Navigating For Non Profits is a non-profit that transformed out of a road trip. We met in September of 2011 through AmeriCorps NCCC in Sacramento and decided that even though the program would end, the volunteer work wasn’t done. We had an idea for a road trip which quickly transformed from just wanting to get across the country into something much bigger.
We had initially just wanted to get across the country and use service as a way for us to get free housing. It was at that point when we realized that we were much more excited about the non-profits than about reaching a destination. Our idea of a road trip with volunteering became a road trip of volunteerism. Volunteering became the main reason why we travel. But to understand what drives us you first need a chance to get to know us. So here’s a little bit on who we are and how we ended up in the car.
My name is Maggie and I am originally from Muncie, Indiana. I graduated college with an accounting degree in December of 2009. Without a passion for my business path I chose to sign up for AmeriCorps NCCC and if that didn’t work out I was going to move to Colorado and figure it out along the way. Lucky for me I found out a few months later that I was accepted to AmeriCorps NCCC at the Vinton, IA campus starting in two weeks. I was so overwhelmed by having to make a quick decision that I actually cried! Not my typical reaction. I accepted and life has been a whirlwind of non-profits and life experiences ever since. I spent time in the Midwest and then after being accepted to be a team leader I moved out to the Western region to serve the Sacramento campus. That’s where I met the one and only, Jenna Lamoreaux.
As the other half of the road trip, my story is not much different. I had always been raised to believe that it is important to help out your neighbor in whatever way you can. After finishing two terms in AmeriCorps NCCC and living in 8 states in 2.5 years, I didn’t really have a specific neighborhood to call mine and I definitely didn’t have neighbors. I just lived in America. When Maggie and I came up with the idea to do a road trip of volunteerism, it let me give back to my neighbors without having to actually pick a neighborhood to live in! It seemed to be a perfect idea and now one month into the road trip, it seems to be working out pretty well.
So there we were, in California with an idea and the possibility of doing something amazing; some might even say life changing. During the course of our term of service in the Northwest we took the time to turn ourselves into a non-profit. We filled out all the paperwork to become a 501(c)3 and began planning the first leg of the trip. That portion of the project stretches from California to Maine over the course of 45 days and 16 cities. We are just over halfway through it and preparing for the second leg which goes along the eastern coastline down to Florida, back up to Detroit via Kentucky and Indiana, loops back around going through St. Louis into Texas and New Orleans back up to Indiana before Christmas.
To help us out on our journey check out our website www.navigatingfornonprofits.org, volunteer for one of our events on GoVoluntr, and if you believe in what we do then like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@Navig4NonProfs). As we always say, spread the word and safe travels!