Value of AmeriCorps

Hannah Levy and Denise Gonsalvez both served as AmerCorps members at the Walnut Avenue Family & Women’s Center.

We all see the many problems that people face in our own community and nationally but only a few of us are willing to give up the comforts of our daily lives and take action. This is the true value of the AmeriCorps program – it provides a framework for any American to make a difference in six key areas: disaster services, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, and veterans and military families. The AmeriCorps program is in danger of losing funding from the Federal government – leaving over 1,000 communities without essential services. Our community needs you to show your support for AmeriCorps by contacting Congress.

In 1994 the first group of AmeriCorps members volunteered in 1,000 communities throughout the United States. In the past 23 years, 1 million members have dedicated a year of their lives to transform communities. Right now, there are 21,600 AmeriCorps members serving across the United States. They work in programs to help grow our economy, support education programs in low income school districts, create healthier communities through environmental stewardship, serve military and veteran families, support seniors and much more.

In Santa Cruz County, we have several programs that support AmeriCorps members to meet the growing needs of our community. The ReadingCorps program provides skilled support for children who are struggling to learn to read. The Notre Dame AmeriCorps program in Watsonville provides education to low-income communities, in schools and through community programs. The Watershed Stewards Program has members serving on the Central Coast to support initiatives to improve our drinking water and protect the Castroville Slough. At the Volunteer Center, we host 10 AmeriCorps members who serve at nonprofits throughout Santa Cruz County to develop volunteer programs. In the past 6 months, our members have recruited 576 volunteers to serve low-income children and families.

AmeriCorps is a valuable program that brings much needed resources to our county and to every state. This program is at risk of being defunded by the Federal Government. While this program receives money from private individuals, foundations and state and local government it relies on federal funding to keep a secure foundation to build on.

Take action and show your support for AmeriCorps programs.

Read about Lindsey a local AmeriCorps member

Apply to serve as an AmeriCorps member with the Volunteer Center


christina_thurstonBlog Post written by Christina Thurston our Director of Volunteer Connections. Christina started her work with the Volunteer Center as a teen volunteer and has played a crucial role in the development of our Volunteer Mobilization Department over the past 10 years.  She is passionate about inclusive communities and loves finding ways for people to connect. 

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