Have You Ever Seen an AmeriShoe?

By CNCS Staff

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National Service News Week In Review

As we celebrate the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps, it is only natural that we reflect on the many contributions that more than 900,000 men and women have made to communities across the country.

This week, we unveiled a brand new website that spotlights the 20th anniversary and we announced our investment in a program that helps students pursue jobs of the future.  We also issued a new resource from our Social Innovation Fund.

On the Senior Corps front, more than 1,800 Senior Corps grantees and volunteers participated in the third annual Senior Corps Virtual Conference. If you weren’t among the attendees, you can still catch the conference here

So, what’s up with the AmeriShoe? Scroll down to the story about the announcement in New Mexico. 

Launching Something New: In a little more than a month, we will officially celebrate the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps with special festivities planned across the nation. In honor of the September 12th event, we launched a special website at AmeriCorps.gov this week. Check it out and get to know our story, our members, and our history. Then, make a pledge to get things done in your community!

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Giving Students a Running Start: On Wednesday,CEO Wendy Spencer joined New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry to announce $1.6 million in AmeriCorps funds that will support the Running Start for Careers program.

Our investment will support a team of 84 AmeriCorps members who will serve full-time over the next 3 years to fulfill an important mission: leading New Mexico’s students on the path toward academic and career success. AmeriCorps members will serve as “success coaches” who provide tutoring, career coaching, mentoring, and financial education to 9th-12th grade students. (Look closely, and you’ll see an AmeriCorps take on the classic Converse style.)

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Saving a Life: Senior Corps volunteers who serve with our Foster Grandparents, RSVP, and Senior Companions programs make an incredible difference in their neighbors’ lives every day. Martha Jason, a Senior Companion in Oregon, is a great example.

Martha recently went to her client’s home for a regular visit, but there was no response when she rang the doorbell. After attempting to reach her supervisor, Martha called 9-1-1. When first responders found the client she was severely dehydrated, having been trapped in her bathtub for two days. Martha has made special visits to her client to help her get back into her routine. We applaud Martha for her compassion, tenacity, and good judgment.

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Measuring Success: The Social Innovation Fund’s evaluation guidelines got a lot of buzz this week.  It’s a great resource for everyone in the national service community and beyond.Read more about it from SIF Director Michael Smith.

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Making Communities Stronger: As part of the AmeriCorps 20th anniversary, this month we are highlighting the contributions that our members make to the field of disaster services. Check out FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate’s great blogpost on AmeriCorps’ key role in disaster response. And remember to share your AmeriCorps spirit on the “Day of the A” next Thursday, August 14!

National Service in the News

Senior Corps

Foster Grandparents program expanding in region
Times Herald-Record, August 5, 2014
A group of senior mentors were recently recognized by Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters for the remarkable impact they’ve made on the lives of children-in-need…The mentors, participants in Nutmeg’s Foster Grandparent Program, began the day long adventure with a bus trip to Essex, where they spent time browsing in some of the quaint shops along Main Street. 

Rural CAP Elder Mentor Program offers opportunities to children and seniors
KDLG (AK), July 29, 2014
Program manager for the Foster Grandparent and Elder mentor Program Jan Abbott says the program is designed for seniors and Elders aged 55 years and older.

AmeriCorps

FoodCorps Teaches Kids to Grow Their Own Food
Modern Farmer, July 31, 2014
FoodCorps, a grassroots farm-to-school program, does just this. About 182 AmeriCorps service members are sent to limited resource communities all around the country, focusing on school districts with a 50 percent or higher rate of free and reduced lunches. 

AmeriCorps NCCC

AmeriCorps NCCC provide help to Trails for Illinois
Shelbyville Daily Union, August 1, 2014
On Sunday, August 3, AmeriCorps NCCC Corps members are hosting a community service day at the Little Chief Illini Trail where the team will build a trail with volunteers and teach the benefits that trails bring to a community’s economy and well being. 

AmeriCorps VISTA

United Way alters its funding model
The Skagit Valley Herald, August 2, 2014
Bret Turner works with AmeriCorps VISTA and coordinates volunteers for United Way of Skagit County. He facilitates the community conversations.

National Service Blog

A Force for Good in Disaster Response
NationalService.Tumblr.Com, August 7, 2014
Recently, I visited Long Island, NY, to gather with fellow NECHAMA – Jewish Response to Disaster colleagues, volunteers, and our counterparts from other disaster and social services agencies. We have all been collaborating in order to serve those affected by Hurricane Sandy, primarily to repair and rebuild damaged homes. 

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