps service in our non-profit, intentional community.
AmeriCorps members are valued members of the Kimberton Hills community. Although they are only with us for a short time, the impact we have on each other is felt much longer.
“I have gotten to know that I am able to not just work with people with disabilities,” said one former volunteer, “but have fun together, laugh together, and help each other wherever we can. There is not a single day I do not look back or think about my time at Camphill Kimberton. Sometimes I think, how can I ever give back to them what they gave me?”
As an AmeriCorps member, volunteers practice life-sharing in community, living together and participating in workshops with all village residents. Volunteers gain an invaluable and unique experience due to the Camphill approach to community life. Life-sharing allows them to develop healthy, respectful relationships with people, no matter what their differences might be.
“Camphill Kimberton is the community I have been dreaming of for years,” says current AmeriCorps volunteer Heather Hamilton, who came to Kimberton Hills from San Francisco after college. “After studying the environment as well as agriculture in college, I was yearning to find a practice of the theories I had been exposed to through my studies. I am now immersed in a community that not only considers our relationship to the environment, but also our relationship to one another. I believe that the way we relate to each other is a facet of environmentalism not often considered, but of utmost importance.”
Heather continues, “The residents with whom I live and work have helped me to discover beauty in life, and have also shown me that those living with ‘disabilities’ have an incredible ability to love, create, and express themselves. I plan on attending law school to practice environmental law, yet this unexpected chapter has been the most rewarding experience of my life thus far.”
AmeriCorps was founded in 1994 and is commonly known as the domestic Peace Corps. The program engages more than 80,000 Americans in intensive service each year at local nonprofits like the Camphill Communities of North America. In the last twenty years, more than 800,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.
The Camphill AmeriCorps program began in 2001 with nine AmeriCorps members serving in four communities. Since then, it has grown to 60 full-time AmeriCorps members serving in eight Camphill Communities and two related life-sharing communities. Camphill is proud to be part of the diverse portfolio of AmeriCorps programs. It is widely acknowledged within Camphill that the caliber of AmeriCorps members has greatly contributed to maintaining a vibrant and high quality of life within our communities.