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Vermont Mayors Honor AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Members and Celebrate Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

April 7, 2015
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                 802.735.7962

Vermont Mayors Honor AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Members and Celebrate Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service

Burlington, VT – The Vermont Mayors Coalition today honored AmeriCorps and other service members and highlighted the value of their national service to their communities through a joint proclamation and during events in Burlington and Montpelier. Vermont’s eight mayors, represented by Winooski Mayor Seth Leonard and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger at an event at the Visiting Nurse Association (VNA) Family Room in Burlington and represented by Montpelier Mayor John Hollar and Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon at an event at the Basement Teen Center in Montpelier, joined more than 1,800 mayors from around the nation offering similar recognition of their cities’ service members during the third annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, a nationwide bipartisan effort to:

  • Recognize the positive impact of national service on our cities;
  • Thank AmeriCorps and Senior Corps participants who serve; and
  • Encourage citizens to give back to their communities.    
     

“I am grateful for the dedication and commitment of Burlington’s AmeriCorps members, who are helping make our City stronger, safer, healthier, and more equitable,” said Mayor Weinberger. “National service demonstrates the best of the American spirit – people turning toward problems instead of away, working together to find community solutions. Today, as we thank national service members for their commitment, let us all pledge to do our part to strengthen our City through service and volunteering.”

“One of Winooski’s AmeriCorps members indicated to me that he entered into the program ‘to make a difference,’ said Mayor Leonard. “It is hard to look around Winooski without quickly identifying all the areas where AmeriCorps members have played an important role in many of our successes. They have helped to inspire and mobilize our community toward amazing achievements. We see measurable AmeriCorps member impact in our daily services like our youth programming, and equally in the results of long-term projects like the development of our dog park. The Winooski community benefits every day from the investment of these service-minded individuals, and we are immensely grateful for their work. I am pleased to say our AmeriCorps members have reached that goal of ‘making a difference,’ and they continue to inspire us all to work for the betterment of our community.”

“The Family Room is honored to be a trusted space for the New American and refugee populations of Burlington and Winooski, and part of that reputation is owed to the work of We All Belong AmeriCorps members who help make our programs a welcoming, inclusive place for all who walk through our doors,” said Samantha Stevens, Program Manager of the VNA Family Room.

The nation’s mayors increasingly are turning to national service and volunteerism as a cost-effective strategy to tackle challenges in their communities. Key partners in Vermont’s service efforts include:

  • The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through AmeriCorps and other programs; and
  • SerVermont, a State of Vermont commission that administers funding to the state’s AmeriCorps service programs, AmeriCorps*VISTA program, and promotes, supports, and recognizes volunteerism and community service throughout Vermont.

Vermont has engaged in national service for more than 20 years to make our state stronger. Beginning in 1993 and continuing to today, national service resources have been leveraged to address our state’s toughest challenges, including poverty and racism. 

This year, Vermont has over 200 AmeriCorps members serving throughout the state. Seventy-five of those members serve in the mayors’ communities. In addition, over 1,200 Senior Corps members serve in Vermont, with 375 Senior Corps members serving in the mayors’ communities.

“National service members continue to play a critical role in addressing Vermont’s biggest challenges” said Phil Kolling, Executive Director of SerVermont. “Our state is stronger and getting more done because of the efforts of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members. Unified support from our mayors demonstrates that the service provided to their communities by national service members makes a difference. ” 

Vermont’s national service programs include four AmeriCorps State programs: Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Youth Development Corps at the Washington County Youth Services Bureau, the Northeast Kingdom Initiative at Lyndon State College, and We All Belong at Burlington’s Community and Economic Development Office.  Vermont also hosts the Vermont Youth Tomorrow and SerVermont AmeriCorps*VISTA Programs. Senior Corps programs in Vermont include Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and Retired Senior Volunteer Program, all operating statewide out of multiple agencies. AmeriCorps members serve for one year and receive a $12,500 living stipend and a $5,750 education award that can be used to pay for future higher education or qualified school loans. National service members are all ages and perform many different types of service, from physical labor and direct service with the community to behind-the-scenes assistance to increase organizational efficiency.

SerVermont and all these national service programs receive funding from the CNCS. For more information about Vermont’s national service programs, please visit the Vermont Service Profile page on the CNCS website.

*Please see attached proclamation.
 

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