AmeriCorps Members Serve One Million Hours

By:  Thomas Vilsack
Date: Dec. 29, 2005
Location: Des Moines, IA


AmeriCorps Members Serve One Million Hours

The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service announced a major milestone for national service. This week, Iowa AmeriCorps members broke the 1 million hour mark of direct service to the state of Iowa since they began keeping such records in 2000.

AmeriCorps was established in 1994 to engage Americans of all ages and backgrounds in community-based service. AmeriCorps programs are locally driven and community based with a mission to "Get Things Done" through direct service, strengthening communities by uniting individuals and institutions in common efforts, and developing members through service teaching job skills and invaluable experience.

"Volunteering is a core value of our close-knit communities and a key to keeping Iowa strong and secure," Governor Vilsack said. "Iowans who commit to service contribute significantly to our quality of life. They provide countless opportunities for those wanting good-paying jobs, they provide health security for our most vulnerable, and they help uphold Iowa's responsibility of making sure that children grow up with a solid educational background."

The efforts of over 1700 AmeriCorps members were combined to reach the 1 million hours. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in conjunction with the Independent Sector Coalition, estimates that one hour of a volunteer's time is worth $13.36 in Iowa. That means Iowa AmeriCorps members have contributed more than $13 million worth of service to the state since 2000.

In exchange for one year of service, AmeriCorps members receive an education award to help finance their college education, vocational training, or to pay back student loans. Since 1994, more than 2,700 Iowa residents have qualified for more than $9.5 million in stipends for higher education.

For more information on AmeriCorps or to find out how you can get involved, visit www.volunteeriowa.org, or call the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service toll-free at 1-800-308-5987.

http://www.governor.state.ia.us/news/2005/december/december2905_1.html

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