Our vision for Washington State is vibrant and caring neighborhoods and communities strengthened and sustained through service and volunteerism.
We seek to expand the ethic of service throughout Washington State by inviting citizens of all ages and backgrounds to contribute their time and talents to strengthen and promote service and volunteerism as strategies for building healthy communities.
Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service
The nation's mayors are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to address city challenges. By unleashing the power of citizens, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs have a positive and lasting impact – making our cities better places to live. To spotlight the impact of national service and thank those who serve, mayors across the country and the state of Washington will participate in the second-annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service on April 1, 2014. Participating mayors will issue Proclamations, hold public events, and use traditional and social media to highlight the value and impact of national service to the nation's cities.
Last year, 832 mayors representing nearly 100 million citizens participated in the inaugural Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. In 2014, 1,542 mayors have already signed on — including 15 from Washington: Arlington, Bellingham, Bremerton, Duvall, Ellensburg, Federal Way, Lacey, Longview, Mukilteo, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma Vancouver, Wenatchee and Yakima. By shining the spotlight on the impact of service and thanking those who serve, mayors hope to inspire more residents to get involved in their communities.
Leadership Forum for National Service Executives
Since 2001, the Washington Commission for National and Community Service has partnered with the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs to offer a unique learning opportunity designed specifically for AmeriCorps and Senior Corps program staff. Students complete a three-course sequence leading to a certificate in non-profit management. Registration is open until May 1, 2014, for the Performance-Based Budget Management course being offered the week of June 23-27, 2014.
Washington Volunteers Rank 9th in the Country; Seattle Ranks 4th
Volunteers in Washington demonstrated their commitment to improving their communities in a variety of ways last year and ranked 9th among top states, according to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report released on December 16, 2013. More than 1.95 million Washingtonians (35% of the state's population) served 254 million total hours, which is valued at $5.8 billion. Seattle ranked 4th among the 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas and was first in the young adult category with 32.6% of young adults ages 16-24 volunteering. The VCLA data is part of the most comprehensive study of volunteering and civic engagement across the country. The annual report is issued by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in partnership with the National Council on Citizenship, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bureau for Labor Statistics as part of CNCS' efforts to expand the reach and impact of America's volunteers. To view the full report, visit: http://www.volunteeringinamerica.gov/.
AmeriCorps Kicks Off Year:
A Call to Service
On October 18, 2013 an enthusiastic crowd of 800 AmeriCorps members gathered at the Seattle Center to pledge their personal commitment to "get things done" for America during their year of service in Washington State. Speakers at the event were former or returning AmeriCorps members sharing their experiences and the impact serving has had in their lives. Following the swearing in ceremony, 84 members participated in an outdoor service project organized by EarthCorps at Southwest Queen Anne Greenbelt near downtown Seattle and 300 members received disaster preparedness training offered by Tracy Connelly from the City of Seattle. During their service year, AmeriCorps members' efforts will focus on disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families.
AmeriCorps turns 20!
Governor Jay Inslee issued a proclamation designating September 21 as the 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps. Twenty years ago, during his first year serving in the U.S. Congress, then-Congressman Inslee cast his vote for the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 which created AmeriCorps. Since its inception, Washington State has received a total of $212.2 million in AmeriCorps program funding and 21,103 AmeriCorps members have had the opportunity to serve in the Evergreen State.
Ambassadors of Change and Action
Each generation of Americans embraces the belief that no problem is too big for a determined group of people to conquer. This challenge is central to national service, which gives thousands of Americans a chance to improve the lives of citizens burdened by circumstance or calamity. During the 2011-2012 program year, the Washington Commission for National and Community Service funded 14 AmeriCorps programs that supported 1,585 AmeriCorps members – ambassadors of change and action. As these members moved communities forward, they also learned valuable work skills, earned money for education, and developed an appreciation for citizenship. Please read the 2012 Annual Report to learn about the statewide accomplishments, our special initiatives, and stories of service in Washington State.
Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment
Can volunteering be the difference-maker in your next interview? New, ground-breaking research from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provides evidence of a relationship between volunteering and finding employment. "Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment" provides the most compelling empirical research to date establishing an association between volunteering and employment in the United States.
A few key findings:
- Volunteers have a 27 percent higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers
- Volunteers without a high school diploma have a 51 percent higher likelihood of finding employment
- Volunteers living in rural areas have a 55 percent higher likelihood of finding employment
Links to additional resources:
Are you ready to make a difference in your life and in the lives of those around you? We’re looking for heroes – 1,000 heroes who want to join the ranks of more than 75,000 individuals who are currently getting things done for their community and country through AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is a real-life education and work experience wrapped into one.
Whether you’re tutoring children; building homes; rehabilitating trails and streams; recruiting volunteers; or participating in any of the hundreds of other goal-oriented AmeriCorps projects, you will see results and know that you made a difference. As a member, you’ll learn teamwork, leadership, and responsibility; but perhaps the greatest lesson is learning the importance of incorporating service into your life. AmeriCorps offers a variety of both full-time and part-time service opportunities for anyone who is willing to do something special, something exciting, something heroic. Learn more...