Our Senior Programs Will Be Eliminated Without Your Help!
Since 1965 Impact Broward has been the local sponsor of the national Senior Corps programs in Broward County including: Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion and Retired and Senior Volunteer programs funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Last year our volunteers provided over 259,390 hours of volunteer service in Broward County by tutoring 1,200 children in Title1 schools; providing supportive and respite services to 456 elderly, disabled adults and caregivers, peer support to veterans and pro-bono consulting services to nonprofit organizations to increase their capacity to operate more efficiently and effectively.
Disregarding overwhelming public support and eight decades of strong bipartisan legislative support for national service, the Administration’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget calls for the elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers national service programs including AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.
National service is a powerful institution that unites Americans and restores important values of patriotism and civic duty. The elimination of the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps would be a devastating blow to the tens of thousands of young Americans who gain valuable job experience and training while providing essential service to their communities, and to the hundreds of thousands of seniors who serve their neighbors and communities.
The impact would cripple the more than 1,100 faith-based and community organizations like Teach For America, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities USA and The American Red Cross, that rely on AmeriCorps members to serve children and families as tutors and mentors, respond to natural disasters, and take care of military families in large and small communities all across our nation. It would put the 80,000 people who serve in AmeriCorps annually out of work. At a time when the price of college is astronomical and so many Americans need jobs, AmeriCorps helps young people pay for college, prepares them for the workforce, and helps the unemployed find work.
It would eliminate the roles of 270,000 Senior Corpsmembers, all 55 years of age or older, who help the elderly live independently, mentor youth in our rural schools, and manage volunteers after natural disasters. And it would hurt our nation’s veterans. AmeriCorps and Senior Corps serve more than 750,000 veterans and military families, and 23,000 veterans serve in these programs, applying the skills they gained in the military to tackle problems here at home.
A study by economists at Columbia University found that for every dollar invested in National Service programs, there is a $3.95 return to society in terms of higher earnings, increased output and other community-wide benefits. CNCS grantees have to match each federal dollar with private sector, philanthropic or foundation funds. It is especially important to keep in mind that National Service programs are managed locally by neighborhood, community and faith-based institutions that lead bottom-up citizen-led strategies, not top down government solutions. Additionally, at a time when we are struggling to find answers to the challenge of college student debt, National Service programs like AmeriCorps reward responsibility with an earned post-service education scholarship.
Rather than costing taxpayers money, national service saves federal dollars. By matching or exceeding federal support with private sector dollars, national service programs lessen the strain on the federal government through partnerships with more than 1,100 community and faith-based nonprofits. Studies show that national service programs generate a two-to-one return for the taxpayer and a nearly four-to-one return for society in terms of higher earnings, increased output and other community-wide benefits. For every $10 in federal money appropriated, another $15 is separately raised from private sources to fund AmeriCorps partnerships across the country.
National Service is a rare concept that unites Americans, with remarkable potential implications for bipartisanship, and irrefutable benefits to our country. Please contact your elected officials at http://bit.ly/2mdm2CN to voice your concerns.
CEO & President