Save Service Day – Congress Considers Eliminating Funding for Corporation for National and Community Service

| August 10, 2011

Congress is considering a proposal that would have a severely negative impact on service organizations and communities in Tucson and Southern Arizona. Today is Save Service in America day and you can voice support for the thousands of volunteers serving Arizonans through hundreds of nonprofits, schools, and agencies by contacting congress and saying no to eliminating the funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Twitter hashtag for this event is #saveservice.

Related article: I recently spoke at the White House Event on Volunteerism and Community Service which was sponsored in part by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Excerpted from Save Service in America

American policymakers are considering a proposal that would zero out funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service, eliminating initiatives like AmeriCorps, RSVP, Foster Grandparents, Learn & Serve America and the Social Innovation Fund.  This would have disastrous effects on American communities, youth unemployment numbers and the nation’s economy.

Our nation’s leaders need to understand the important roles service plays in our country.

In today’s fiscal environment, government at all levels is struggling to meet local challenges.  An ever growing number of people – including middle class Americans – need food, shelter, healthcare, job training and educational support.

Across the country, state and local governments are facing significant budget shortfalls, creating a gap between the services citizens require and the supports state and local governments are able to provide. National service organizations, which rely upon funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), are filling this gap.

National service organizations provide service opportunities for more than 3 million volunteers across the country who are actively seeking ways to address the needs of their community. They manage and mobilize these volunteers, creating networks which in turn strengthen the capacity of the organizations to provide real results for communities, lessening the burden on local government to provide the services themselves and decreasing the need for government spending.  These millions of Americans serve their country and communities through initiatives supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service – including Senior Corps, RSVP, Foster Grandparents, AmeriCorps, VISTA, NCCC, Learn and Serve America, the Volunteer Generation Fund and the Social Innovation Fund.

Over 70,000 national and local non-profit organizations receive funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, enabling them to reach millions of Americans in need. Their wide variety of programs:

  • Are among the first to respond to a natural disaster and other crises
  • Are addressing the education crisis in America through innovative programs to reach children at risk of dropping out of high school
  • Support veterans with job assistance and through work in Veterans Administration hospitals
  • Enable senior citizens to remain independent
  • Provide essential services to underserved communities.

There is too much at stake.

Without federal support for national service organizations;

  • 3 million children would be denied vital educational support
  • 620,000 seniors wouldn’t receive life sustaining, in-home services
  • thousands of veterans would be denied meaningful work opportunities and Veterans Association-supported services.
  • More than 745,000 medically underserved children and adults will not receive health outreach, education and immunizations from Community HealthCorps members,
  • More than 1.5 million students will no longer be engaged in active learning and civic engagement opportunities,
  • Thousands of healthy meals will not be delivered to the elderly every day.

Should funding for CNCS be eliminated or reduced, children, seniors, veterans and entire communities stand to lose essential services provided by organizations like:

  • American Red Cross
  • City Year
  • Feeding America
  • Foster Grandparents
  • Jumpstart
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Public Allies
  • RSVP
  • Teach for America
  • YouthBuild

…and thousands of local foodbanks, shelters, afterschool programs, and more.

Read more here…

 

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Category: News & Advocacy

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