Keystone SMILES AmeriCorps volunteers were busy in Knox

Keystone SMILES AmeriCorps brought 21 volunteers together Monday to renovate the future Knox Area Volunteer Ambulance Service building in conjunction with Martin Luther King Day of Service activities.

The House of Trades team with Keystone SMILES undertook the project after the ambulance service received a grant to purchase its new building.

Many Knox-area businesses and organizations have been offering help. Bridge Builders Community Foundations assisted with the funding, and Curt Wray, owner of Venclar Construction of Knox, has donated materials and time, offering the help of his team to work alongside AmeriCorps service members.

Pete Titley, owner of Wolfs Campground in Knox, sits on the ambulance service board and has worked to bring the community together to support the ambulance service as similar agencies around the area have closed their doors.

Titley said Keystone SMILES has really helped the project come along much quicker than expected.

Once the renovations are finished, the ambulance service will have a garage large enough to hold its two ambulance services and maintain them, a kitchenette for the EMTs and paramedics, three bedrooms that will help with recruitment and retention, a medication closet, offices and space for expansion in the future.

Keystone SMILES AmeriCorps also had volunteers helping at several other locations Monday as part of the King Day observances. One of those sites was the National Transit Building in Oil City where volunteers were assisting the Hope 21 agency.

Many more projects are planned this year and more AmeriCorps members are always being sought.