Emily Ward’s passion for serving her community began long before she made the decision to become an AmeriCorps member in the VISTA program. She served with friends and through church opportunities throughout middle and high school and continued volunteering while in college. The opportunity to begin her AmeriCorps journey came once she graduated from undergrad. She was set to attend graduate school for philosophy but decided that she wanted to do something more tangible and less removed from being helpful to others.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – AmeriCorps, the federal agency for volunteering and service, today announced the launch of a new food security initiative to create a comprehensive and collaborative approach to hunger. The four awards, totaling $2 million, will support 100 new AmeriCorps VISTA members in New Hampshire, Maine, Ohio, and Texas, which are launching new projects or expanding projects to combat the growing hunger crisis.
Jillian Maynard is helping the aging Jewish community in Youngstown, Ohio tell their stories. From surviving the Holocaust to making a new life in the United States, the Life Stories Project serves as a form of narrative therapy while also helping to strengthen the connection between participants and their children and grandchildren.
At the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), we are also asking the question, “What does volunteerism look like in the time of coronavirus?”
For all of us who want to help our local communities, operating during a pandemic is new territory. How can we continue to meet community needs when health and safety calls for us to be apart?
I’d like to share some examples of how different Senior Corps organizations are finding the light in this difficult time. Thank you for all you do.
This annual celebration of outdoor activities and their benefits has grown from a week-long celebration in 1998 to cover the entire month of June. Whether you are into fishing, camping, hiking, biking, or other outside pursuits, there are plenty of places to enjoy them. You could spend all summer exploring some of the 419 locations in the National Park System, or visit some of the thousands of state and local park facilities near you.
Elder abuse takes many forms — physical, emotional, financial, and sexual — and can come at the hands of strangers, family, and trusted caregivers or advisers. Studies estimate that 10 percent of America's seniors experience some kind of abuse and neglect, although it's generally agreed that incidents are under-identified and under-reported. For example, the New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study found that for every case known to programs and agencies, 24 were unknown.
The following vignettes come from a sample of CNCS staff members who served in AmeriCorps and were transformed by the experience and lasting impact of service.
Dina Manco served as an AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps member from 2016-17 on disaster preparedness and response efforts in Louisiana, Georgia, North Carolina, and Mississippi.
Though she only lived five blocks from her new school, Ruby previously attended an all-black segregated school several miles away. After the Louisiana State Legislature exhausted all its options in a long battle against a federal court order to integrate the schools, Ruby was allowed to attend the classes near her home.
Admiral Gay (pictured above, right) is the Senior Advisor for Wounded Warrior and Veterans and Military Families Initiatives at CNCS and says a lot of what he does is rooted in establishing trust, building relationships, and leading change, all of which fall under his concept of mentorship.
These traits come naturally to the Admiral as a leader of men and women in the armed forces. He willingly shares his life story, using wall-mounted photos of family and friends to illustrate his points, “I like people to have the whole story; it extends an arm of trust.”