Introducing the AmeriCorps NCCC Delta 4 Team and their Community Impact
Published on September 8th, 2021 by The Enrichmond Foundation
The AmeriCorps NCCC team – Delta 4 – has been hard at work helping to restore East End and Evergreen cemeteries. Since beginning their work in early August 2021, the service members have collectively cleared and maintained 3.1 acres by removing vines and debris to expose headstones while maintaining previously cleared areas.
The work that they’ve been doing goes further than the damage created by July’s heavy storms. Having the NCCC Team come in at this time has helped us gain significant progress in our restoration efforts that were stalled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A large part of that progress has been their help with expanding our comprehensive mapping at East End cemetery. After clearing brush, locating, and cleaning gravestones, we can then use GIS technology and drone imagery to map points indicating the precise location of those gravesites. The impact this mapping will have on the Richmond community is influential because it allows families and loved ones to locate relatives.
“The NCCC members along with East End and Evergreen volunteers continue to represent the power of good. We are very thankful for each and every one of them,”– Genifer Ross, Enrichmond Volunteer Manager
The work completed extends far beyond clearing debris; each act of service helps restore these historical cemeteries, strengthen their roots, and honor the legacy of those who are no longer with us. Some of them were born before Emancipation and faced profound hardships during their lives. Resilience was implanted into their identities and is present in how they built and nourished the Richmond community. That same resilience shines through in the prominent work and collaborative efforts of the NCCC group, Enrichmond staff, and volunteers.
We want to take the time to highlight two of the members who have made these efforts possible through their service within the NCCC Delta 4 Team, Sheridan Arnold and Daron Piphus.
Sheridan Arnold was born in Shanghai, China, but after being adopted at age three, moved to Evansville, Indiana, and has lived there for most of her life. She is 23 years old and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Southern Indiana. One major accomplishment Sheridan looks forward to fulfilling is learning more about America; she has a desire to explore the country and the people who live here. For that reason, she couldn’t be more excited about the obstacles and opportunities that will arise during her time with AmeriCorps.
Daron Piphus from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is glad to serve his nation and every community he can with hopes that his work will inspire his family and those who may come after him. Daron had a passion for music growing up, but as he got older, he found a love for working with his hands. With that passion, Daron joined a military-style school that taught him the importance of discipline, honor, and commitment, as well as the beauty of serving the community. Since that time, he has also improved his knowledge on tools and safety by studying carpentry; he looks forward to utilizing his skills with the work that NCCC does to help restore East End and Evergreen cemeteries.
The work of Sheridan and Daron alongside the rest of the NCCC Delta 4 Team doesn’t stop with East End and Evergreen cemeteries! Outside of their time here, they have worked diligently in the communities surrounding Richmond. They have cleaned off dozens of informational signs throughout the Manassas National Battlefield Park and built benches for John B. Cary Elementary School as an effort to help it evolve into an eco-campus.
“The members are very dedicated to serving in the community and will be heading to Shenandoah National Park for the next few weeks to assist the Park Rangers with park clean-up, which will include cleaning and clearing the walking trails,” adds Genifer Ross. “Once members complete their service at Shenandoah, they will return to Evergreen and East End to complete their service with Enrichmond.”
We truly are proud of these young leaders and grateful for all that they have been able to accomplish during their time here! Through a great collaborative spirit, they will leave Richmond and surrounding communities stronger and more enriched than before.