Since my last message, we have celebrated AmeriCorps Opening Day events across the country, where thousands of AmeriCorps members took the pledge to “get things done” for America. Continuing our commitment to combat elder abuse, Senior Corps Director Deborah Cox-Roush spoke at the winter gathering of the Elder Justice Coordinating Council, on which she serves on behalf of CNCS. In addition, CNCS’s new organizational structure has begun to take shape as we conducted grand openings for our first three regional offices.
As you may recall, I joined the Mountain Region and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis for their grand opening in Denver in October. This past November, Senior Corps Director Deborah Cox-Roush and I attended the Northeast Region grand opening in Concord, N.H., alongside New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. I also had the pleasure of joining our North Central Region for their grand opening in Kansas City, Mo., which included a video message of support from U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt.
During my time at each regional office grand opening, I was honored to spend time with our regional staff, and grantees and sponsors from across the regions who attended the event. Your show of support and enthusiasm was inspiring, and the passion of our national service partners and staff reinvigorated me.
I am confident our three new regional offices are well-positioned to support you as our partners in service, in addition to our members and volunteers across the nation. Your support and engagement during this transition is appreciated. I welcome your continued feedback as we stand up our new regions.
Promoting National Service
While CNCS continues to position our agency to better support our partners, we also need to better promote our programs and the important work all of you are doing.
Earlier this year, many of you participated in a study of public perception of national service programs. This included a nationwide survey and focus groups, as well as in-depth interviews with key stakeholders and a survey of close to 4,000 members, volunteers, grantees, and others. The research showed what many of you have been telling us: we have a great story to tell but we need to do a better job at telling it.
Based on your feedback, we are developing plans to raise awareness for our programs. We have engaged Brandpie, a creative firm with an impressive record, to help us develop the tools we need to tell our national service story in more impactful ways. In the coming months, you will be invited to participate in this process. We will have more to share soon, but for now I am very excited to get started.
Giving Back Through Volunteerism
During this season of giving, we encourage our fellow citizens to think about how they can give back through service. January 20, 2020, marks our 25th year leading the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service – a day for Americans to serve in their local communities and honor the legacy of Dr. King.
We have updated resources on MLKDay.gov, including new graphics, a social media toolkit, and other resources to help you hold and promote events. Please be sure to register your volunteer projects online and send information about your projects to Engagement@cns.gov. Additionally, AmeriCorps funding opportunities are open for applications through December and early January.
Thank you for your steadfast commitment to improving lives during the past year and the important work you will continue to do in the year ahead. I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and I look forward to sharing additional updates in the new year.
Chief Executive Officer
Corporation for National and Community Service