by Ron Katz
Community Fund Director
The national AmeriCorps program strengthens community collaborations that have improved student success, delivered services to the elderly, and improved trails and greenways. In Buncombe County, many nonprofits place AmeriCorps members to provide important services in our community including United Way (Middle School Success Initiative), Children First/Communities in Schools (Project Power), Asheville City Schools Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters. AmeriCorps members work as tutors and mentors at schools, as well as in after-school programs, among dozens and dozens of assignments. If funding is cut, the financial burden to keep those community programs going will rise.
In the last couple weeks, we have learned the US Congress is considering a 42% funding cut to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the parent organization of AmeriCorps. The bill would fund approximately 40,000 fewer AmeriCorps members than under the President’s plan. AmeriCorps members receive a small living stipend and are able to earn money for college or to repay student loans during their year of service. That's a reduction of more than half of the 75,000 AmeriCorps positions that are accepted every year.
AmeriCorps members give our community so much and so many alumni point to their year of service as one that influenced their future path. (You can read some of their experiences here.) AmeriCorps members’ reach is beyond the organizations mentioned; dozens of other nonprofit organizations and schools in our community use AmeriCorps members to provide needed services and expand their capacity to serve clients/students.
We Need Your Help to Support America's Future Leaders
- Email your Congressal representatives this week. You can use this form with a sample message or craft your own.
- Tweet your Congressional representatives to stand up for service and invest in America’s future leaders.
- Copy and paste the messages below on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
- Reminder to Congress: AmeriCorps matters & @AmeriCorps alums rock. #Stand4Service & support America’s future leaders. http://bit.ly/1Cs5pXg
- One of our most important leadership pipelines is in danger of being cut in half. Tell Congress AmeriCorps matters. http://bit.ly/1Lztsmx
- #Stand4Service & remind Congress that @americorps matters and @AmeriCorpsAlums rock! http://bit.ly/1Cs5pXg
- Why is Congress slashing @americorps -- one of America’s most important leadership pipelines? #Stand4Service http://bit.ly/1Lztsmx