Durbin, Mikulski, Cochran Introduce Bipartisan Resolution Commemorating 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps National Service Program

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD) and Thad Cochran (R-MS) today announced that they have introduced a bipartisan resolution commemorating the 20th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Since 1994, the community service organization has provided more than one billion service hours in communities across America. The anniversary is today.

“For 20 years, the AmeriCorps National Service Program has provided valuable assistance and services to communities that needed it the most. The program has been pivotal in bringing people together who share a common spirit of giving back to the community,” Durbin said. “The 20th anniversary reminds us of the great work AmeriCorps volunteers have done to strengthen America.”

“I believe that AmeriCorps is the embodiment of the spirit of volunteerism and service to our country. These members are unflagging, unflinching and determined to make a difference,” said Senator Mikulski, a senior member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. “When creating this program, I did not just want to create another government program.  I did not want this to be another bureaucratic agency. What I wanted to do was capture the fervor, passion and dynamic qualities of a social movement that would bring people to arms wielding change. The work that AmeriCorps volunteers do gives me profound hope, because while one person can make a difference, together we can make change.”

“Since AmeriCorps’ creation 20 years ago, its members have provided vital services to communities and important assistance to first responders during times of disaster.  I hope this anniversary will draw attention to this good work and bring a renewed focus to supporting programs that can make our communities better places to live and work,” Senator Cochran said.

The bipartisan Senate resolution – available here – recognizes the powerful and positive impact on families and communities that AmeriCorps members make each and every day across our nation. It ‘encourages all people of the United States to join in a national salute to AmeriCorps members and alumni for 20 years of service to the United States on September 12, 2014.’ It also ‘acknowledges the significant impact and value of AmeriCorps members, alumni and community partners over the past 20 years and encourages individuals of all ages to find ways to give back to their communities and the United States through AmeriCorps and other programs.’

AmeriCorps, which is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service programs engage approximately 80,000 individuals each year in intensive, results-driven service at more than 15,000 locations across the country. In exchange for 1,700 hours of service, members earn a $5,730 Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to help pay for college or pay back student loans. Since 1994, more than 775,000 AmeriCorps members have given one billion service hours in their communities. Interested individuals can learn about available opportunity and apply online by visiting AmeriCorps.gov.

In addition to Senators Durbin, Mikulski and Cochran, the bipartisan resolution was introduced by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Robert Casey (D-PA), Christopher Coons (D-DE), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).