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By Jack Wingate, Teach for AmericaAmeriCorps gave Teach For America alum Jack Wingate (Metro Atlanta ‘13) the opportunity to contribute toward strengthening his community. Now he asks that you join him in calling on Congress to protect funding for AmeriCorps and CNCS.I became a teacher after spending nearly 30 years in the business world. I’d come to the realization that the career ladder I was climbing leaned against the wrong wall, and I began to look for opportunities to serve. I wanted to make a difference, to change the lives of students and partner with their families to strengthen our community. Three years ago, I joined Teach For America, an AmeriCorps program, and doing so has allowed me to devote the rest of my life to the incredible people I’ve had the pleasure to work with here in Atlanta.I teach special education at King Middle School in the Atlanta Public Schools district. Through this work, I’ve been able to make academic gains with my students. I’ve developed wonderful relationships with them and the rest of the community here at King, and I’ve been able to work towards something greater than myself. This career in service wouldn’t have been possible without AmeriCorps, and my experience isn’t unique.This year, 80,000 AmeriCorps members are mobilizing more than 4 million volunteers to help the most vulnerable citizens of this country. Their contributions are invaluable, yet Congress is considering significant cuts in funding to AmeriCorps and its parent agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).  These cuts would strip communities of the diverse talent and supports that they’ve benefited from and relied on for key services, and if the current House bill passes, then as many as half of all AmeriCorps positions could be eliminated.When I decided to switch gears and build a career in service, the financial support I received from AmeriCorps as a Teach For America corps member helped make that transition affordable. Going from business to teaching involved a change in income, and I was also required to earn a master’s degree in education. As an AmeriCorps participant, I received a stipend that I used toward that degree, and I also had the option of deferring my student loans for two years while CNCS paid the interest accrued. I’m eternally grateful for AmeriCorps’ role in helping me pay for tuition, books, and activity fees while I simultaneously worked with my students. That support makes it possible for everyone to serve, including those who might otherwise struggle with the financial implications of changing careers midway through life.During my first year as a corps member, nine out of my 11 literacy students passed their standardized reading test, and one student—who entered my classroom grade levels behind—was recommended for promotion to high school by the end of the year. Service truly has a lasting impact on communities, and I see it in the relationships I’ve built with parents, in the ongoing contact I have with students who have graduated, and in the daily conversations I have with my current students.At my school, we wouldn’t be able to make the same progress without AmeriCorps. In addition to the support the professional program has given me, we’ve also had several AmeriCorps volunteers tutor our students and assist with a variety of different educational programs. AmeriCorps has given me and so many others the chance to contribute to stronger communities, so please, join me in calling on members of Congress to protect funding for AmeriCorps and CNCS so we can build a stronger America through service.To read the whole article please visit the link here

Keywords: AmeriCorps, National Service, Teach For America
Once a month, Ed and his son, help prepare a hot meal for 35-40 men, women, and children at the 8th Street Mission in West Memphis, Ark. Every week, he stops by to serve desert and help with dishes. "I feel at home there as I cook, serve the tables, and wash dishes."
Another intense storm had hit in the night, filling the church’s window-wells with water that flowed over the roof’s rain gutters. For the next several hours all of us were mopping, vacuuming, and baling water to protect the reconstructed walls and flooring from the need to be demolished and replaced again. It brought back many difficult memories of fighting the 1993 floods, but this time we won.
Good nutrition is important for everyone, but incorporating high-quality food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, can be challenging for people as they age and their appetites diminish.
As a communications instructor at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn., I am always looking for new ways to re-invent my communication courses for first and second-year students. In September 2008, I took 10 students to National Public Lands Day at our local state park, Bledsoe Creek State Park.
By simply offering their time and skills through pro bono services, two lawyers helped a senior citizen access benefits she desperately needed.
It was our second day on the Thrivent Builds with the Habitat for Humanity site in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and already the house that my Thrivent Financial for Lutherans colleagues and I were constructing was taking shape. What was simply a foundation when we arrived the day before now had a floor and walls.
At Intel, we strive to be an asset to our communities around the world. Under the Intel Involved Skills Based Volunteer program, employees are encouraged to use their professional skills to make a sustainable impact in their communities.
“We helped today by making it possible for the Sergeant to do a job that he otherwise had no way of doing. The fact that for the next two years he has one less thing to worry about is more important than we realize.”
"I believe the best thing we can do in life is give service to others and that is part of the mission of 4-H, to pledge our hands to larger service"
A group of "bored" of middle school students in Ames, Iowa, spend the summer planning a community block party and lay the foundation for a new service-learning club for youth.
As part of United We Serve’s Energy and Enviornment Week, the Community Action Agency of Delaware County in Pennsyvania conducted a two-week volunteer initiative.
Rachael, a former Washington, D.C. Public School teacher, volunteers with middle-school youth to help them strengthen literacy skills, develop civic values, and have fun in the process.
Just before the summer began, the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast learned that they would not be able to serve lunch to their youth club members for the first time in five years. This lasted for weeks, until Morgan Stanley stepped in to help.
Students from Laconia High School in New Hampshire are well on their way to the creation of a DVD that will contain blueprints and critical information to be used by emergency services. In addition to creating a new emergency brochure for parents, students are using state-of-the-art Computer Aided Drafting software and laser measuring tools to create detailed floor plans and 3-D views of each room in the high school.
Family honors daughter lost to ovarian cancer through service and creating awareness around the disease.
In response to the President's call to service, members of Lajna Imaillah, the women's auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, are launching a "Feed the Hungry" program.
Every year in America, over 100 million new cell phones are sold at stores and malls. Of these sales, 95% are going to consumers that already have a phone. What do you do with your old phone? Secure the Call,, relies on volunteers to collect used and unwanted phones and then recycle them back to the community to be used as free 911 emergency-only phones.
Unemployment is around 10% in Wyandotte County, Kansas, so many families have a hard time getting all the school supplies their kids need to start the new school year. On August 1, a team of more than 100 volunteers from several community organizations distributed school supplies to nearly 4,000 students.
Summer is a season of heightened hunger in America. As the school year ends and school nutrition programs end with it, many children lose an important source of food. Regular donations to local charities are also interrupted by travel and changed summer schedules. In 2009, economic troubles have made the challenges facing many families even greater.
Volunteers across the country are teaming with Islamic Relief USA in the annual 'Day of Dignity' effort to serve thousands of homeless and underserved people in 19 cities.
Capitol One Bank was so moved by the poster’s message - that domestic violence occurs at all ages and seniors are just as likely to become victims as any other age group - that it also donated $50,000 to the Not Forgotten Coalition to help fund training for volunteers working with seniors.
Regardless of her disability, Blair has always loved community service.
Dr. Angela began a community health program at Korean Resource Center (KRC) with a group of Korean American medical students. Monthly clinics are held that provide individual consultations to low-income uninsured Korean Americans, many of whom have been diagnosed with illnesses.
On Saturday, July 18, volunteers from Goldman Sachs and more than 130 volunteers from The UN Foundation’s second annual Youth Leadership Summit gathered to assist the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) with the reparation of northern Manhattan’s 119-acre Highbridge Park.
70 percent of the work at the Gaining Ground organic farm in the historic Concord, Mass., is completed by volunteers. In fact, volunteers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds harvest approximately 20,000 lbs. of organic produce at the farm each growing season.
Actor Charles S. Dutton, who was incarcerated in his youth, inspires more than 150 young people in Arkansas to take control of their education and to help strengthen their communities in an effort to keep these young adults from entering the criminal justice system.
California Lutheran University students partnered with the City of Ventura for a Ventura Riverbed Cleanup.
It took a lot of time but the rewards of serving in the hospital and on the ambulance are well worth it.
Eighteen volunteers put in 4,320 hours a year and serve approximately 25,200 meals at St. John’s Samaritans Table in Stark County, Ohio. The volunteers manage all aspects of the weekly program and make sure that no one leaves the table hungry.
The Mid-South Lions Club donates a life changing surgery to a little girl who was attacked by a pit bull.


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