What an amazing week for national service! From the White House to West Virginia, service was in the spotlight.
The Statue of Liberty withstood the force of Hurricane Sandy when it struck last fall, but storm damage closed Liberty Island to tourists just weeks after renovations were completed to the area. AmeriCorps Cape Cod FireCorps members working on Sandy recovery efforts joined the National Park Service to clean up the island, ensuring the American landmark would be ready when it reopens to visitors on July 4th.
National service makes a difference for millions of Americans, but few examples demonstrate this idea better than the story of AmeriCorps member Chris Guzman. His inspirational speech during last week’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Washington, DC, drew a standing ovation, and we believe his journey is a prime example of how Corporation for National and Community Service programs change lives.
This week, I had the opportunity to speak at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service here in Washington, DC. Sponsored by Points of Light, the conference is the world’s largest annual gathering of volunteering and service leaders and supporters. I also announced that President Obama and the First Lady will host a celebration at the White House, on July 15, 2013, in honor of the 5,000th Daily Point of Light award.
Have you ever had one of those days where you can't stop smiling? This month was filled with them. Support for national service grows stronger and stronger; during the past two weeks, we've seen this momentum build in several major arenas. Here's the latest news:
A construction project in the shadow of the Washington Monument brought 40 AmeriCorps and VISTA national service members to Washington, DC, to assemble frames for new Habitat for Humanity homes during the 2013 Veterans Build on the Mall June 2-5.
Three years ago Chris Oliver was unemployed and facing homelessness after being evicted from his Dallas apartment. He turned to City Square, a local nonprofit that provides vital services to neighbors struggling with poverty. City Square didn't just help Chris put food on the table – it gave him a second chance on life. He joined City Square's AmeriCorps program, where he served for two years. Now Chris has a full-time position working in the organization's homeless outreach program.
Within tribal communities, Native Americans are uniting to combat the dire problems affecting their populations, including poverty, addiction, and high suicide rates. Native American youth leaders have taken the lead, inspiring their communities to take action and tackling these issues head on.
Imagine: A mother comes to pick up her children from a summer reading program. Before leaving, her kids timidly pop into your staff meeting to deliver a bouquet of flowers and a big hug to you.
Ever wanted to learn more about AmeriCorps, volunteering, and national service? Here's your chance!
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