Rep. John Lewis Celebrates 20th Anniversary of Americorps
Today, Rep. Lewis attended a gathering at the White House in honor of the 20th anniversary of Americorps. Americorps is a volunteer service organization that engages more than 75,000 Americans to assist nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country.
Since its inception in 1994, over 900,000 AmeriCorps members have given about 1.2 billion hours in service across America.
"It was a great pleasure to participate in the White House gathering with President Clinton, the National Corporation for National and Community Service, and hundreds of volunteers to commemorate this great anniversary. President Obama announced important initiatives today which will strengthen the Americorps program and extend its reach to agencies and people across the country.
"Volunteer effort is an important part of public life. It requires commitment and hope for a better future, both important motivations for democratic engagement. When individuals put aside the comfort of their own lives and get involved in the conditions and circumstances of others, they find they not only have the opportunity to give, but they often receive even more. That's why Americorps is important because it provides an opportunity for citizens to come to understand aspects of our society they can only perceive in the classroom of experience. They can see, touch, and feel the struggles of other citizens and participate in helping to solve the challenges of our nation.
"I applaud Americorps and President Obama's decision to make it even stronger. I am looking forward to all it will achieve in the next 20 years."