by Caroline Watkins, AmeriCorps Member serving on the Capital Area United Way team at Capitol Middle School
Each year during Americorps Week, those committed to voluntary national service are recognized for the impact they are making daily in hearts, minds, and communities. An annual outpouring of gratitude to both current volunteers and alums, this week will be in celebration of the 900,000 volunteers who have served as AmeriCorps members since 1994. Here’s a quick look into what that service has looked like.
AmeriCorps Fast Facts:
- 1.2 Billion: Total number of hours served by AmeriCorps members.
- $2.8 Billion: Total amount of Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards earned by AmeriCorps members.
- 4 Million: Number of community volunteers managed or mobilized by AmeriCorps members in 2014.
- $625 million: Amount of resources from private, philanthropic, and other sources leveraged by AmeriCorps programs each year.
- 25,000: Number of sites that AmeriCorps members serve at each year.
PITW #91 says, “City Year is dedicated to helping build the “Beloved Community” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke of” – a community built on the interconnectedness of individuals, linking the happiness and well-being of one to that of many others. As corps members, this goal gives more purpose to teamwork and fellowship; as a site, it is a reminder that we are but one out of 25 powerful workforces for idealism; and as an organization, we are grounded in our own community of national service organizations, mobilized to effect great change across the country. AmeriCorps Week is kind of like a family reunion, but without the Velveeta mac and cheese and the inevitable repetition of “do you have a boyfriend yet?”. It’s a chance for a community – one that I am so proud to belong to – to come together in thanks for those who have served and those who continue to serve, so that we may not forget true community is born out of gratitude for each others’ existence.