WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senators Chris Coons (D-Del.) and Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-La.) and U.S. Representatives David Price (D-N.C.) and Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) celebrate AmeriCorps Week with the introduction of an annual resolution honoring the invaluable contributions of AmeriCorps members and alumni. Every year, AmeriCorps enrolls more than 270,000 individuals to serve in communities across America, totaling more than one million alumni since the program’s founding in 1994.
“This week, we celebrate the work of tens of thousands of AmeriCorps members on the frontlines across the country – combatting learning loss, addressing food insecurity, and supporting COVID-19 vaccination and testing efforts throughout this pandemic,” said Senator Coons. “I have long believed in the power of national service to bridge our divides and meet our nation’s toughest challenges. As we move forward with the American Rescue Plan this week, I am excited to get to work helping communities recover from the COVID-19 crisis, and I know AmeriCorps will play a key part in this effort.”
“AmeriCorps members devote a significant chunk of their time to meet the needs of their communities and help improve lives,” said Dr. Cassidy. “We honor their commitment to serve the most vulnerable around the country and here in Louisiana.”
“As we respond and recover to the COVID-19 pandemic, AmeriCorps members have risen to the occasion to tackle a wide range of challenges from bolstering education services, providing nutrition assistance, and supporting public health needs,” said Representative Price. “As Co-Chair of the Congressional National Service Caucus, I join in recognizing AmeriCorps Week and celebrating the invaluable work AmeriCorps members do in our communities. We are stronger because of their service.”
“In times of need, AmeriCorps members symbolize a helping hand to communities and a trusted network of support for the American people,” said Representative Matsui. “Over this past year, AmeriCorps volunteers have been a vital bridge of partnership between the federal and local levels to provide invaluable service to regions across the nation. As we recover from this crisis, we are working hard to expand National Service and empower Americans to give back to their communities.”
This resolution is being introduced following Senate passage of a new COVID-19 relief package which is expected to provide $1 billion to national service programs once passed by the House and signed into law. The inclusion of this funding will help to stabilize existing national service programs, increase benefits to those who serve, and deploy additional members to support communities’ response to COVID-19. Inspired by the CORPS Act, a bipartisan bill introduced by Senator Coons and Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Representatives Price and Matsui, the funding will expand national service programs for crisis response.
“The diverse Americans who serve with commitment and dedication every day are making an extraordinary difference to communities hit hardest by the pandemic, as they have done for decades in communities across the nation,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service. “The national service community is tremendously grateful to Congress for investing in AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors and recognizing the vital role national service is playing in supporting communities and filling critical gaps created or exacerbated by COVID-19.”
The resolution text is available here.