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About Us

We are the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that helps more than 5 million Americans improve the lives of their fellow citizens through service. Working hand in hand with local partners, we tap the ingenuity and can-do spirit of the American people to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing our nation.

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  • Great day in Vinton, Iowa where #AmeriCorps #Fema Corps class 23 was inducted today! Can anyone tell us where this little jingle originates from?

By Aaron Bigler Lefebvre, AmeriCorps VISTA member

AmeriCorps VISTA member, Aaron Bigler Lefebvre

When attending Pre-Service Orientation (PSO), members in the AmeriCorps VISTA program learn about poverty. They learn about situational poverty, about generational poverty, about urban and rural poverty, and so forth. During this training, facilitators ask their groups to form a circle to discuss what poverty means to them. They’re asked: what does poverty look like to you?

The answers would no doubt surprise you, and would undoubtedly provoke the conscience to consider unknown situations. As a new AmeriCorps VISTA, when I was asked this question of what poverty looks like, the realization arrived that it was the situation in which I’d been living, though it might not look like the poverty you’re picturing.

They’re asked: what does poverty look like to you?

The answers would no doubt surprise you.

I have a low-vision blindness disability that I developed at the age of 19. I’m a white, middle-class male. A Boy Scout who has always done well in school. Well enough even to earn two English degrees while adapting to a newly acquired low-vision disability.  

After graduating from Rutgers University in Camden, NJ with an MFA in Creative Writing, I began a job search. I searched. I searched some more. I had many interviews. Some, I was unqualified for, while others, I was more than qualified for. On occasion, I was dismissed because I had to disclose my disability. Yes, it’s illegal, but you know what? They gave me the run-around anyway. Why? Because like with many people who experience poverty on one level or another, I didn’t have the resources to do anything about it.  

By Kelly DeGraff, Senior Advisor for Disaster Services at CNCS


Across the country, communities are actively experiencing extreme heat conditions. This week, the National Weather Service announced that “dangerously hot and humid conditions are expected this week across a large portion of the nation.” Many of the communities supported by AmeriCorps and Senior Corps are part of the most vulnerable populations, especially the elderly and children, who need the most assistance in times of adverse weather. Programs like Resilience AmeriCorps VISTA members in Phoenix, AZ and El Paso, TX are actively working to make those communities more resilient against the extremely high temperatures that threaten the cities.  And now we need your help! We hope that you will be ambassadors and help bring awareness, education, and action to your communities and families.

What can you do?

To help Americans stay safe during extreme heat,FEMA urges residents to consider taking the following actions in affected areas:

By Tess Mason-Elder, CNCS Staff

Last weekend, the nation’s governors gathered in Des Moines, Iowa for the National Governors Association’s 2016 Summer Meeting to discuss some of the pressing challenges facing states – from the opioid crisis to cyber security to agriculture and food security. But this year, they did something unique: Thanks to the leadership of Iowa Governor Branstad and the National Governors Association, governors, first spouses, staff, and meeting attendees came together to show the power of service.

Thanks to those who volunteered Saturday! We packaged 50,000 meals for @FOODBANKIOWA with @Outreachprgm! #NGA2016 https://t.co/baSIuZbfHO

— NGA Summer Meeting (@NGAIowa2016) July 18, 2016

Over the four day meeting, Wendy Spencer, the team from Volunteer Iowa, and AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers joined the governors to help The Outreach Program package 50,000 meals to support the Food Bank of Iowa. AmeriCorps VISTA members serving with Outreach, an AmeriCorps NCCC team from the Vinton, IA campus, and AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members from the Des Moines area, showed the governors the best of the national service family.

From Our CEO | Wendy Spencer

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By John J Lira, Veterans and Military Families Program Officer The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Veterans...

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Serve Your Community

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The members and volunteers who serve in CNCS programs provide vital assistance to organizations.

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Through programs and grants, CNCS provides human capital—people power—to help you address emerging needs in your community.

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