National service invests a historic $25.7 million in efforts to serve and engage 1.5 million veterans and military families in 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – As the nation commemorates the service and sacrifice of veterans, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) pays tribute to the generations of men and women who have bravely served our country in uniform and have continued their leadership here at home.
“On Veterans Day, we salute the individuals who have sacrificed for our country,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Through their courage and conviction, they made our country stronger. We have a responsibility to bring that talent to national service – today, and every day. We are honored to work with our partners in the military and nonprofit community to tap the talents and creativity of our heroes.”
Bill Basl, the director of AmeriCorps, will be in Chicago on Veterans Day to launch a new AmeriCorps project as the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and AmeriCorps partner to open a food pantry in the facility. This pantry in a VA hospital is the first of its kind in the area and one of few in the nation.
AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members serve at over 80 VA clinics and hospitals around the nation, providing nearly 200,000 volunteer hours. Our members serve at veteran service organizations and nonprofits where they connect veterans to job opportunities, help them access benefits, provide peer counseling, and mentor military kids. Last year, CNCS served more than 1.5 million veterans and military family members in all 50 states.
In 2013, CNCS provided $25.7 million in grant funding to 200 state agencies and nonprofits serving the veteran and military family community. Veteran AmeriCorps members serve with organizations like the American Legion Auxiliary Call to Service Corps, Habitat for Humanity, Mission Continues, Got Your 6, the Southwest Conservation Corps Veterans Corps, the St. Bernard Project, Easter Seals, United Way, Military Child Education Coalition, Equal Justice Works, the Washington State Department of Veteran Affairs, Vermont Youth Development Corps and Vermont Youth Tomorrow, Student Veterans of America, Volunteers of America, the USO, Service Nation, and the Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America Veterans Corps.
In the last year, CNCS launched a partnership with the National Guard Bureau, which gives any State Guard Bureau in the nation no-cost access to an AmeriCorps VISTA member project. AmeriCorps also granted over $3 million to support the Veterans Leader Corps with Points of Light, and more than 40 non-profit partners around the nation. Serving veterans and military families remains a top-tier funding priority for the agency, and the latest funding opportunity can be found at http://www.nationalservice.gov/build-your-capacity/grants/funding-opportunities.
An additional $24.5 million in cash and in-kind resources was raised by nearly 350 AmeriCorps VISTA members serving with organizations that provide services to veterans and military families.
By engaging veterans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs, CNCS capitalizes on their unique talents, abilities, and leadership skills to solve community challenges while providing a better transition to civilian life. Last year, more than 27,000 veterans served in CNCS programs. Many of these veterans are serving fellow veterans or military communities.
“Service by veterans in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps is a vital component that ensures the success of our program, “said Koby Langley, senior executive advisor for veteran and military family initiatives. “James Randall Hindert served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam and began serving his nation again, this time in the local community as a tutor for AmeriCorps at Big Brothers Big Sisters in Florida. He serves as an example for all Americans.”
As part of the agency’s focus on veterans and military families, CNCS is profiling stories of veterans who are continuing to serve their community through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. The profiles may be found at nationalservice.gov/blogs/veterans-military-families.