Every day across the United States, more than 80,000 AmeriCorps members are making a powerful impact on the most critical issues facing our nation. They are improving schools, fighting poverty, rebuilding after disasters, providing health services, preserving the environment, and supporting veterans and military families.
March 10 to 18, 2012 marks the sixth annual AmeriCorps Week, which honors these public servants, salutes the 775,000 AmeriCorps alumni who came before them, and thanks the community partners that make AmeriCorps possible. Since the program began in 1994, AmeriCorps members have completed one billion hours of service and acted as force multipliers in communities. In 2011 alone, about 80,000 AmeriCorps members mobilized an additional 3.4 million community volunteers. Their work makes a measureable impact on America's most vulnerable communities.
Across the country, grassroots events for AmeriCorps Week will include presentations by AmeriCorps members or alumni, "AmeriCorps-for-a-Day" events, open houses, recruitment events, trainings, and, of course, community service projects.
AmeriCorps works through existing organizations to help them reach more people and better achieve their mission. The AmeriCorps member Emily Kuehn at The New Community Coalition does much for the organization including working with the EcoAction initative developing the program and managing participants, much of the website/marketing for events such as the Green Business Roundtables and other events, she works in the schools to get the students in the greenhouses and teach them about healthy soils and composting, working to raise money through grants, helps with the Compost Trash Recycling at the festival events during the summers, and much much more.
AmeriCorps has a triple bottom line return on investment - for the recipients of service, the people who serve, and the larger community and nation. AmeriCorps members gain valuable professional, educational, and life benefits, and the experience has a lasting impact on the members and the communities they serve. A longitudinal study shows that AmeriCorps members typically remain actively engaged in their communities once their service is complete. They not only volunteer their time, but they also run nonprofits, marshal resources within their communities to address difficult issues, and frequently pursue public service careers.