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Iowa Honors AmeriCorps Members During AmeriCorps Week

For more information contact:

 

Justin Villere

justin.villere@iowa.gov

515.725.3074

 

Iowa Honors AmeriCorps Members During AmeriCorps Week

 

May 6, 2011 [Des Moines, IA] — Iowa will join the nationwide celebration of AmeriCorps Week, May 14-21, spotlighting the vital work done by AmeriCorps members in communities across Iowa since the national service program began 17 years ago.

 

More than 930 AmeriCorps members are serving in Iowa this year, helping students learn to read, mentoring at-risk youth, providing health services, building homes for low-income families and helping nonprofits recruit volunteers and achieve their mission.

 

“We are proud to be part of AmeriCorps and grateful for the AmeriCorps members who are getting things done for Iowa,” said Adam Lounsbury, executive director of the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service.  “AmeriCorps members have made a significant impact on Iowa’s ability to meet so many local needs, and AmeriCorps Week is a perfect opportunity to recognize their great work.”

 

Since 1994, 706,000 men and women have joined AmeriCorps, and they have given more than 860 million hours of service to their country. 

 

To mark AmeriCorps Week, a number of events are happening around the state. The Des Moines AmeriCorps Alums chapter will partner with community organizations like Habitat for Humanity and the King Irving Neighborhood Association to do an environmental service project at Gillette Park in Des Moines on Saturday, May 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Current members will host open houses in Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Waterloo to discuss their projects and recruit new community partners and volunteers. These events will allow community residents to learn about, and participate in, AmeriCorps programs. The week’s full calendar of activities is online at http://volunteeriowa.org/.

 

AmeriCorps works through existing organizations and helps them reach more people to better achieve their mission.  In 2010, the nation’s 83,000 AmeriCorps members recruited 2.6 million community volunteers to serve in some 14,000 nonprofit, faith-based and community organizations across the country. In Dubuque, Iowa, the Partners in Learning AmeriCorps Program has served over 2,200 youth during the 2010-11 school year through tutoring, mentoring and connecting youth to a wide array of community organizations for productive out-of-school activities. Members serving with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in their Keepers of the Land AmeriCorps Program have restored 288 acres of land and water sites and cleaned nearly 3,100 acres of parks and public land. The REACH AmeriCorps Program through the Iowa Coalition of Domestic Violence has provided resources to nearly 300 clients. There are many other programs in Iowa experiencing the same type of impact.

 

AmeriCorps members typically remain engaged in their communities once their service has been completed. They not only can be counted on as volunteers, but they also run nonprofits, marshal resources within their communities to address difficult issues and frequently pursue public service careers. 

 

The majority of the AmeriCorps programs in Iowa are overseen by the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (ICVS), a state entity that serves to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through service and learning. ICVS promotes service and develops collaborative approaches that have helped Iowa become a national leader in service and volunteerism.

 

About AmeriCorps Week

 

AmeriCorps Week, May 14-21, is an annual recruitment and recognition event to demonstrate AmeriCorps' impact on critical issues, bring more Americans into service and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible. AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  For more information, visit www.AmeriCorpsWeek.gov.

 

 

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