Act Now (well, on your personal time): Save AmeriCorps!

AmeriCorps is on the chopping block. Our jobs, livelihood, nine-to-five – gone. The program – no, opportunity – that deploys more than 75,000 dedicated people who support our most vulnerable in this country is threatened.

But, this is why we got into this work, is it not? To take a stand about what we care about, put our values into action, love our neighbors and love our planet?

Remember that cutting AmeriCorps is not because it is not effective and is NOT because your work is not important. You are important, your work is important, you are valued. We know this is hard, but be resilient and let this motivate you to work harder.

This threat to AmeriCorps is a misguided budget cut. A power move. But no matter how worried we are about our role, this threat is not about AmeriCorps members, it is about who or what we are in service to. We’ve spent months, maybe years, pouring ourselves into our work. Building relationships with people, restoring lands, developing processes for systems change. All the while collecting stories and numbers about our work.

So, don’t be silenced. Be loud.

As the Seattle AmeriCorps Collaborative, our mission is to ensure that every AmeriCorps member’s year of service is as fulfilling and impactful as possible; leveraging the talents, knowledge and resources of a connected and service minded community. We are nothing without you. So let’s leverage our resources and be loud about this budget cut to AmeriCorps and other federal programs that support our most vulnerable neighbors and protect our planet. We know there are many AmeriCorps members in many different organizations. We believe that if your organization publicly states why AmeriCorps is important to them, we will pool our resources to have greater advocacy about this issue in the Seattle area.

We’ve created this email template for you to send to your supervisor, Executive Director, or marketing/public relations department that urges them to take a stand about saving AmeriCorps on social media. Send it today – from your personal email, on your own time – make it personal, and spread the word to others who might do the same. Don’t forget to call your Congressional representatives and talk about the other programs on the chopping block you want saved. Now is the time to be loud and proud about your role and your impact. This isn’t about saving your job, it’s about saving the capacity AmeriCorps builds for our nonprofits to serve vulnerable people in need of services. Know your power and use it.

 “Participation, your civic duty, is more than just voting… Only you can make sure the democracy you inherit is as good as we know it can be. But it requires your dedicated, and informed, and engaged citizenship. And that citizenship is a harder, higher road to take, but it leads to a better place. It’s how we built this country—together.”

– President Obama

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at seattleaccollaborative@gmail.com.

— Email Template —

Dear NAME,

I am writing to you because I heard today that the President’s proposed budget will cut all AmeriCorps programs and the Corporation for National and Community Service. It is important to me that ORGANIZATION publicly opposes the proposed budget cuts to AmeriCorps.

During my AmeriCorps term, I have done many things to support the mission of ORGANIZATION. Here are just a few of my accomplishments:

  • Make sure these bullets focus on the people you’ve served, or land you’ve worked on.
  • Talk about the ultimate impact of your project – review your assignment description to align these numbers to the goals set out for your role
  • Include a story about one person, or one project you particularly have accomplished.
  • If you work as a team, be sure to tell them that this work could not be done without them.

In addition, AmeriCorps has saved ORGANIZATION thousands of dollars, and increased our capacity to serve more people. Nationwide, more AmeriCorps members contribute more than 1.4 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing 2.3 million volunteers for the organizations they serve. AmeriCorps is much more than me. The Corporation for National and Community Service makes America great by empowering citizens to solve local problems, expanding economic opportunity, encouraging personal responsibility, and strengthening civil society. Through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and the Social Innovation Fund, CNCS engages three million Americans in results-driven service each year at 50,000 locations across the country, from small towns and rural areas to inner cities. Volunteering and national service are vital and cost-effective solutions to our nation’s most-difficult challenges.

I feel passionately about saving AmeriCorps. That is why I am asking that ORGANIZATION publicly opposes the budget cuts to AmeriCorps. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

NAME

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