Happy AmeriCorps Week!
Did you know that the US participants in our corps programs are AmeriCorps members? As an AmeriCorps grantee, EarthCorps is connected to a vibrant national service movement that has contributed 1.4 billion hours of service at non-profits, schools, public agencies and community groups across the United States. This is our week to celebrate the gift of time, energy, and impact our AmeriCorps members give each day. To kick off the festivities, we thought we would share a bit about AmeriCorps and the importance of national service.
Let’s start at the beginning.
It taught me about who I was and what I valued. It showed me that one person really can make a difference, and that when passionate individuals unite to achieve common goals, we can go far.
AmeriCorps was created in 1994 as part of the National and Community Service Trust Act. This legislation created a new federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), whose role is to administer federally-funded national service programs.
AmeriCorps, a program of CNCS, was designed to support community service at the local, state, and national levels. AmeriCorps does this by providing grants to organizations and agencies committed to using national service to address critical community needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. Each of these organizations and agencies, in turn, uses their AmeriCorps funding to recruit, train, and supervise AmeriCorps members.
Since its beginning, AmeriCorps has provided service opportunities for over 1 million Americans!
Here’s where EarthCorps comes in!
A grantee of AmeriCorps for 19 years, EarthCorps is a part of the national service family of over 20,000 organizations. More than 500 of our alumni served with EarthCorps as AmeriCorps members. Additionally, half of the permanent staff at EarthCorps served in AmeriCorps either at EarthCorps or elsewhere.
I took the pledge in as an AmeriCorps member at EarthCorps in 2002 and again, as a crew leader in 2003. To take a year of your life and devote it to serving others is a humbling, rewarding, and challenging thing. It taught me about who I was and what I valued. It showed me that one person really can make a difference, and that when passionate individuals unite to achieve common goals, we can go far.
Service is a master class in responsibility and empathy. This is the spirit of community service and it is at the heart of the work we do at EarthCorps.
Thank you AmeriCorps for enabling us and others take action in the face of apathy, find common ground in conflict, persevere against adversity, and ultimately…to get things done!