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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
Friday, January 23, 2004

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

   

AmeriCorps and Its Parent Agency Receive Historic Funding Increase in 2004

 

Spending bill will support a record 75,000 AmeriCorps members

Washington D.C. — The 2004 Omnibus Appropriations Bill signed by President Bush today contains an historic funding increase for AmeriCorps that will support a record 75,000 AmeriCorps members to meet needs in local communities across the nation.

The bill provides an increase of $167 million for AmeriCorps over the 2003 enacted level. The funding package, agreed to during the House-Senate conference in November, reflects President Bush’s budget request and the growing bipartisan Congressional support for national and community service.

In addition to AmeriCorps, the bill provides funds to the two other key programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service – Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. All told, the Corporation’s 2004 appropriation amounts to $935 million – an increase of nearly 20 percent over the agency’s fiscal year 2003 appropriation of $786 million.

“This is an enormous step forward for AmeriCorps, our grantees, and the communities we serve, and we are extremely grateful to the President and Congress for their support,” said David Eisner, Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation. “After a tough year, AmeriCorps is now positioned to come back stronger than ever. With this budget, we will be able to support 75,000 dedicated and committed Americans, who will be on the front lines tackling our nation’s most pressing needs. The year 2004 will be an historic one for national and community service.”

AmeriCorps members help nonprofit organizations carry out their missions in the areas of education, the environment, public safety, homeland security, and other needs. Members tutor children, build homes, respond to disasters, and provide a range of other services. In return for a year of full-time service, most AmeriCorps members receive an education award of $4,725 that can be used to pay for college or graduate school or to pay off student loans.

The bill’s combined appropriation of $441 million for the AmeriCorps*State and National program includes $312 million for grants to local and national groups, and $129 million for the National Service Trust, which pays the education award. In addition, the bill provides $24.9 million for AmeriCorps*NCCC, a residential, team-based service program for individuals 18 to 24 years old, and $93.7 million for AmeriCorps*VISTA, which provides full-time volunteers to faith-based and community organizations that are working to increase self-sufficiency among the nation’s poor.

“This bill demonstrates the President’s commitment to expanding and improving the programs of the Corporation as a part of the overall effort to foster a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America,” said Ron Christie, Acting Director of USA Freedom Corps, the White House initiative to promote and coordinate volunteer-related activities that includes the Corporation and its programs. “The President set an ambitious goal and worked hard to achieve it. We are pleased and grateful that Congress has also demonstrated strong support for service by funding AmeriCorps and the other programs of the Corporation at the historic levels recommended by the President.”

Senior Corps, through which more than 500,000 older volunteers use their experience and skills to help local organizations provide a wide range of community services, received a total appropriation of $214 million, approximately the same funding level as last year. Senior Corps comprises RSVP (the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), which received $58.2 million; the Senior Companion Program, which received $46 million; and the Foster Grandparent Program, which was appropriated $110.1 million.

More than 1.5 million students engage in service projects sponsored by Learn and Serve America, which provides grants to state education agencies, schools, colleges, and nonprofit organizations to develop programs and curricula that link education with community service. The bill set the 2004 funding level for the program at $42.7 million, approximately the same as in 2003.

Corporation programs are funded by both the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies and Labor-HHS portions of the bill. The 2004 appropriation for the Corporation, which covers the period from October 1, 2003 to September 30, 2004, closely parallels President Bush’s initial budget request.

“We deeply appreciate this vote of confidence in national and community service,” said Stephen Goldsmith, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Corporation. “Congress has indicated that it wants the Corporation to be more effective and accountable, and to work with the field to achieve reforms. With a new leadership team and an aggressive management agenda, the Corporation is heeding Congress’s call and is committed to ensuring that this historic investment is used wisely and well.”

In addition to administering its own programs, the Corporation provides funds to the Points of Light Foundation and America’s Promise, two nonprofit organizations whose missions focus on increasing volunteerism to provide needed social services. In fiscal 2004, the Points of Light Foundation will receive $9.9 million, and America’s Promise will receive $4.9 million – approximately the same amounts as last year.

The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. Working with national and community nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies, the Corporation engages Americans in meeting critical needs in education, the environment, public safety, homeland security, and other areas while fostering the habits of good citizenship. The Corporation and its programs are a key part of USA Freedom Corps, the White House initiative to help all Americans answer the President’s Call to Service. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

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