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.
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.
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 throughtout the year. For more information or to register your project or find a volunteer opportunity, visit United We Serve.
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:
First Lady Trudi Inslee's Pea Patch
On May 21, 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 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.
Volunteering Reaches Five Year High - Washington Breaks Into Top Ten
Washington's volunteers demonstrated their commitment to improving their communities and ranked 9th among the 50 states, according to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report. In Washington State, 1.83 million volunteers served more than 223 million total hours valued at $4.6 billion.
To read the full report, visit: Volunteering in America.
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...