Why Save Service?

American policymakers are considering a proposal that would zero out funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service, eliminating initiatives like AmeriCorps, RSVP, Foster Grandparents, Learn & Serve America and the Social Innovation Fund.  This would have disastrous effects on American communities, youth unemployment numbers and the nation's economy.

Click on the key points below for more information about the important roles service plays in our county:

Service provides fiscally efficient and effective solutions to our nation's greatest challenges.

In today's fiscal environment, government at all levels is struggling to meet local challenges.  An ever growing number of people - including middle class Americans - need food, shelter, healthcare, job training and educational support.

Across the country, state and local governments are facing significant budget shortfalls, creating a gap between the services citizens require and the supports state and local governments are able to provide. National service organizations, which rely upon funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), are filling this gap.

Service engages communities and gives Americans a way to serve their country.

National service organizations provide service opportunities for more than 3 million volunteers across the country who are actively seeking ways to address the needs of their community. They manage and mobilize these volunteers, creating networks which in turn strengthen the capacity of the organizations to provide real results for communities, lessening the burden on local government to provide the services themselves and decreasing the need for government spending.  These millions of Americans serve their country and communities through initiatives supported by the Corporation for National and Community Service - including Senior Corps, RSVP, Foster Grandparents, AmeriCorps, VISTA, NCCC, Learn and Serve America, the Volunteer Generation Fund and the Social Innovation Fund.

Service programs tackle a wide-array of issues around the country - helping people while helping the economy.

Over 70,000 national and local non-profit organizations receive funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, enabling them to reach millions of Americans in need. Their wide variety of programs:

  • Are among the first to respond to a natural disaster and other crises
  • Are addressing the education crisis in America through innovative programs to reach children at risk of dropping out of high school
  • Support veterans with job assistance and through work in Veterans Administration hospitals
  • Enable senior citizens to remain independent
  • Provide essential services to underserved communities.

There is too much at stake.

National service creates jobs, helps communities in need, and saves lives in areas devastated by national disasters.

Without federal support for national service organizations;

  • 3 million children would be denied vital educational support
  • 620,000 seniors wouldn't receive life sustaining, in-home services
  • thousands of veterans would be denied meaningful work opportunities and Veterans Association-supported services.
  • More than 745,000 medically underserved children and adults will not receive health outreach, education and immunizations from Community HealthCorps members,
  • More than 1.5 million students will no longer be engaged in active learning and civic engagement opportunities,
  • Thousands of healthy meals will not be delivered to the elderly every day.

Should funding for CNCS be eliminated or reduced, children, seniors, veterans and entire communities stand to lose essential services provided by organizations like:

  • American Red Cross
  • City Year
  • Feeding America
  • Foster Grandparents
  • Jumpstart
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Public Allies
  • RSVP
  • Teach for America
  • YouthBuild

...and thousands of local foodbanks, shelters, afterschool programs, and more.

National service is a smart investment in our nation with immediate and long term impact.

  • Recipients of national service funds leverage over $800 million dollars annually, from private companies, foundations and other sources, representing nearly a one-to-one match.
  • Every federal dollar invested in national service yields $2.01 worth of essential services.
  • The 2006 estimated market value of the services CNCS grantees provide topped $2 billion annually.
  • National service enables people to make meaningful contributions to their communities, build organizational capacity, generate community-based social capital, and leverage more than 1.4 million additional adult volunteers to tackle some of America's toughest social, environmental, educational and economic challenges.

Communities across America rely on the services provided by organizations that receive funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service. These organizations bring ordinary citizens together to confront the critical problems we face as a nation.

We need your help to save service in America act now.