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Save Service in America
AmeriCorps Statement on Political Activity

of Voices for
National Service

Southern Association of RSVP Directors

Time Magazine Article about National Service
TIME's second annual national service issue


Links to Facebook and Twitter
I Will Get Things Done for America
Celebrating 20 years of AmeriCorps

  • View the interactive report online by clicking here or on the image above.
  • If you would like to download the report for printing purposes, please click here.
Presidentís FY15 Budget Protects $1.05B for CNCS
Proposes policy changes and cuts to Senior Corps

On March 4, 2014, President Obama sent Congress his fiscal year 2015 budget request recommending $1.05 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which is roughly even with the FY14 enacted level.

Through a combination of policy changes and funding cuts, the Presidentís budget recommends the elimination of over 200,000 Senior Corps positions, and represents a missed opportunity to engage thousands of Americans in citizen service that both demonstrates a high return on investment and is proven to improve local communities.

Presidential budget proposals are non-binding pieces of legislation that provide Congress with a framework and set of recommendations for consideration as they move through the annual appropriations process. It is the responsibility of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to ultimately decide how funds are allocated across all government functions.

As the FY15 budgeting process proceeds, we need your help. Please urge Congress to provide continued support for the cost-effective programs that enable Americans of all ages to serve, create jobs and deliver essential services nationwide. Even in this era of tight budgets and difficult funding decisions, our nationís leaders should agree on a budget that invests in CNCS and grows service opportunities.

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11th Annual Friends of National Service Awards

Friends of National Service Awards 2014

Hundreds Share Why They Serve

Hundreds of people across the country told us why they serve in our first ever “I Serve Because…” video contest. Here is an exciting new compilation video that captures the spirit of those submissions, and a call to action from Senator Tom Harkin (IA), asking you to continue to share why you serve with your members of Congress. Take a look:

Be a “Voice" and share this video with your friends, family, and elected officials to spread the word of the power of service.

We still want to hear from you! If you have a story to tell (and we know you do) please share it with us so we can continue to build this collection of inspiring and impactful stories.


President Obama Announces new National Service Task Force

On July 15th, at a White House event honoring  President George H. W. Bush, President Obama announced the creation of a new interagency National Service Task Force, co-chaired by Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz and Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer.  The task force will be established under a new Presidential Memorandum that builds directly on the bipartisan spirit of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. The Task Force — made up of representatives from each cabinet agency — will make recommendations on polices to:

  • Expand national service opportunities,
  • Coordinate volunteering and service across the Federal government,
  • Develop opportunities for interagency agreements between CNCS and other federal agencies, and
  • Identify public-private partnerships to expand national service.




Department of Education Launches New AmeriCorps Partnership with CNCS

On February 25, 2013, the Department of Education and the Corporation for National and Community Service announced a new School Turnaround AmeriCorps Program designed to bring additional capacity into high-need public schools where the scale and intensity of student need is overwhelming. School Turnaround AmeriCorps is a competitive grant program that will provide $15 million in public funds over three years to reinforce and accelerate intervention efforts in the nation’s lowest-performing schools.

The new School Turnaround AmeriCorps Program will support the placement of a dedicated cadre of AmeriCorps members in persistently under-achieving schools. This approach seeks to increase student achievement, attendance, and graduation rates, as well as college- and career-readiness in those schools. Since 2009, ED has invested $4.5 billion in more than 1,300 of the nation’s lowest-performing schools. Currently, CNCS programs have a presence in a quarter of schools eligible for School Improvement Grant (SIG) funding. School Turnaround AmeriCorps will augment these investments, expand opportunities for national service, and supply struggling schools with new talent to support the implementation of school improvement plans and the delivery of critical SIG reforms. At its current funding levels, the program will place nearly 2,000 AmeriCorps members in roughly 60 failing schools in cities and small towns over the next three years. Nonprofit organizations that demonstrate a rigorous level of evidence-base for their interventions, including faith-based and community groups, are eligible to apply for grants.

Voices for National Service
Releases Two Reports

In today’s fiscal environment, it is critical to build federal, state, and local support for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). In order to highlight the excellent work that CNCS-supported organizations are doing in communities across America and the skills Americans learn while serving, Voices for National Service has produced two reports.

The first, “National Service: Cost-Effectively Delivering Critical Services to Americans in Need,” explains how national service programs are addressing pressing education and housing challenges and are accelerating disaster relief efforts. The second report, “National Service: Providing Pathways to Employment” highlights the unique role that national service programs play in providing young Americans with the skills they need to secure employment in this challenging economy and demonstrates how national service programs can re-engage opportunity youth in education and the workforce. These reports include evidence of impact from several model programs, but there are thousands more in every state. These examples demonstrate that CNCS is not nice to have it is critical to our nation’s recovery from the current economic downturn.

  • Click here to download “National Service: Cost-Effectively Delivering Critical Services to Americans in Need"
  • Click here to download “National Service: Providing Pathways to Employment"
Senate Confirms CNCS CEO
Wendy Spencer to Lead Agency

On March 29, the U.S. Senate unanimously confirmed Wendy Spencer as Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Wendy Spencer takes the helm of the agency at a time when CNCS resources are in great demand. Both those who serve and those who benefit from the agency’s programs recognize the critical role national service plays in meeting community needs, building nonprofit capacity, and creating pathways to work.

A Message from Wendy Spencer:

  • Click here for a statement on Wendy Spencer’s confirmation from Voices for National Service
  • Click here for a CNCS press release on Wendy Spencer’s confirmation.
FEMA and CNCS Announce FEMA Corps
New Partnership with NCCC will Strengthen Disaster Response, Recovery

On March 13, 2012, senior officials from the Department of Homeland Security, FEMA, CNCS and the White House Domestic Policy Council launched FEMA Corps.  This innovative cross-agency collaboration creates a new unit of AmeriCorps' National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).  An additional 1,600 NCCC corps members will be recruited, trained and deployed to support FEMA disaster response and recovery efforts. According to FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, “FEMA Corps will strengthen the nation's disaster response by providing a dedicated, trained and reliable workforce—to support disaster survivors and impacted communities during their greatest time of need.  At the same time, we hope to inspire a generation of young people to take up careers in emergency management.”

  • Click here for a CNCS press release and more information on FEMA Corps
  • Click here for a press release from Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) applauding the new FEMA Corps

National Service Leaders:
2012 Voices for National Service’s Awards Honorees

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Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter each received a 2012 Friend of National Service Award for demonstrating a passionate commitment to protecting and expanding national service opportunities throughout the country. In their acceptance speeches each recipient emphasized the tangible ways service work has made a difference in their communities.
Governor Haley Barbour (R-MS)
Voices for National Service’s State & Local Leadership Honoree, 2011

In his acceptance speech, Governor Barbour shared “much of the work in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and last year’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill fell on the shoulders of volunteers and AmeriCorps members…These volunteers have helped rebuild a stronger and better Mississippi… I’m proud and honored to be a friend and proponent of national service.” Click here for photos, press clips and event highlights from the 8th Annual Friends of National Service Reception. Voices for National Service and the Corps Network would like to thank the 2011 reception sponsors: Comcast Corporation, Planters and National Grid.
Recent National News about
National Service Programs
For a complete listing of news articles related to the budget cuts click here.
Click here for details on VNS membership
Click here for details on VNS membership

Service Community Celebrates Serve America Act
Events, Presidential Proclamation, Congressional Resolutions recognize impact of service and volunteerism across America

April 21, 2010 marked the one-year anniversary of the signing of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, the largest expansion of service and social innovation since the New Deal. Voices for National Service partnered with ServiceNation and America Forward to host a luncheon and breakout sessions to celebrate the act and its co-author, Senator Kennedy. The event was also an opportunity to discuss the movementís next steps, as we continue working to fulfill the immense promise of the Serve America Act.

Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), who authored the Serve America Act with Senator Kennedy, delivered taped remarks to the audience. Speakers in attendance included Victoria Reggie Kennedy, Patrick Corvington of the Corporation for National and Community Service, Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Melody Barnes of The White House Domestic Policy Council Cokie Roberts of ABC News, and John Podesta of the Center for American Progress.

  • Click here to read Patrick Corvingtonís keynote address at the luncheon.
  • Click here for more information about the Leadership Luncheon and Solution Sessions, including a full list of speakers.

On the first anniversary of the Serve America Act, the House of Representatives passed H. Res. 1276, "Recognizing the continued importance of volunteerism and national service and the anniversary of the signing of the landmark service legislation, the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act." Introduced by Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the resolution had 30 co-sponsors and passed by a voice vote.

  • Click here for more information, including text of the resolution and floor remarks made by representatives in support of H. Res. 1276.

President Obama issued a proclamation to officially mark National Volunteer Week, April 18-24, 2010. In the Presidential Proclamation, President Obama reiterates his Administration's commitment to "ushering in a new era of service and responsibility":

Whether through the workplace or a house of worship, in our own neighborhoods or in another state or country, service binds us together as Americans in a way nothing else can. It defines us as a people, and it is essential to achieving our national priorities. Together, let us answer the call, take hold of our shared future, and meet the challenges of our new century.... I call upon all Americans to observe this week by volunteering in service projects across our country and pledging to make service a part of their daily lives.

  • Click here to read the Presidential Proclamation declaring National Volunteer Week 2010.
Center for American Progress Recommends National Service for Job Creation
New paper proposes greater investment in national service to aid in economic recovery

On November 16, 2009, the Center for American Progress released “National Service and Youth Unemployment: Strategies for Job Creation Amid Economic Recovery,” a collaboration by Melissa Boteach, Joy Moses, and Shirley Sagawa.  The memo details youth unemployment in the current economic climate and describes how national service can contribute to reducing these numbers as well as play a part in creating jobs.

  • Click here to read “National Service and Youth Unemployment” from the Center for American Progress.
  • Click here to read an opinion piece by John Podesta, president of the Center for American Progress and former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, on the role for national service in helping our national recover.
  • In February 2010, the Center for American Progress released “How Quickly Can Service Grow?” by Shirley Sagawa, calling for an accelerated expansion of national service to “create jobs, address pressing community problems, and reconnect youth who are neither employed nor in school with a pathway to opportunity.”  Click here to read “How Quickly Can Service Grow?”
President Obama Signs
Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act

Bill Will "Connect Deeds to Needs"

On April 21, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which will dramatically expand national service opportunities to address America's most pressing challenges.

At the signing ceremony, the President drew significant attention to one of the bill's architects, Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA), highlighting the long-standing commitment by the senator and his family to service and the country. 

  • Click here to read President Obama's complete statement from the bill signing ceremony.
  • Click here to read more on the bill signing from the White House.
  • Click here for a detailed summary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and the bill language provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service.
  • Click here to read news coverage of the bill signing.
  • Click here for a statement from Voices for National Service on the passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

While the bill authorizes a massive expansion of national service programs for Americans of all ages, implementation is tied to the availability of funds.  The President is expected to release a detailed budget for Fiscal Year 2010 next month, and Congress will consider the President's request as they make discretionary spending decisions and consider the twelve annual appropriations bills.

Voices for National Service will remain engaged in the appropriations process and will provide updates as they become available.

President Obama Calls for
Renewed Spirit of Service

Read Transcript of Obamaís Address to Congress
February 25, 2009

Millions watched this week as President Obama spoke to a Joint Session of Congress and clearly stated his vision for the role National Service should play in facing the critical challenges our country faces.

  “To encourage a renewed spirit of national service for this and future generations,” President Obama asked Congress to send him the Serve America Act, “the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Senator Orrin Hatch as well as an American who has never stopped asking what he can do for his country – Senator Edward Kennedy.”

The Serve America Act builds on service as a strategy to meet specific national challenges such as addressing the dropout crisis and strengthening our schools; improving energy efficiency; safeguarding the environment; improving health care and expanding economic opportunity in low-income communities; and preparing for and responding to disasters and emergencies.

National Service Hearing
Renewing America through National Service and Volunteerism
February 25, 2009
  Recording Artist Usher joined other distinguished witnesses to testify before the House Committee on Education and Labor at a hearing examining how to renew America through national service and volunteerism on February 25, 2009.   It was the first full committee education hearing held in the 111th Congress.

The hearing investigated the role of service in meeting critical community needs, reinvigorating civic engagement across all levels of society, expanding opportunities for young people to participate in service, and how national and community service can help “green” America.


Click on the witnesses listed below to read their testimony:

  • James Harris, Youth Participant Usher's New Look Foundation
  • Van Jones, Founder and President Green for All
  • David L. Caprara, Director and Nonresident Fellow Brookings Initiative on International Volunteering and Service
Declaration of Service Video
Sign the Declaration and Pledge to Serve
"" The Declaration Of Service is a declaration in support of a new America, an America where there are meaningful opportunities for every American who wants to serve, and where service unites us and helps solve our greatest challenges. To add your name, go here:
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