Take Action to Save National Service Programs

By United Way of King County, 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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