If you have ever considered joining up with America’s largest and most effective national volunteer organization, AmeriCorps, learn some of the key facts so you’ll be able to choose your niche within the vast network. AmeriCorps is indeed huge, with volunteers able to donate their time among various causes like, education, environmental cleanup, public safety, health care and others.
Since it began in 1994, AmeriCorps has witnessed rapid growth. Currently, about 80,000 people participate each year. If you think AmeriCorps is for you, here are some points to help you decide, as well as information about signing up:
• There are three parts to AmeriCorps; State/National, National Community Civilian Corps, and VISTA. Each has a different focus.
• State/National volunteers donate about 1,700 hours over an 11-month period, and receive a living allowance, child care assistance, tuition awards, and health benefits. Most work in their local communities doing a wide range of activities, from after-school tutoring to home building.
• National Community Civilian Corps volunteers is a full-time, residential program for people between the ages of 18 and 24. There are five campuses around the U.S., each of which serves as a staging ground for a vast array of team-oriented volunteer tasks.
• VISTA (volunteers in service to America) used to be a stand-alone organization before it was incorporated into AmeriCorps in 1993. The focus of Vista is poverty. Right now, about 5,000 Vista workers do their best to bring low-income families out of poverty.
If you would like to know more, or better yet sign up for AmeriCorps, visit the organization’s official website. People who are serious about community service and civic duty often end up in either AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps, two of the most famous, and effective, volunteer entities that have ever existed.
Be good to each other,
Julian Omidi, is co-founder of Civic Duty, a nonprofit that works to encourage community volunteering.