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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, December 08, 2003

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

   

House Approves Significant Budget Increase for AmeriCorps and Corporation for National and Community Service

 

Washington D.C. — Today’s passage of the Omnibus Appropriations bill by the House of Representatives brings the Corporation for National and Community Service a step closer to receiving the largest funding increase in its history – including a $170 million increase in funds for the AmeriCorps program.

If passed by the Senate, the Omnibus bill would provide $941 million to the Corporation, nearly a 20 percent increase over the agency’s fiscal year 2003 appropriation of $786 million. The funding is contained in the fiscal year 2004 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Corporation programs are funded by both the VA-HUD-Independent Agencies and Labor-HHS portions of the bill.

“We are grateful to the President and the House for reaffirming the value of national and community service, and we are committed to using this investment efficiently and effectively,” said Stephen Goldsmith, chairman of the board of directors of the Corporation, which administers the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. “This vote supports our efforts to engage more citizens in meeting vital needs in our communities.”

The biggest funding increase came for the AmeriCorps program, which received $444 million in the VA-HUD portion of the bill – an increase of $170 million over the previous fiscal year. Most of the increase was included in the $314 million appropriation for AmeriCorps*State and National grants. In addition, the Omnibus would provide $130 million for the National Service Trust, which pays the education award that members receive upon completion of their term of service; and $25 million for AmeriCorps*NCCC, a team-based residential service program for individuals 18 to 24 years old. The Labor-HHS section of the bill provides the President’s full request of $94.3 million for AmeriCorps*VISTA, which provides full-time, year-long volunteers to faith-based and community organizations to develop programs, recruit volunteers, raise funds, and manage projects to increase the self-sufficiency of the nation’s poor.

AmeriCorps provides dedicated people to help nonprofit groups 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 to be redeemed to pay for college or graduate school or to pay off student loans.

“This bill reflects the President’s continued commitment to fostering a renewed culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in our nation and will enable more Americans answer his Call to Service,” said John Bridgeland, Director of USA Freedom Corps, a White House initiative that includes the Corporation and its programs. “The President set an ambitious funding goal for AmeriCorps and worked hard to achieve it. The President is also committed to reforming national service programs to increase efficiency and results to help more Americans meet important community needs.”

The House also passed funding for two other key components of the President’s service initiative — Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America — at the President’s full request. Senior Corps, which comprises the RSVP (the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program), Foster Grandparent, and Senior Companion programs, will receive a total appropriation of $215.5 million, the same funding level as last year. More than 500,000 Senior Corps volunteers use their experience and skills to help local organizations provide a wide range of community services, such as tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged youth, conducting neighborhood watch patrols, teaching English to immigrants, and providing assistance to homebound seniors.

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, received the President’s requested level of $43 million. More than a million students engage in activities sponsored by grants from Learn and Serve America.

The Omnibus bill also provides $9.9 million for the Volunteers in Homeland Security initiative launched by the Corporation in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks. This amount is nearly double the current funding level and will allow the Corporation to support more citizen volunteer projects in public safety, public health, and emergency preparedness and response.

While the President’s request to fund the Corporation’s grant programs received full House support, several accounts were not fully funded, including program administration, evaluation, and training and technical assistance. “Although we’re grateful for the increases proposed for national service programs, we’re disappointed that this bill does not contain the President’s full request for administration,” said James F. Manning, acting CEO of the Corporation “As a result, we will have some challenges to overcome and will have to learn how to do more with less. But given the resourcefulness and commitment of Corporation employees, we will work hard to fulfill our obligations and provide the support that our programs require.”

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 $10 million, and America’s Promise will receive $5 million – the same 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, a 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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