Today’s post comes from Whitney Soenksen, External Relations Manager for AmeriCorps Alums
Early on Saturday, February 19th, the US House passed HR 1, a continuing resolution to fund the government through the end of 2011.
In an attempt to reduce the national debt, cuts to many federally funded program are proposed in this bill, including funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Corporation for National and Community Service. The bill proposes a complete defunding of the Corporation for National and Community service, which engages more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, Senior Corps, and United We Serve—a nationwide service initiative that helps meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn.
When Caleb Jonas, an AmeriCorps Alum, heard about the legislation, he looked back on his year of service and decided that something needed to be done.
Caleb’s experience volunteering started long before his AmeriCorps service term. In high school he spent his summers working as a teacher and tutor for low-income students. In college he volunteered on political campaigns, but couldn’t see how his work there helped create positive change in the lives of the neediest families in his community.
After graduating, he joined AmeriCorps*VISTA and built a city-wide partnership of tutoring programs in Saint Paul. Because of his work, students in Saint Paul received more effective and better targeted support for their work, and were made stronger connections to what they were learning.
If the Corporation for National and Public Service is defunded, then thousands of programs across the country that work with people who need support the most will lose the AmeriCorps members, people just like Caleb, that help them to thrive.
What can you do to help support AmeriCorps?
Sign the Save AmeriCorps Petition and lend your voice to support national service.
Join the Stand for AmeriCorps campaign and share your story of service as an example for why AmeriCorps programs need to continue getting things done for America.
Call your Senators to let them know that you support AmeriCorps and national service. You can find your Senators’ contact information at Congress.org.
Show up for a District Day event through saveservice.org. On February 25, supporters of service around the country will be visiting their Congressmen’s district offices to show their support for national service. You can find your Congressmen’s district office here.
Thanks for your support of national service programs!