Save Senior Corps and AmeriCorps Programs in North Texas
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It’s not every day that ONE congressional act can nearly cripple tens of thousands of non-profit organizations all at once. But this one may be the one that does it. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that supports Senior Corps and AmeriCorps Programs, has been included on a list of federal agencies to be eliminated in President Trump’s proposed FY 2018 federal budget.
Senior Corps participants and AmeriCorps members in our community are tutoring and mentoring struggling students, providing job training and other opportunities to returning veterans and military families, and ensuring older adults are able to live independently in their own homes through the support of volunteer companions. Unlike many federal grant programs, the federal investment in national service generates matching support from private, philanthropic, and local sources. In fact, for every $10 the federal government contributes to this program, an additional $15 match is derived from donations straight from the generosity in our community. Every dollar invested in national service results in returns to society; higher earnings, increased outputs, and other community benefits.
In 2016, 748 AmeriCorps and 1,482 Senior Corps volunteers contributed 1,135,937 hours of time to more than 200 nonprofits in Dallas County providing services for young and old alike. That’s more than $19 million dollars’ worth of support to help serve North Texas. CNCS provides vital, cost-effective services to communities statewide/nationwide by harnessing the power of our states and nation’s most valuable resource - its people.
Think about your favorite non-profit organization, and it is nearly guaranteed an AmeriCorps or Senior Corps volunteer is there making a difference. Ms. Laura Watson, who recently passed away at the age of 95, spent the final 40 years of her life walking into the Margaret Cone Head Start three days a week. Ms. Watson, who volunteered through The Senior Source’s Senior Corps Foster Grandparent Program, often said that serving children with special needs was her reason for waking up each morning.
For older adults like Ms. Watson and the hundreds of children whose lives have been positively impacted by her, the elimination of Senior Corps would be devastating. Join us as we champion these amazing programs that bring volunteer opportunities and embrace collaboration within our communities.
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