By Sidney Helsten, American Red Cross AmeriCorps Member

I recently had the privilege of sitting down with the Mayor of Lynnwood, Nicola Smith. We spoke about my AmeriCorps term so far, including the benefits of serving for the AmeriCorps American Red Cross program and the impact the program has had on myself, our local veterans, military members, and military families. I communicated to Mayor Smith how Washington Service Corps (WSC) addresses the needs of the local community, mine specifically being veterans and military families, with the purpose of recruiting veterans as volunteers to hopefully improve their quality of life.

Mayor Smith is already involved in the veteran community, she attended a past Hero’s Café in Lynnwood. There we honor local vets and provide them a place to gain support from fellow vets, and we serve them coffee and a nice lunch.

I also spoke with Mayor Nicola Smith about the resiliency workshops the Red Cross provides. I aid in the logistics and present to our community partners about our services. These workshops hope to support service members, veterans and their families in effectively coping with the challenges related to the various transitions within military life and the stress that it causes emotionally and within family relationships. It was a great visit sharing with Mayor Smith about my experiences through AmeriCorps and speaking about the services we provide for the population we aim to serve.

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