Minneapolis, Minn. — On April 4, 2017, more than 83 mayors and county leaders across the State of Minnesota recognized the impact AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs have made on their local communities. Given the many social needs facing communities – and the fiscal constraints facing government at all levels – cities and counties are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to meet local needs.
The fifth annual Mayor, County, and Tribal Recognition Day for National Service was a nationwide bipartisan effort to recognize the positive impact of national service, thank those who serve, and encourage citizens to give back to their communities. Across the country, 4,520 elected officials representing more than 194 million Americans participated.
The initiative is led by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other volunteer programs, in partnership with the National League of Cities, the National Association of Counties (NACo), and Cities of Service.
“We are proud to be working with city and county leaders across America as we continue to strengthen communities through national service,” said Kim Mansaray, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Local leaders get things done and they know firsthand the value of national service in tackling problems. I commend the participating mayors and county leaders for working with us to improve lives and strengthen communities through national service.”
In Minnesota, the effort is coordinated in partnership with ServeMinnesota, the Governor-appointed state service commission for AmeriCorps, which is integral to the $52 million in national service funding to Minnesota nonprofit and other community-based organizations each year.
“National service shows the best of the American spirit – people turning toward problems instead of away, working together to find community solutions,” said Audrey Suker, CEO of ServeMinnesota, the state’s Commission on National and Community Service. “As we thank national service members for their commitment, let us all pledge to do our part to strengthen our state and country through service and volunteering.
Each year, more than 14,000 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members are “getting things done” for Minnesota – building safer, stronger, and healthier communities. At more than 3,000 locations throughout the state, these everyday heroes support veterans and military families, respond to disasters, assist the elderly, tutor and mentor children, restore the environment, increase economic opportunity, and recruit and manage volunteers.
Participating mayors and county officials visited AmeriCorps and Senior Corps service sites, joined in service projects, presented proclamations, and hosted thank you events recognizing the contributions of national service. Other officials will participate throughout April with proclamations, presentations at local council and commission meetings, or visiting AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members in action. A full list of participating mayors and county leaders by state can be found here. By shining the spotlight on the impact of service and thanking those who serve, local officials hope to inspire more residents to get involved in their communities.
ServeMinnesota is a catalyst for positive social change and community service, working with AmeriCorps members and community partners to meet critical needs in Minnesota. As a nonprofit organization, it improves the lives of Minnesotans by offering life-changing service opportunities to thousands of individuals who focus on education, affordable housing, employment, or the environment. Because of its strong partnerships with private and public funders, including the Minnesota Department of Education, ServeMinnesota has created two innovative strategic initiatives, Minnesota Reading Corps and Minnesota Math Corps, that are working to close the achievement gap and help struggling students become successful learners. Combining the people power of AmeriCorps with research-based strategies, ServeMinnesota addresses the most intractable problems and shares its proven practices nationally. For more information, visit www.serveminnesota.org.
Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.