These groups and individuals were chosen by CNCS panels from 255 submissions as examples of best practices and innovative thinking in eight key issue areas. In addition, one People's Choice winner, Habitat for Humanity Vet Corps, was selected via public voting on Challenge.gov.
They show by their example what is the very best about national service. They make us all proud.
Here are the 2012 Service Impact Awards winners:
AmeriCorps St. Louis Safety Service Corps
The St. Louis Safety Service Corps answered the call time and time again after natural disasters scarred communities across the Midwest in 2011. From the record-setting devastation of the EF-5 tornados that struck Joplin, MO, to the massive floods that covered southeast Missouri and flowed into surrounding states, the 35 full-time AmeriCorps members traveled across the state and region to assist those affected by these destructive forces of nature.
Christopher Gonzales, Jr., Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center
Christopher Gonzales, a dedicated AmeriCorps VISTA at the Sacramento Area Emergency Housing Center's (SAEHC), developed a program to eliminate some of the barriers the homeless face as they strive to find permanent employment. The SAEHC'S Resource Center includes three departments: a Donations Center, a Computer Resource Center, and a Transportation Program. His effort has served more than 650 clients and distributed more than 2,000 donated items in its first six months.
National College Advising Corps
Utilizing the energy and enthusiasm of recent college grads from partner universities to serve as full-time advisers in underserved schools, the National College Advising Corps works to improve the prospects of economically disadvantaged students for post-secondary success. Advising Corps members work one-on-one with students to provide the advice and encouragement that will help them make their dreams come true.
Coulee Region RSVP and Senior Companion Program
The Coulee Region RSVP in La Crosse, WI, collaborated with Gundersen Lutheran Health System's environmental stewardship program to mitigate some of the waste that was being sent to the county's landfill. The 20 volunteers in the “blue wrap” program have transformed 575 pounds of clean waste material into 932 items that are currently in use at the medical facility.
Philadelphia Health Corps
Philadelphia Health Corps members serve in the city's District Health Centers to help patients who are uninsured or have chronic illnesses gain access to medications through drug company prescription assistance programs. The program has grown from two AmeriCorps members in 2006 to 16 members serving in eight health centers. During the past six years, this program has helped more than 12,646 patients gain free access to medications, saving the city more than $8.5 million.
Habitat for Humanity Vet Corps
Habitat for Humanity's Vet Corps works to ensure those who served their country get the support they have earned to avoid homelessness and poverty and reintegrate into their communities when they leave military service. The initiative has placed 11 AmeriCorps VISTAs at Habitat affiliates across the nation, enabling Habitat to provide more than 300 housing solutions to veterans and military families, recruit veterans as Habitat employees and national service members, and engage veterans as volunteers.
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