AmeriCorps Members Promote Healthy Futures in West Virginia as Community Health Developers, Lifestyle Coaches

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This June, we’ll be featuring stories of AmeriCorps State service programs operating in the Healthy Futures focus area. AmeriCorps programs often play a key role in promoting health within a state, from coordinating community gardening, delivering summer meals, to promoting healthy lifestyles, outdoor activities, and fitness. Learn more at nationalservice.gov/focus-areas/healthy-futures. #HealthyFutures

WEST VIRGINIA. The West Virginia Community Health AmeriCorps Developer (WVCHAD) Program is an AmeriCorps State program funded through the Volunteer West Virginia state service commission and operated by the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department (MOVHD). The mission of the department overall is to provide access to quality health care and education for core public health services, including preventive health, for citizens residing in Calhoun, Pleasants, Ritchie, Roane, Wirt and Wood Counties in West Virginia. This mission is accomplished through partnerships, collaborative relationships, community involvement, stakeholder input and guidance from a diverse Board of Health comprised of two members from each of the counties and cities served by the department.

One key way MOVHD accomplishes its mission is through AmeriCorps. WVCHAD  AmeriCorps members serve as Healthy Community Developers offering lifestyle programs including: Chronic Disease Self-Management, Diabetes Self-Management and National Diabetes Prevention Programs. These programs have proven to decrease weight, blood pressure and medications.

On top of all that, some WVCHAD AmeriCorps members focus on healthy outcomes in times of disaster! This done by assisting the state’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) coordinator on Emergency Preparedness presentations to local organizations, giving talks and demonstrations at health fairs and other community events on preparedness, and recruiting Medical Reserve Corps volunteers.

WV Community Health Developers serve year-round and statewide across many sites. In its fifth year, the WVCHAD AmeriCorps program is meeting critical needs in the Healthy Futures focus area.

Too many West Virginians are struggling with chronic disease. The West Virginia population as a whole is at high risk for diabetes, stroke, heart disease, cancer and early death because of physical inactivity, substance use and poor nutrition. Per America’s Health Rankings 2015 Annual Report, West Virginia ranks 47th in the nation for overall worst health determinants which are defined as the range of personal, social, economic, and environmental factors that influence our health. This report also grades West Virginia 50th in the nation for diabetes, drug deaths, heart disease, high blood pressure, and smoking and poor physical health days, 49th for obesity, and 47th for physical activity.

By leveraging the power of AmeriCorps members to serve in local communities, West Virginia is improving health outcomes one West Virginian at a time. For example, one health program offered by WVCHAD Healthy Community Developers is a walking class. One participant started out very slowly and worked her way to walk one mile, three times per week, with her AmeriCorps Lifestyle Coach. Several months later, she came to the class so excited to share, “I was able to stand long enough to cook a meal for my family for the first time in over 10 years!”

The WVCHAD program is currently recruiting for its fifth cohort of AmeriCorps members in the 2017-2018 program year! Learn more and apply today at serviceyear.org/movhd/.

AmeriCorps Members Promote Healthy Futures in West Virginia as Community Health Developers, Lifestyle Coaches

Wisconsin HealthCorps: Ensuring Healthy Futures Across the State

WI Health Corps collage

This June, we’ll be featuring stories of AmeriCorps State service programs operating in the Healthy Futures focus area. AmeriCorps programs often play a key role in promoting health within a state, from coordinating community gardening, delivering summer meals, to promoting healthy lifestyles, outdoor activities, and fitness. Learn more at nationalservice.gov/focus-areas/healthy-futures. #HealthyFutures

WISCONSIN. The Wisconsin HealthCorps is an AmeriCorps State program funded through the Serve Wisconsin state service commission and run by the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association (WPHCA) and the Wisconsin Public Health Association (WPHA). In 2010, these organizations came together to create the Wisconsin HealthCorps because they recognized the impact AmeriCorps members could have on the health outcomes of Wisconsin’s communities.

The program places individuals who are interested in public health and health care professions in community-based, health-focused organizations across the state. Each AmeriCorps member serves 1700 hours over one year, providing culturally competent health education and assistance to individuals in accessing and navigating the health care system.

The program aims to:

  • Increase access to primary health care
  • Advance evidence based community health initiatives
  • Promote health care for all regardless of race, income, gender, or age
  • Develop the next generation of health care leaders

The program’s multi-site design allows for AmeriCorps members to view the health care system through multiple lenses. Each of the program’s 22 members are placed in a variety of host sites across the state, ranging from Public Health Departments, Community Health Centers, and health-focused non-profits. This diversity in host sites provides the members with unique experiences and opportunities to help them gain a better understanding of the health care challenges facing our communities.

Whether a member is serving in a Public Health Department working to bring different stakeholders and organizations together to address community wide public health issues, or whether a member is serving in a Community Health Center assisting individual patients by connecting them to resources within the community, each member is working towards the same goal — increasing access to health care for all Wisconsinites.

Wisconsin HealthCorps AmeriCorps members give so much to the communities they serve in. The program is currently recruiting for its eighth cohort of AmeriCorps members in the 2017-2018 program year!

Learn more and apply today at wihealthcorps.wordpress.com/.

Wisconsin HealthCorps: Ensuring Healthy Futures Across the State

Recognizing and Leveraging the Power of Senior Corps to Help Older Americans

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

By Brianne Fitzgerald, Volunteer Iowa & Emily Steinberg, America’s Service Commissions

Did you know May is Older Americans Month? According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), which leads the national celebration each year, older Americans more than ever before are working longer, trying new things, and engaging in their communities. They’re taking charge, striving for wellness, focusing on independence, and advocating for themselves and others.

One key example of this notable trend? Senior Corps. Last year, 245,000 seniors aged 55 and older gave back to their communities as Senior Corps volunteers, serving an impressive 74.6 million total hours. Collectively, these Senior Corps volunteers helped 845,000 additional older adults, according to the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS) which administers the Senior Corps and AmeriCorps programs.

At the state level, Governor-appointed state service commissions are also taking note of and partnering with Senior Corps to “get things done” for local communities. For example, Volunteer Iowa which is the Hawkeye State’s designated commission on volunteering and service, is proud of its strong involvement with and support for Senior Corps programs, including the Retired Senior Volunteer Programs (RSVP).

In July 2016, Volunteer Iowa announced an award of $279,000 in state-funded RSVP grants, leveraging over $1.2 million in federal funds, and supporting 5,498 RSVP Senior Corps volunteers.

This program, along with federal and state funding for AmeriCorps, is helping generate and support over 41,000 community volunteers working to improve hundreds of local nonprofits, schools and communities throughout Iowa.  Volunteer Iowa has over 7,000 National Service positions in the state, with 5,500 of those as Senior Corps volunteers.

And every dollar in state funding to RSVP leverages $27.80 in additional funding. Senior Corps work truly matters in Iowa!
RSVP connects volunteers age 55 and over with service opportunities in their communities that match their skills and availability. From building houses to immunizing children, from enhancing the capacity of nonprofit organizations to improving and protecting the environment, RSVP volunteers put their unique talents to work to make a difference. Volunteer Iowa supports Senior Corps members with training and networking opportunities and recognition events. Iowa is beyond grateful for the work that the RSVP volunteers are doing within the state.

In 2016, in Iowa alone:

  • 3,800 young Iowans were tutored by Foster Grandparents
  • 830 local organizations benefited from Iowa RSVP volunteers
  • 1,000 homebound seniors were assisted by Senior Companions
  • 362,355 hours of service were completed by Iowa RSVP volunteers

Continuing to support Senior Corps programs in the state of Iowa is a priority for the state commission.  Volunteer Iowa believes that RSVP provides and will continue to provide vital capacity-building services to non-profits and communities by building the infrastructure for volunteering overall. Volunteer Iowa recognizes how important it is for the state of Iowa that RSVP is well-positioned as a community resource for volunteerism and volunteer management, especially in areas where volunteer centers do not exist.

We believe that providing capacity building services is an activity that builds on RSVP Director’s skills and aligns with the current activities of programs in working with sites and partners, and will continue to position RSVP for secure funding so we can continue to serve Iowa’s communities moving forward.

Thank you to Senior Corps volunteers — and all older Americans who are making the time to volunteer — for taking the skills and wisdom you’ve learned over your lifetimes to make communities stronger!

To learn more about Volunteer Iowa’s Senior Corps RSVP grants, click here.

To learn more about Senior Corps and Senior Corps Week, click here.

Learn more about Older Americans Month here.

 

 

Recognizing and Leveraging the Power of Senior Corps to Help Older Americans

ASC Update: FY 2017 Omnibus Spending Bill Passed by Congress – State Commissions Receive $2.5 Million Increase

shutterstock_145891376

By Tom Branen, Chief Policy Officer, America’s Service Commissions (ASC)

Yesterday, the United States Senate passed a $1.07 trillion fiscal 2017 omnibus. Leadership on both sides hailed it as a major bipartisan legislative accomplishment. On Wednesday the House approved the omnibus spending bill on a 309-118 vote. President Trump is expected to sign the measure, which passed 79 to 18. It includes more than $15 billion in new defense spending and $1.5 billion in money for U.S. border security, ahead of a deadline to keep the government open past Friday.

The legislation comprises the 11 unfinished fiscal 2017 appropriations bills, providing updated spending instructions for most of the federal government.

The omnibus provides an annualized total of $1.07 trillion in base spending for fiscal 2017, or $1.16 trillion. It includes a $15 billion increase in supplemental defense spending, about half the amount sought by President Trump for the military. The funding is designated as Overseas Contingency Operations spending, which does not count against statutory budget caps.

CNCS funding was mostly aligned with the FY 2017 Senate Markup and received a total of $1.029 Billion.

Here is the breakdown of CNCS funding:

State Commission Grants

$16,538,000.00

AmeriCorps State & National

$386,010,000.00

AmeriCorps VISTA

$92,364,000.00

AmeriCorps NCCC

$30,000,000.00

Senior Corps

$202,117,000.00

Volunteer Generation Fund

$3,800,000.00

Social Innovation Fund

$0

Innovation, Demonstration & Other

$1,200,000.00

Evaluation

$4,000,000.00

Subtotal of Operating Expenses

$736,029,000.00

National Service Trust

$206,842,000.00

Salaries and Expenses

$81,737,000.00

Office of the Inspector General

$5,250,000.00

TOTAL

$1,029,858,000.00

State Commission Grants receive a $500K increase. The Explanatory Statement (below) also directs CNCS to provide not less than $7,500,000 for training and technical assistance activities for State Commissions to expand the capacity of current and potential AmeriCorps programs, particularly in underserved areas.

With Congress directing $7.5 million for training funds to commissions and the $500,000 increase to the State Commission Grant, State Commissions received an increase of approximately $2.5 million for FY 2017 above FY 2016. The State Commission funding was the only increase CNCS received in the FY 2017 appropriations legislation.

We are incredibly grateful for the rock solid support and continued investment for service by the Congressional Appropriations Committee leadership and their staff; especially Senators Cochran, Leahy, Blunt, and Murray; and Representatives Frelinghuysen, Lowey, Cole, and DeLauro. We are also grateful to members of Congress who voted for this legislation.

Thank you to our state service commission network who worked so hard this year to educate their members of Congress on the critical need for national and community service in their states. A special thanks to the ASC Public Policy Committee who spent the past year guiding and leading ASC’s policy priorities and outreach efforts.

With FY 2017 funding secured, we all can take a deep breath for the day, but tomorrow we pivot to the uphill battle that is the FY 2018 Appropriations process.


Explanatory Statement for CNCS

CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE

AmeriCorps State and National Grants. The agreement directs the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to issue clear, extensive guidance as part oftheir fiscal year 2018 request for proposals for AmeriCorps grants outlining specifically how grantees can demonstrate and justify the need for operating funds as part of their professional corps grant.

Training and Technical Assistance. Under current law, CNCS has authority to set aside up to 2.5 percent of program funds for evaluation, training, and technical assistance. CNCS is directed to use this authority to provide not less than $7,500,000 for training and technical assistance activities for State Commissions, to expand the capacity of current and potential AmeriCorps programs, particularly in underserved areas.

Innovation, Demonstration, and Assistance Activities. The agreement does not include funding for the Social Innovation Fund.

Here is the bill language for CNCS:

CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE

OPERATING EXPENSES. For necessary expenses for the Corporation for National and Community Service (referred to in this title as CNCS to carry out the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (referred to in this title as 1973 Act) and the National and Community Service Act of 1990 (referred to in this title as 1990 Act), $736,029,000, notwithstanding sections 198B(b)(3), 198S(g), 501(a)(4)(C), and  13 501(a)(4)(F) of the 1990 Act: Provided, That of the amounts provided under this heading: (1) up to 1 percent of program grant funds may be used to defray the costs of conducting grant application reviews, including the use of outside peer reviewers and electronic management of the grants cycle; (2) $16,538,000 shall be available to provide assistance to State commissions on national and community service, under section 126(a) of the 1990 Act and notwithstanding section 501(a)(5)(B) of the 1990 Act; (3)  22 $30,000,000 shall be available to carry out subtitle E of the 1990 Act; and (4) $3,800,000 shall be available for expenses authorized under section 501(a)(4)(F) of the 1990 Act, which, notwithstanding the provisions of section 1033 shall be awarded by CNCS on a competitive basis:  Provided further, That for the purposes of carrying out the 1990 Act, satisfying the requirements in section 4 122(c)(1)(D) may include a determination of need by the local community.

PAYMENT TO THE NATIONAL SERVICE TRUST (INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS). For payment to the National Service Trust established under subtitle D of title I of the 1990 Act,  $206,842,000, to remain available until expended: Provided, That CNCS may transfer additional funds from the amount provided within Operating Expenses allocated to grants under subtitle C of title I of the 1990 Act to the National Service Trust upon determination that such transfer is necessary to support the activities of national service participants and after notice is transmitted to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate: Provided further, That amounts appropriated for or transferred to the National Service Trust may be invested under section 145(b) of the 1990 Act without regard to the requirement to apportion funds  22 under 31 U.S.C. 1513(b).

SALARIES AND EXPENSES.  For necessary expenses of administration as provided under section 501(a)(5) of the 1990 Act and under section 1034 1 504(a) of the 1973 Act, including payment of salaries, authorized travel, hire of passenger motor vehicles, the rental of conference rooms in the District of Columbia, the employment of experts and consultants authorized under 5 U.S.C. 3109, and not to exceed $2,500 for official reception and representation expenses, $81,737,000.

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL.  For necessary expenses of the Office of Inspector  General in carrying out the Inspector General Act of 1978, $5,750,000.

ADMINISTRATIVE PROVISIONS.  SEC. 401. CNCS shall make any significant changes to program requirements, service delivery or policy only through public notice and comment rulemaking. For fiscal 15 year 2017, during any grant selection process, an officer or employee of CNCS shall not knowingly disclose any covered grant selection information regarding such selection, directly or indirectly, to any person other than an officer or employee of CNCS that is authorized by CNCS to receive such information.  SEC. 402. AmeriCorps programs receiving grants under the National Service Trust program shall meet an overall minimum share requirement of 24 percent for the first 3 years that they receive AmeriCorps funding, and thereafter shall meet the overall minimum share requirement as provided in section 2521.60 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations, without regard to the operating costs match requirement in section 121(e) or the member support Federal share limitations in section 140 of the 1990 Act, and subject to partial waiver consistent with section 2521.70 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations.  SEC. 403. Donations made to CNCS under section 196 of the 1990 Act for the purposes of financing programs and operations under titles I and II of the 1973  10 Act or subtitle B, C, D, or E of title I of the 1990 Act  11 shall be used to supplement and not supplant current pro- 12 grams and operations.  SEC. 404. In addition to the requirements in section  146(a) of the 1990 Act, use of an educational award for the purpose described in section 148(a)(4) shall be limited to individuals who are veterans as defined under section  17 101 of the Act.  18 SEC. 405. For the purpose of carrying out section 189D of the 1990 Act  (1) entities described in paragraph (a) of such section shall be considered qualified entities under section 3 of the National Child Protection Act of 1993 (NCPA);  (2) individuals described in such section shall be considered volunteers under section 3 of  NCPA; and (3) State Commissions on National and Community Service established pursuant to section 178  6 of the 1990 Act, are authorized to receive criminal history record information, consistent with Public Law 92544.

ASC Update: FY 2017 Omnibus Spending Bill Passed by Congress – State Commissions Receive $2.5 Million Increase

New Toolkit Highlights How Governors Are Using Service Years to Meet State Needs

At the National Governors Association winter meeting, General Stanley McChrystal presented an exciting new resource on behalf of America’s Service Commissions, Service Year Alliance, and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The theme: expanding service in states!

Screen Shot 2017-04-12 at 10.30.59 AM

The Expanding Service Years in States Toolkit highlights ways in which governors, state legislators, and other elected officials can embrace service years as a strategy to address the needs of their communities.

The toolkit outlines ways in which governors and other elected officials have already leveraged federal as well as state, local, and private resources to expand paid, full-time service opportunities, known as “service years.”  Through service year programs like AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, and YouthBuild, young adults are gaining essential workforce and leadership skills as they tackle pressing problems in their communities.

As a joint effort between ASC, Service Year Alliance, and CNCS, we hope this toolkit will serve as an inspiration and guide for state leaders to expand service year opportunities through diverse funding sources to meet pressing economic and social needs.

“At a time of social need and fiscal constraint, governors are increasingly turning to AmeriCorps and other service year programs as a smart, cost-effective strategy to address challenges in their states,” said Kim Mansaray, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “As the federal agency for service and volunteering, CNCS is pleased to join Service Year Alliance and America’s Service Commissions to share the many creative ways governors are using service years to improve lives and communities.”

In the words of ASC CEO Kaira Esgate, “Over the course of the past 20 years, state service commissions have partnered with governors and other elected officials to demonstrate that service is a cost-effective strategy to address both emerging and persistent community needs in education, health and human needs, public safety, disaster preparedness and response, as well as environmental stewardship. Through the creation of service years via programs such as AmeriCorps, elected officials and state service commissions provide real-life educational and professional development opportunities for the next generation of leaders in their states.”

The examples shared in this toolkit serve as concrete examples of how elected officials, no matter what their political affiliation, have advanced service strategies in partnership with their state service commissions. ASC is pleased to join the Service Year Alliance and CNCS in highlighting the work of state service commissions to expand service years so that every young person who wishes to do so has the opportunity to serve in a meaningful and impactful manner.

“States have long played a leadership role in national service for good reasons,” notes Shirley Sagawa, President & CEO of Service Year Alliance. “Despite decades of success, national service remains an underutilized strategy. This document offers examples of ways that governors and other state leaders have innovated through service, tapping a variety of funding streams to make a service year experience a powerful option for young adults in their states.”

Download and view the full toolkit here.

New Toolkit Highlights How Governors Are Using Service Years to Meet State Needs

Maryland Volunteer Generation Fund boosts impact of volunteers in addressing critical community needs

Maryland VGF

This April, in honor of National Volunteer Month, we feature stories of how volunteers are impacting states and the ways in which state service commissions are leveraging the power of volunteers to meet critical local needs through their Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) activities. Learn more at statecommissions.org/volunteer-generation-fund.

MARYLAND. The Maryland Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism (GOSV), the state service commission in the “Old Line State,” is a critical part of the Governor’s Office of Community Initiatives. Through the use of federal dollars, it funds 19 AmeriCorps State programs in 2016-2017 program year to support disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families in Maryland.

Established in 1993, the office advocates for effective volunteer program management and recognizes volunteer service across the state on behalf of the Governor of Maryland. Each year, over 200,000 Maryland volunteers are recognized by the Governor’s Office through activities and services provided by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism.

The Maryland GOSV also funds ten volunteer connector organizations and Maryland Volunteer Centers through the Volunteer Generation Fund to increase their ability to recruit and retain volunteers in diverse opportunities, as well as increase the organizations’ usage of effective volunteer management practices. The ten Volunteer Generation Fund grantees then utilize these funds to boost the impact of volunteers in addressing critical community needs.

Below is one story written by Maryland Commissioner Krista Gilmore of Cecil County Department of Community Services, who serves as the volunteer and community resource coordinator and has seen firsthand the impact VGF funds are having on Cecil County:

 

“Reflections on Cecil Cares and Two Exceptional Community Volunteers”

By Krista Gilmore, Commissioner, Maryland Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism

Each September, Volunteer Cecil sponsors Cecil Cares, which is a countywide day of service. We asked two of the members of the Cecil Cares Planning Team to share their thoughts on their involvement with the 2016 – and now 2017 – project, and here is what they had to say:

“I would like to start by saying how hard it is to put on paper my excitement for Cecil Cares 2016. I am very passionate about giving back and helping our community. To be a member of the planning team is a huge honor. Last year I, along with other volunteers, helped out at The Fair Hill Nature Center. We worked hard raking, planting, painting, and I had the pleasure of meeting new and wonderful people of our beautiful county (all while helping spruce up the gorgeous Fair Hill Nature Center!). I am very excited for Cecil Cares 2017!! I believe it is a great way to bring our community together for one day to give back. We worked hard, laughed and joked. I went home feeling great not just for doing a good deed but because of all the wonderful new neighbors that I met on that day!”

“Thanks for a successful Cecil Cares Project. As a unique community service project for nonprofits, volunteers and businesses, the work day was exceptional. First, I enjoyed networking, brainstorming and working with a variety of organizations throughout Cecil County who organized, promoted and secured the projects for our day of service. Next, partnering with businesses, religious organizations, schools, county government and nonprofit groups provided a connection for everyone. Finally, as a member of the Cecil Cares committee, a board member of the Fair Hill Nature Center, and a member of St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church, I had a front row seat regarding the preparation of this event. The church was a sponsor for one of the projects, and provided a community of volunteers to participate during our day of service to Cecil County. I can’t wait until next year, as we grow this legacy throughout Cecil County!”

In addition to our work on Cecil Cares, one of our goals for Volunteer Cecil is to celebrate volunteerism, and to tell the stories that are often overlooked. We look for people and events to showcase even when they are not included in our formal VGF reports. Two local residents were recently honored for their service: Ralph Young was inducted into the Maryland Senior Citizens Hall of Fame, and Wilma Clay celebrated 25 years of service as a Home Delivered Meal volunteer! We are proud to know them [and] to highlight their service.

To learn more about Maryland’s Volunteer Generation Fund initiative and programming, visit gosv.maryland.gov/our-volunteer-generation-fund-grantees/.

Maryland Volunteer Generation Fund boosts impact of volunteers in addressing critical community needs

Volunteer Mississippi engages 96,000 in volunteer service thanks to Volunteer Generation Fund

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This April, in honor of National Volunteer Month, we’ll be featuring stories of how volunteers are impacting states and the ways in which state service commissions are leveraging the power of volunteers to meet critical local needs through their Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) activities. Learn more at statecommissions.org/volunteer-generation-fund.

MISSISSIPPI. The mission of Volunteer Mississippi, the state commission on service and volunteerism in the Magnolia State, is to to engage and support Mississippians of all ages and backgrounds in service to their communities. Established in 1994 as the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service (MCVS), Volunteer Mississippi also administers the state’s volunteer center network with support from the Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF), helping mobilize volunteers in support of state and local priorities.

Last year, thanks to Volunteer Generation Fund support from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the Mississippi Volunteer Center Network recruited or managed an overall total of 96,550 individual and group volunteers that served 875,246 hours for a wide range of causes throughout the state. Of the total number of volunteers, 51,981 were new volunteers who served 472,271 hours.

In addition, capacity building trainings were offered to 1,362 nonprofit participants — resulting in 167 nonprofit partners implementing 3 or more effective volunteer management practices.  The largest number of volunteers were active with programs that served Children and Family Services & Advocacy, Education, Hunger and Homelessness, and Disaster Services. Volunteer Centers hosted food, clothing, necessities and toy drives, and recruited volunteers to feed the homeless, build Habitat houses, read to children, and clean up parks and waterways. Volunteer Centers planned events and engaged 11,708 volunteers in projects for Family Volunteer Day in November; Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in January; National Volunteer Week and Global Youth Service Day in April; 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance in September and Make a Difference Day in October, in addition to regional days of service like Day of Caring, Alternative Spring Break, the Big Event, and The Cotton Festival.

This year, 2017 is starting off strong with more than 31,000 volunteer engagements reported – 1,642 of those from Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service educational events, parades, breakfasts and community projects. Volunteer Centers around the state will be recognizing volunteers in the month of April with celebration dinners and lunches, and press conferences. Several Global Youth Service Day events are scheduled, with Volunteer Starkville as the lead agency this year.

To learn more about Volunteer Mississippi’s VGF program and subgrantees, visit volunteermississippi.org/.

Volunteer Mississippi engages 96,000 in volunteer service thanks to Volunteer Generation Fund