by Christy Monroe
Since we’re celebrating AmeriCorps Week on the Volunteer Maine Blog today let’s have a better look into what this program is all about.
First, since our focus has turned towards outcomes based measurements, let’s run some numbers:
• 542,000: Number of people who have served as AmeriCorps members since 1994.
• 705 Million: Total number of hours served by AmeriCorps members.
• $1.43 Billion: Total amount of Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards earned by AmeriCorps members.
• 1.7 Million: Number of community volunteers managed or mobilized by AmeriCorps members in 2007.
• 4,100: Number of nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations that AmeriCorps members served with last year.
• $5 Billion: Amount of AmeriCorps funds invested in nonprofit, community, educational and faith-based community groups since 1994.
WOW! So, you might ask, “What exactly do AmeriCorps members do?”
Well, funny you should ask…they do a wide range of things. They recruit, train, and supervise community volunteers, tutor and mentor youth, build affordable housing, teach computer skills, clean parks and streams, run after-school programs, help communities respond to disasters, and build the capacity of nonprofit groups to become self-sustaining, among many other activities.
In a nutshell, AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service which provides opportunities for 75,000 Americans to give back each year. It’s often coined as “the domestic Peace Corps” and consists of three main programs: AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).
If you know an AmeriCorps member, give them a high-five for a job well done. If you are serving as an AmeriCorps member, pat yourself on the back. And if you’re interested in becoming an AmeriCorps member visit the AmeriCorps website. (Then give yourself thumbs up for your interest in national service.)