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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 04, 2002

CONTACT: Sandy Scott
Phone: 202-606-6724
Email: [email protected]

   

AmeriCorps Applications Rise 50 Percent Since President’s State of the Union Address

 

President Hits Road to Promote Service as a Response to September 11

(Washington, D.C.) — AmeriCorps has seen a 50 percent increase in online applications in the one month since President Bush called on Americans to devote two years to volunteer service in his State of the Union address.

Besides actual applications, more than 10,000 calls and emails have come from Americans inquiring about joining AmeriCorps since the January 29 speech. The AmeriCorps website, www.americorps.gov, has received four million hits and 217,000 unique visitors in the last month, a 95 percent increase above normal. Senior Corps, a national service program for older Americans also highlighted in the State of the Union, has seen a 131 percent increase in visitors on its web site www.seniorcorps.gov.

Building on this momentum, the President in Minneapolis today will launch a sustained effort to encourage Americans to serve their communities by highlighting exemplary volunteers. By showcasing volunteers, the White House hopes to turn the tragedy of September 11 into an era of service for the nation.

“The President’s call to fight evil by doing good has generated a strong response,” said Leslie Lenkowsky, the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. “We’re most pleased by the increase in actual applications, not just inquiries. Our nation needs active citizens, and the President’s use of the bully pulpit is working.”

In his State of the Union, the President announced USA Freedom Corps, a comprehensive citizen service initiative to engage more citizens in service at home and abroad by strengthening AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and the Peace Corps, and by establishing a new Citizen Corps for homeland defense. The Freedom Corps website, www.usafreedomcorp.gov, has received more 6 million hits and 240,000 visitors since January 29, and more than 4,800 Americans have called 877-USA-CORPS information line.

“AmeriCorps is a great way for citizens to answer the President’s call and give back to their country,” said Rosie K. Mauk, Director of AmeriCorps. “Not only do members help strengthen communities, but they find the experience of national service to be among the most rewarding of their lives.”

AmeriCorps engages 50,000 men and women each year in intensive service to meet community needs. Members tutor children, build and renovate homes, provide immunizations, preserve parklands, respond to disasters, and help meet other critical needs. Members also recruit volunteers and increase the effectiveness of the community and faith-based organizations in which they serve. In his fiscal year 2003 budget, President Bush has requested that AmeriCorps be expanded by 25,000 members. He will also be working with Congress to make reforms and improvements in the program through the Citizen Service Act of 2002.

“The President’s speech had a significant influence on my decision to join AmeriCorps. I’ve always wanted to serve the country in some way, but his speech was so compelling, that I was on the Internet the following day looking up information on how to join,” said Mary Mullin from Nashua, New Hampshire. Mullin, 51, will start her start her service as an AmeriCorps*VISTA with Habitat for Humanity in Fort Myers, Fla., next month.

Since the speech, an average of 356 individuals have applied online to become AmeriCorps members each week. That compares with a pre-speech weekly average of 238 applications. Online applications do not reflect the total number of applications. Because of AmeriCorps’ decentralized structure, most applications go directly to local nonprofit organizations, who are responsible for recruiting members.

Since AmeriCorps was established in 1994, nearly 250,000 Americans have joined the program. In return for a year of service, most members receive a small living stipend and an education award of $4,725 that can be used to pay off student loans or cover the cost of tuition.

The President also proposed to expand the Senior Corps by 100,000 volunteers next year, up from its current level of 500,000, so that more older Americans can serve in homeland security and meet other community needs.

In addition to administering AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, the Corporation for National and Community Service also runs Learn and Serve America, which ties the academic learning of primary, secondary, and college students to local service opportunities. Together, those three programs engage more than 1.5 million Americans in community service each year while helping to promote a lifelong ethic of service and good citizenship.

Created in 1993, the Corporation for National and Community Service engages more than 1.5 million Americans annually in improving their communities through three programs: AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

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