Take Action to Save National Service Programs

By United Way of King County Posted on November 23, 2015 In Volunteering

Author Lauren McGowan is the Director of Family Stability for United Way of King County.

I began my career at United Way of King County a decade ago as an AmeriCorps VISTA member. I know first-hand that National Service is the secret sauce in our fight to end poverty. By leveraging time, skills, passion, and dedication, National Service creates a pipeline of civically engaged employees and has a profound and lasting impact on individuals and communities.

My service year focused on expanding access to the Earned Income Tax Credit – the nation’s most effective anti-poverty program – through our Free Tax Preparation Campaign. This year that program will serve more than 22,000 low income families and leverage $30 million in federal refunds.  This would not be possible without AmeriCorps members.

Today Congress is debating cuts to the Corporation For National and Community Service – the federal agency that oversees AmeriCorps.  We’re hearing of cuts to the tune of 20,000 fewer AmeriCorps Slots. This combined with a proposed elimination of the Social Innovation Fund – which is propelling our Reconnecting Youth and Fuel Your Future work – would have a devastating impact in King County and across the nation.

Join me in urging congress to #STAND4SERVICE.

Here’s why I’m taking action:

  • It’s Financially Smart: Every federal dollar invested in national service generates returns to society of $3.95 in terms of higher earnings, increased output, and other community benefits.
  • The impact is extraordinary. United Way of King County AmeriCorps Members will:
    • 20 Fuel Your Future AmeriCorps Members are making sure No kid Is Hungry by connecting 3,000 low income students to school breakfast, afterschool suppers, and nutrition education
    • 40 VISTA members are building the capacity of 100 organizations to fight poverty – they will mobilize thousands of volunteers and help over 25,000 low income families
    • Our Financial Empowerment AmeriCorps team will improve financial outcomes for thousands of families and leverage millions of federal dollars
    • 80 summer VISTA’s wills serve over 600,000 meals to low income children
  • National Service promotes healthy and resilient communities – it will help us achieve our goal of building a community where people have homes, students graduate, and families are financially stable.

Let’s keep National Service strong. #STAND4SERVICE.


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