Reflections on ‘Energize Evansville’

A small group of AIHTI members recently executed their AmeriCorps Week service project (a few months after the official national AmeriCorps Week, no bother!), which they had been planning for quite some time.

Congratulations, team ‘Energize Evansville’ for a job well done!


We asked members Nancy Morales (middle) and Terri Sheppard (right) to share a bit about the experience. Read what they said below:

Talk a bit about your group’s service project.

Terri: [For our AmeriCorps service project] we chose to focus on getting children, and potentially their parents, aware of healthier lifestyles through interactive nutrition education and physical activity.

Nancy: The project took place in Evansville, IN.  The event was called ‘Energize Evansville’ and the goal was to educate children on physical activity and nutrition. They learned about the importance of exercising at least an hour per day and eating healthy meals.

What activities did you have for the children?

Nancy: We had different activities for children to learn about how much sugar a drink has, and how much fat chips contain.  For physical activity, the team and I had relay races and tennis set up.  We kept them moving and learning about nutrition.  It was a fun and interactive event, perfect for any age group.

Most of the members who participated in the event serve in Bloomington. Why then did you choose to hold the event in Evansville?

Nancy: [We felt] that this was a particularly important event for the community because Evansville is known for having high rates of obesity, which is one of the reasons we wanted to target children in the Evansville area.

Terri: At the time of planning back in 2011, Evansville was ranked the most obese city in the nation. To us that was a very big deal. In order for us to make the most out of our experience we chose take our services there, and there came about “Energize Evansville.”

And the turnout?

Terri: The day of our event, unfortunately we had a surprisingly low turnout. Those that we did have however expressed to us that they were having a great time. When we began to pack up, one girl said, “Wait! No! Is it over? I don’t wanna leave yet.” That was a little reminder letting us know that even though we only had a few children come out, the ones that did come made the time worthwhile.

Though turnout may have been less than ideal (Unfortunately, isn’t that the case with so many nonprofit events?), their efforts still impacted those they did reach and did so in a positive way. Hard to feel bad about that!

Again, good effort Energize Evansville!


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