NY SARC Nassau County
Commission AmeriCorps State FY 2011
Since 1998, the NYSARC, Nassau County AmeriCorps Program has provided adults with developmental disabilities the opportunity to be providers of service rather than recipients. As AmeriCorps members, in their own community, these individuals strengthen community ties by providing assistance with food shopping and other community based errands to elderly homebound citizens. These seniors are then able to remain independent in their homes rather than access an already overburdened social service system. Part time members with developmental disabilities, with the support of NYSARC?s qualified staff, travel to the clients home two days a week for nine hours a week to provide food shopping and other community based errands. 92% of Elderly/homebound citizens served since 2006, have indicated less anxiety about their independent living/housing situation determined by the enrichment of service received. Performance is measured utilizing service applications from partner agencies and home assessments. In this capacity, NYSARC's AmeriCorps program has networked with over 75 local agencies. Continued collaboration builds on the capacity of these agencies to address the broad economic recovery issues in their community. An integral part of NYSARC's AmeriCorps program is recruitment of volunteer youth, baby boomers, veterans and alumni. Members with developmental disabilities develop volunteer recruitment materials, manage volunteer recruitment postings and later recruit and train volunteers. Volunteers are placed alongside members with developmental disabilities to meet the needs of homebound citizens, implement service projects and perpetuate the goals of NYSARC's AmeriCorps program. Prior efforts resulted in one hundred twenty five (125) non paid volunteers recruited, committing to regular, ongoing volunteer opportunities, providing one hundred eight thousand (108,000) hours of volunteer service. 92% of volunteers indicated an increased subjective well-being, fostering a belief in the individual that he or she can make a difference. Opportunities for growth provided promote volunteers to roles that take better advantage of their talents. Assessments indicate volunteers are doing work that is meaningful to them. Members with developmental disabilities are provided skill building and professional development through various training and in-service opportunities. The NYSARC-Nassau County AmeriCorps Program?s Effective Citizen Curriculum designed to foster civic engagement, promotes the complex sense of self needed to develop emotional ideas, in particular the ability of members to connect ideas/feelings to those of others, promoting a ethic of service and civic responsibility. Post Service, AmeriCorps Members will indicate the desire to continue a lifelong commitment to service and civic responsibility.