AmeriCorps members tutor millions of students, help veterans and military families, and rebuild communities hit by disaster
Washington, D.C. – This week, thousands of Americans will mark the seventh annual AmeriCorps Week, recognizing how AmeriCorps members, alumni, and programs are addressing our country’s most pressing challenges through service.
AmeriCorps Week 2013 will be marked by service projects, forums, presentations, and recognition ceremonies. The theme, “AmeriCorps Works,” focuses on three groups that benefit from the program: the recipients of service, the people who serve, and the larger community and nation.
“Each day, AmeriCorps members are building stronger, healthier, and safer communities and are improving the lives of millions of citizens,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps. “These members and the millions of volunteers they manage are an indispensable resource to our nation, and AmeriCorps Week is an opportunity to recognize their impact and express our gratitude for their dedicated service.”
AmeriCorps members tutor and mentor at-risk youth, help returned veterans find employment, care for seniors, promote economic development, and meet other critical needs. AmeriCorps programs include AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), FEMA Corps, and the recently announced School Turnaround AmeriCorps project.
For example, members are often called upon to provide disaster relief services. More than 2400 AmeriCorps members have been part of the federal response to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts, including the first class of AmeriCorps NCCC members serving with FEMA Corps. These efforts build on AmeriCorps’ long-standing commitment to helping communities recover and rebuild after disasters.
The event will be celebrated from coast to coast, with governors officially proclaiming March 9 – 17 AmeriCorps Week in their home state. This list includes Gov. Mike Beebe (Arkansas), Robert Bentley (Alabama), Gov. Pat McCrory (North Carolina), Gov. Bob McDonnell (Virginia), Gov. Martin O'Malley (Maryland), Gov. Rick Perry (Texas), Gov. Pat Quinn (Illinois), and Gov. Rick Snyder (Michigan).
Other notable ways AmeriCorps members change lives and transform communities include the following:
- In total, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through 15,000 nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups, including Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, City Year, Public Allies, and Catholic Charities.
- Last year alone, AmeriCorps members mobilized four million community volunteers, and tutored, mentored, or served more than 3.5 million disadvantaged youth.
- Since 1994, more than 800,000 men and women have taken AmeriCorps’ pledge to "get things done for America," providing more than 1 billion hours of service.
Highlights of AmeriCorps Week from across the country include the following:
- Buffalo, N.Y. - Community members are invited to become an AmeriCorps Member for the Day and join the AmeriCorps Builds Lives through Education program in tutoring students at a school or afterschool program.
- Manchester, N.H. - AmeriCorps programs will join together in service projects across the Manchester area. Members will work together to paint fences, remove debris, clear brush, and contribute to spring cleaning efforts at Girl Scouts of GWN, the Boys & Girls Club of Manchester, Liberty House Veterans Home, Manchester Community Health Center, Girls Inc., the American Legion, the Special Olympics, and Families in Transition.
- Minneapolis, Minn. – Poverty and workforce development topics will be covered at a training day hosted by InterCorps Council. AmeriCorps VISTA alum and current Minnesota Supreme Court Justice will deliver remarks.
- Reno, Nev. – Nevada Volunteers will share how AmeriCorps works for Nevada, telling the success stories of AmeriCorps alumni who have continued their service in Nevada.
- Seattle, Wash. – On March 12, the Washington Commission for National and Community Service will host AmeriCorps Day at the state capital.Commission staff, program staff, and AmeriCorps members will showcase AmeriCorps programs and be available to discuss the impact national service is having oncommunities acrossWashington and in the lives of AmeriCorps members who are serving.
- Birmingham, Ala. – Alabama Poverty Project will host a project that will enable participants to view poverty from different angles in an experiential setting. Participants role-play the lives of low-income families from single parents trying to care for their children to senior citizens trying to maintain their self-sufficiency on Social Security.
- Miami – City Year AmeriCorps members will work in teams “Amazing Race” style to beautify stations along MetroRail lines while spreading the word about national service.
- Durham, N.C. – Thirty-three members from 17 states serving with Rebuilding Together will learn and serve together March 8 - 10. Together, they will identify housing-related health risks for low-income Durham residents and develop solutions to make their homes safer, healthier, and more energy efficient. After the repairs are finished, AmeriCorps members will develop next-level strategies to implement back in their home states, multiplying the benefits of the training around the country.
- New Mexico- Southwest Youth Services (SYS), in coordination with the Cesar Chavez Foundation (CCF), the Gates Millennium Scholarship (GMS), and the American Indian Graduate Center (AIGC) are conducting a four day AmeriCorps Week service project to benefit the Pueblo Santo Domingo, Jemez Pueblo, and The Native American Community Academy (NACA). There are 15 VISTA members and over 70 GMS recipients that plan to participate in the week's events.
- Camp Verde, Ariz. – Current AmeriCorps members, community volunteers, and local elected officials will participate in a day of service and community outreach at Y.E.S. The Arc.