As a former AmeriCorps member, serving for a year as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America), I was especially disheartened that the Trump administration’s proposed 2018 budget eliminates the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that supports national service and AmeriCorps.
The elimination of AmeriCorps would impact a huge swath of our nation- AmeriCorps members are currently serving in 21,000 communities and there are 80,000 Americans who are currently serving. This translates to 590,000 students served by AmeriCorps members; 40,000 economically disadvantaged individuals; 55,000 veterans and military families receiving critical services; and 800,000 people who AmeriCorps members are helping to recover from natural disasters. CNCS members serve in six areas, disaster services, education, healthy futures, economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, and veterans and family services.
Speaking to my experience as an AmeriCorps, the work these members are doing makes a real difference to the organizations and communities they serve. Cutting this funding will have a ripple effect- impacting not only the AmeriCorps members and those they directly serve, but the communities they are in, and the larger communities those are located in- and our entire nation.
I would like to call on you to stand with me in advocating for the value of national service, and the role that CNCS and AmeriCorps play in supporting the growth of our communities and our nation. Your voice matters, and if you have even a minute I encourage you to take action right now to ensure that Congress does not let this plan become reality.