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Volunteer Connection: National service thrives in Wisconsin
VOLUNTEER CONNECTION

Volunteer Connection: National service thrives in Wisconsin

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AmeriCorps Seniors logo

Last year more than 7,900 Americans of all ages and backgrounds united to meet local needs, strengthen communities and expand opportunity through national service in Wisconsin. AmeriCorps invested more than $18.1 million in federal funding to support cost-effective community solutions, working with local partners to empower individuals in helping communities tackle their toughest challenges.

AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers served at more than 900 locations across Wisconsin including schools, food banks, homeless shelters, health clinics, youth centers, veteran facilities, and other nonprofit and faith-based organizations.

Through a unique public-private partnership, AmeriCorps and its partners generated more than $19.3 million in outside resources from businesses, foundations, public agencies and other sources in Wisconsin in the last year. This local support strengthened community impact and increased the return on taxpayer dollars.

Programs and initiatives

AmeriCorps State and National matches individuals with organizations that see service as a solution to local, regional and national challenges. Most AmeriCorps grant funding goes to Serve Wisconsin, the governor-appointed state service commission, which in turn awards grants to organizations to respond to local needs. The Volunteer Center of Racine Inc. currently hosts Sarah Webb from the Marshfield Clinic AmeriCorps project. She serves as the Volunteer Center’s Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) team leader.

AmeriCorps VISTA places individuals with organizations that fight poverty, build capacity and make sustainable change. Through fundraising, grant writing and volunteer recruitment, AmeriCorps VISTA members gain experience and leadership skills that put them on track for a life of service in the public, private or nonprofit sector.

AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, team-based, residential program for ages 18-24. Whether clearing trails for a national park or building homes for families in need, AmeriCorps NCCC members engage in a variety of projects while developing leadership and teamwork skills. AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps serves communities, in coordination with FEMA, through disaster preparedness, response and recovery.

AmeriCorps Seniors Foster Grandparents provides grants to organizations to engage low-income Americans 55 and older in providing one-on-one mentoring and academic support to children with special or exceptional needs.

AmeriCorps Seniors Senior Companions provides grants to organizations to engage low-income Americans 55 and older in providing supportive, individualized services to help older adults and adults maintain their dignity and independence.

AmeriCorps Seniors RSVP provides grants to organizations engaging volunteers ages 55 and older. The Volunteer Center of Racine sponsors an RSVP project that supports Meals on Wheels, Senior Companion Program Inc. (a Dominican ministry separate from AmeriCorps Seniors Senior Companions), MyRide senior transportation project, E-Z ID, AARP Tax-Aide, St. Vincent de Paul Society Food Panty, Ascension All Saints Healthcare, Racine County Sheriff’s patrol substation, the Caledonia Historical Society, Racine-Kenosha Amateur Radio Emergency Service (ARES) and the Siena Retreat Center.

Volunteer Generation Fund assists volunteer organizations and state service commissions in boosting the impact of volunteers addressing critical community needs.

Observances

MLK Day of Service is observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off.” MLK Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.

9/11 Day of Service calls Americans across the country to volunteer in their local communities in tribute to the individuals lost and injured in the attacks, first responders and those who subsequently have served the United States.

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