WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) and Chris Coons (D-DE), Senate Co-Chairs of the National Service Congressional Caucus, alongside Vice Chairs Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) and U.S. Representatives Co-Chairs Garret Graves (R-LA-06) and Doris Matsui (D-CA-07), released a resolution in celebration of AmeriCorps Week to honor the invaluable contributions of AmeriCorps members and alumni. The caucus also celebrated its newly expanded bipartisan leadership team, as Senators Heinrich and Capito and Congressman Graves took on new roles. Every year, AmeriCorps enrolls more than 200,000 individuals who currently serve in 40,000 communities across America, totaling more than one million alumni since the program’s founding in 1994. The National Service Congressional Caucus celebrates the contributions of AmeriCorps members and alumni and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers across the country.
“AmeriCorps members do everything from empowering students in the classroom to supporting veterans transitioning to civilian life,” said Dr. Cassidy. “They make their communities better. This resolution honors their work in services to those who need a helping hand.”
“The roots of our nation’s democracy aren’t in the halls of Congress, but rather in friends, neighbors, and complete strangers rolling up their sleeves and working together to improve communities across the country. There is no finer example of that than the 200,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in the United States working with our veterans, teaching our kids, and improving public health,” said Senator Coons. “As Co-Chair of the National Service Caucus, I’m delighted to celebrate AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps week, and I look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues to strengthen AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps Seniors, and other national service programs.”
“National service is a critical and cost-effective approach to solving problems. Early in my career, I spent the better part of a year working for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an AmeriCorps member. That experience taught me that there is no venture more rewarding than working to improve the lives of those around us. As we celebrate AmeriCorps Week, I’m proud to be named as Vice Chair of the National Service Congressional Caucus and look forward to working with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to provide a new generation of Americans with meaningful opportunities to serve their country and leave their mark,” said Senator Heinrich.
“Just a few days ago, I was proud to meet AmeriCorps volunteers at Grow Ohio Valley and at Wheeling Heritage. Whether helping grow and develop our Heritage Areas or reading to kids through the Energy Express program, AmeriCorps volunteers put in time and effort to make real, lasting impacts on lives in communities across West Virginia,” said Senator Capito. “I am proud to join my colleagues in leading this effort to celebrate the good work AmeriCorps does to serve others and improve the lives of so many.”
“Across our nation, AmeriCorps members have stepped up to serve their communities – bridging divides and symbolizing a helping hand in times of need,” said Congresswoman Matsui. “Every day, these dedicated young Americans provide tangible, community-focused resources that show us just how essential these programs are. I am proud to join my National Service Caucus colleagues in celebrating all of their hard work and excited to have Congressman Graves as my new Co-Chair in the House. This spirit of service is a crucial part of our national identity, and we must continue to fight for the resources necessary to support this invaluable work.”
“Our national service volunteers are a great investment: For every $1 invested, service organizations can leverage $17 in private funding to help improve our communities. In exchange, our volunteers gain critical experience that sets them on a path to success and a lifetime of service across our country,” said Congressman Graves. “Every day, volunteers help folks recover from disasters, receive an education, improve their neighborhoods, and break the poverty and government-dependence cycle. It’s a win-win for Louisiana and America, and I’m proud to join the National Service Congressional Caucus as a Co-Chair.”
“National service unites us and builds shared purpose in our communities. As our country celebrates the lasting impact of generations of AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers during AmeriCorps Week, I am especially grateful for the bipartisan leaders of the National Service Congressional Caucus who make their service possible,” said Michael D. Smith, CEO of AmeriCorps. “Thank you to Senators Coons, Cassidy, Capito, and Heinrich and Representatives Matsui and Graves for their efforts to make national service an indispensable part of the American experience and reducing barriers to serve.”
“In communities across the country, AmeriCorps members of every background are vital boots on the ground, providing critically needed support to food banks, homeless shelters, health centers, schools, youth organizations, veterans facilities, and other nonprofit and faith-based organizations,” said AnnMaura Connolly, President of Voices for National Service. “As we celebrate AmeriCorps Week, we are deeply grateful to Senators Chris Coons, Bill Cassidy, Shelley Moore Capito, and Martin Heinrich and Representatives Doris Matsui and Garret Graves for their leadership of the National Service Congressional Caucus. We are especially thankful for their commitment to AmeriCorps, a commonsense solution we can all agree should be expanded and strengthened.”
“The National Service Caucus serves as a critical bipartisan voice helping to educate Congress on the importance of national service and its ability to bring communities together while addressing key needs. On behalf of state and territorial service commissions, we applaud Senators Chris Coons, Bill Cassidy, Martin Heinrich, and Shelley Moore Capito, and Representatives Garret Graves and Doris Matsui, for their efforts in growing the bipartisan support and reach of the caucus in the 118th Congress,” said Kaira Esgate, CEO of America’s Service Commissions. “This is an exciting announcement to cap AmeriCorps Week. We look forward to working with the caucus on ensuring AmeriCorps and our states and territories have adequate resources to support opportunities to serve in AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors, and volunteer in our communities on projects that develop new pathways to in-demand careers, support veterans and their families, recover from natural disasters and build resilience, and help students make educational gains.”
“AmeriCorps Week is a time to celebrate the thousands of AmeriCorps members across the country and all that they contribute to our country. These past several years have proven how important giving back to one’s community is, and AmeriCorps members were and remain at the forefront of helping their communities. This resolution is a testament to all that AmeriCorps does for our nation,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, President and CEO of the Corps Network. “I want to thank Senators Coons and Cassidy and Representative Matsui for being tireless supporters of AmeriCorps and the Corps movement. I am also excited about the expanding leadership of the National Service Congressional Caucus. Senators Heinrich and Capito and Representative Graves bring years of experience to the caucus, and all have excellent service and Conservation Corps programs located in their states and congressional districts. I thank the entire National Service Congressional Caucus for their support and salute all current and former AmeriCorps members for their service to our country.”