Washington Ranks 9th for Volunteering
Washington state ranks 9th among the 50 states with 34.6% of Washingtonians volunteering 228.9 million hours of service valued at $5.1 billion. In addition, Seattle ranks 4th among the 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas.
A new federal study shows that 1 in 4 Americans volunteered through an organization and two-thirds helped their neighbors last year. The annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America research, released by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the National Conference on Citizenship, shows that service to others continues to be a priority for millions of Americans. This year's report found that 62.6 million adults (25.4 percent) volunteered through an organization in 2013. Altogether, Americans volunteered nearly 7.7 billion hours last year. The estimated value of this volunteer service is nearly $173 billion, based on the Independent Sector's estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour.
20th Anniversary AmeriCorps Celebration
September 12, 2014 was a significant milestone in national service history - the 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps, boots on the ground. The nation marked this historic occasion with a simultaneous, nationwide swearing-in ceremony of the next class of AmeriCorps members led by Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer, President Obama and President Clinton. Serve WA hosted a statewide swearing-in on the north steps of the Capitol building. Approximately 650 AmeriCorps members representing 30 programs were in attendance. AmeriCorps alumni speakers included: State Representative Jessyn Farrell, Miss Seafair Jasmine Goodwin and Serve WA Chair Nicole Trimble. Also in attendance were current and former commissioners, FEMA Corps, Peace Corps, VISTA, Linh Thai with Congressman Adam Smith, and First Lady Trudi Inslee who led the AmeriCorps pledge. To view all event photos, visit: http://www.lssphotos.com/americorps
Name changed to Serve Washington
On July 1, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee was surrounded by AmeriCorps members, commissioners and staff as he signed Executive Order #14-06 which changed the name of the Washington Commission for National and Community Service to Serve Washington. In addition, the executive order restructured membership composition and tasked Serve Washington with identifying new policies or practices that will lead to the expansion of national service opportunities in Washington and support the President's Task Force on Expanding National Service. To view photos from the signing ceremony, visit Serve Washington's Facebook page or @ServeWA on Twitter.
Washington Health Benefits Exchange Announces Special Enrollment Period for AmeriCorps Members
July 1, 2014 - Serve Washington is pleased to announce AmeriCorps members (and other national service participants) residing in Washington State who begin service or end service can now access healthcare on the Washington Health Benefits Exchange through a special enrollment period. The full text of this special enrollment period and associated FAQs can be found on the WA Health Benefits Exchange website. Members should carefully follow directions listed under PART I: Those beginning service in or losing coverage through AmeriCorps, VISTA, or National Civilian Community Corps.
Gov. Inslee Announces Major AmeriCorps Grant to Washington Organizations
On May 8, 2014, Governor Jay Inslee announced that Washington received $15.5 million in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Of the total amount, $14.6 million will be directed to the Washington Commission for National and Community Service to fund five programs and 1,099 AmeriCorps members.
On the national level, the CNCS announced $205 million in grants to support 43,000 AmeriCorps members on the ground to tackle critical challenges in communities across the U.S. For more information, click on the link to the CNCS press release.
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.
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 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.
Governor Proclaims 9/11 a Day of Service and Remembrance
Governor Jay Inslee proclaims September 11th a Day of Service and Remembrance in Washington, and calls upon the people of Washington to honor the lives and memories of those lost through participation in community service and remembrance ceremonies on this day and through out the year. For more information or to register your project or find a volunteer opportunity, visit United We Serve.
First Lady Trudi Inslee's Pea Patch
On May 21, 2013, Governor Jay Inslee joined First Lady Trudi Inslee, Ed Hume, Washington Service Corps AmeriCorps Members and VISTA Volunteer, Commission staff, and other community volunteers for planting vegetables at the Governor's Mansion. The First Lady partnered with gardening expert Ed Hume as lead designer and to guide volunteers on planting techniques. Volunteer groups will play a role in maintaining and harvesting the garden. Food grown in the beds will be donated to the Thurston County Food Bank.
Volunteer Appreciation Week
To recognize Washington's 44 recipients of the 2013 Governor's Volunteer Service Award, First Lady Trudi Inslee hosted the ninth annual ceremony on April 25, 2013 at the Governor's Mansion. Acting Executive Director Debbie Schuffenhauer joined the First Lady to present the awards to honorees. The ceremony also included Bill Basl, National Director of AmeriCorps, Corporation for National and Community Service and Nicole Trimble, Chair of the Washington Commission for National and Community Service. The recipients were nominated by AmeriCorps programs, Citizen Corps Councils, Senior Corps and volunteer centers from across the state. See the program for a description on each recipient. You can see additional photos of the event at Serve Washington's Facebook page.
WCC Deploys to New York
In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, the Washington Conservation Corps sent 48 AmeriCorps members and staff to New York City to assist with community recovery efforts. Hurricane Sandy has caused at least $10 billion in damages, killed 45 people and left millions without power in more than a dozen eastern states and Washington, D.C.
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Washington State Service Summit
Four hundred volunteer leaders and service champions from public, private, and governmental organizations joined Governor Gregoire on September 9, 2009 for an important dialogue about utilizing service and volunteerism as strategies to solve critical community issues. The Washington State Service Summit set the stage for ongoing cross-sector dialogues that will collaboratively shape the future of Washington’s service movement.
The Washington State Service Summit, the first of its kind in the nation since the Kennedy Serve America Act was signed into law on April 21, 2009, provides an opportunity to bring leaders from all sectors of our state together to discuss the utilization of service and volunteerism as strategies to address critical community needs and to collaboratively guide the future of the service movement. Participants will shape our State Service Plan and discuss how new partnerships can be developed and supported to fully utilize the talents of all Washingtonians.
Veterans Corps (Vet Corps)
On September 10, 2009 Governor Gregoire and Kristin McSwain, Chief of Program Operations for the Corporation for National and Community Service, administered the oath of service to 27 AmeriCorps members serving in the Veterans Corps. Newly authorized by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, Washington is the first state in the nation to implement this new initiative which will tap the knowledge, skills and abilities of veterans by engaging them in AmeriCorps national service positions to help other veterans and soldiers. VetCorps members will also work to meet the needs of military families while a family member is deployed.