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Operation AmeriCorps Funds Available from IDPH

Posted by Admin On December - 9 - 2014

Grants designed to improve, strengthen Illinois communities

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and the Serve Illinois Commission today announced that funding is available for local governments interested in administering AmeriCorps programs in the state.  AmeriCorps members serve their communities by improving education opportunities, public health, safety, the environment, disaster preparedness, and promoting economic development.

Operation AmeriCorps allows for local governments (municipalities, school districts, counties, etc.) to apply to host AmeriCorps volunteers in support of community needs.  Up to $15 million in federal funds will be available to communities to support these programs.  Applicants will identify a high-priority local challenge that AmeriCorps members can holistically address in two years or less.  The proposed solution may be a new initiative, or it may utilize national service to scale up an existing successful effort. Unlike other CNCS programs, applicants may request AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps NCCC resources in a single application.  Concept papers are due to Serve Illinois by January 5. For more information on how to apply, visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov.

“AmeriCorps is the ‘domestic Peace Corps’ where people can volunteer up to a year in support of their communities,” said Scott McFarland, Executive Director of the Serve Illinois Commission.  “Illinois has a strong tradition of supporting national service programs, and AmeriCorps members make a real and lasting difference in the communities in which they serve.”

AmeriCorps members dedicate a year to helping communities meet their unmet human service, education, public safety or environmental needs.  They can receive a modest living allowance, student loan deferment and training.  Members who successfully complete their service receive an educational award of up to $5,730 to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational training or to pay off student loans.

The Serve Illinois Commission, part of IDPH and the Office of the Governor, administers the AmeriCorps state programs in Illinois, and is charged with enhancing and supporting community volunteerism.  The federal Corporation for National and Community Service funds AmeriCorps and Serve Illinois.  Serve Illinois currently supports 26 AmeriCorps programs and over 1,700 AmeriCorps Members throughout the state.

For more information about AmeriCorps or Serve Illinois, please visit www.Serve.Illinois.gov or call 800-592-9896.  The website is a valuable resource for Illinoisans seeking information about volunteer agencies, trainings, nonprofit resources and national service programs, including AmeriCorps.  The website includes a user-friendly volunteer matching portal where you can search for a volunteer opportunity in your area.

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