Bloomberg Sets New York City Civic Corps
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and the Corporation for National and Community Service have announced that New York City will receive a $5.85 million, three-year AmeriCorps grant to support the NYC Civic Corps, which is the center-piece program of NYC Service – the Mayor’s comprehensive initiative to promote a new era of volunteerism in New York City and direct volunteers toward the City’s areas of greatest need. NYC Civic Corps is a first-of-its-kind program where members work at nonprofits and public agencies to help those entities use more volunteers and use volunteers more effectively to assist New Yorkers in need. During the first year of the program, Civic Corps members expanded the volunteer capacity at 56 organizations throughout the city, allowing those organizations to engage 44,641 new community volunteers. Those new volunteers performed more than 400,000 hours of service and served more than 450,000 New Yorkers.
The first year of the NYC Civic Corps was funded with AmeriCorps grant funding made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The new funding announced today will allow the City to fund the program for an additional three years. Additionally, the Mayor and the Corporation for National and Community Service announced that 16 additional nonprofit organizations in New York City will receive AmeriCorps grants. The Mayor and Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Patrick Corvington were joined at the announcement in the Blue Room of City Hall by the City’s Chief Service Officer Diahann Billings-Burford, Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey, New York State Commission on National and Community Service Chair Susan Stern, and Teach for America Executive Vice President of Public Affairs Kevin Huffman.
“Thanks to this Federal grant, we will be able to continue the NYC Civic Corps program for the next three years,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This first-of-its kind program has been an incredible success, with less than 200 Civic Corps members helping more than 50 nonprofits add more than 44,000 volunteers – and those volunteers served more than 400,000 New Yorkers. So the work of 200 served more than 450,000, and that is why we say our Civic Corps serves as a ‘force multiplier’ in the community service world. I want to thank the Corporation for its willingness to invest in this idea, which had never been tried before, and for its continued support of nonprofits here in the City that is the national leader in community service.” “While our economy is starting to grow again, far too many people in New York and across the nation are suffering,” said Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Patrick Corvington. “Meeting today’s economic and social challenges requires tapping the most precious resource we have – the energy and talents of our people – and that’s what AmeriCorps is all about. The grants we are announcing today will support thousands of AmeriCorps members across New York who will use service a solution to some of the toughest problems facing our communities – teaching and tutoring youth, expanding health services, providing job training and financial literacy, preventing substance abuse, weatherizing homes, supporting people with disabilities, and much more. I congratulate all the organizations in New York that are receiving AmeriCorps grants for developing strong proposal and rising to the top in a stiff competition, and thank all those who will answer the call to serve by joining AmeriCorps and one of these worthy programs.”
NYC Civic Corps members helped build or expand volunteer programs at a wide range of organizations throughout the five boroughs. At the New York City Housing Authority, Civic Corps members worked to create and expand a program where volunteer residents worked to make housing complexes more sustainable. At Year Up, Civic Corps members expanded a mentorship program for at-risk youths. Working with Common Cents, Civic Corps members helped provided service opportunities at hundreds of City public schools. Civic Corps members also led the City’s efforts to recruit volunteers to assist in H1N1 vaccination efforts.
Nearly 400 public and nonprofit organizations and 800 individuals applied to be a part of the firstever NYC Civic Corps. Members and host organizations were selected through a rigorous application process, screened by both the AmeriCorps VISTA program and a City committee formed by NYC Service.