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Impact of National Service in Maine

Published March 31, 2012

Last year, the Maine Commission for Community Service awarded nearly $2 million in Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) resources to Maine agencies and school districts.  The Commission’s recently published “2011 Maine National Service Impact – The Public’s Return on Investment” profiles the contributions and impact of CNCS funded programs in Maine.  CNCS is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. CNCS administers three main programs:

 

AmeriCorps:

AmeriCorps State and National: Engages more than 70,000 members annually serving with thousands of national and local nonprofits, faith-based institutions, schools and universities, public agencies, and Native American tribes. Members serve in both full-time and part-time positions and address critical community needs in education, economic opportunity, disaster services, healthy futures, environmental stewardship, and with veterans and military families. AmeriCorps State programs operate in one state only and are funded through service commissions.  AmeriCorps National programs operate in two or more states and are funded directly through CNCS.

 

AmeriCorps*VISTA: Poverty-fighting program was created in 1964 as part of the War on Poverty. The program engages more than 7,000 each year in collaborations with low income individuals and communities to fight poverty. VISTA members serve full-time for one year with more than 1,000 project sponsors and focus on capacity-building opportunities including raising funds, recruiting volunteers, and designing sustainable programs.

 

AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps): Team based residential service program based on campuses in Sacramento, CA; Denver, CO; Vinton, IA; Perry Point, MD; and Vicksburg, MS. Teams travel to projects in neighboring states and focus on disaster response, the environment, housing, and youth. The program engages 1,100 young people—age 18 to 24—each year, who serve full-time for 10 months.

 

Senior Corps:

Foster Grandparents: Connects volunteers age 55 and over with children and young people with exceptional needs.

Senior Companion Program:  Brings together volunteers age 55 and over with adults in their community who have difficulty with the simple tasks of day-to-day living.

RSVP:  Offers "one stop shopping" for all volunteers 55 and over who want to find challenging, rewarding, and significant service opportunities in their local communities.

 

Learn and Serve America: Engages hundreds of thousands of students in community service connected to academic instruction, a practice called service-learning.

 

CNCS also administers the Social Innovation Fund, Volunteer Generation Fund, Nonprofit Capacity Building Program, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, and September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.

 

The Maine Commission for Community is one of 54 state service commissions receiving a Volunteer Generation Fund grant.  The Volunteer Generation Fund was established in the Kennedy Service America Act of 2009 to help nonprofits recruit, manage, and support more volunteers to address critical local issues.  Through the first year of funding, six volunteer centers were supported (two existing and four start-up) that serve eight counties.  The six volunteer centers convened peer networks, offered trainings on volunteer management, and recruited more than 8,000 volunteers.

 

Other accomplishments by CNCS funded programs in Maine include:

2,147 children were served by Foster Grandparents who tutored and mentored them.

10% drop in recidivism among inmates in correctional facilities who completed Thresholds decision making program taught by RSVP volunteers.

905 homebound elders had the assistance and support of a Senior Companion to remain living independently.

315 students with disabilities examined option for post-high school life through a transition course taught by AmeriCorps members.

 

The complete report is available on MaineServiceCommission.gov or by clicking on 2011 Maine National Service Impact – The Public’s Return on Investment.