National Service Programs


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Corporation for National and Community Service Programs

The National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993 initiated the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The Corporation supports a range of national and community based service programs, providing opportunities for Americans to serve as full-time and part-time stipend participants or volunteers, and as individuals or as teams.

CNCS provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and the nation through three programs: AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America. Members and volunteers serve with national and community nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies to help meet pressing community needs. CNCS is part of USA Freedom Corps, the White House initiative to foster a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility, and to help all Americans answer the President's Call to Service. CNCS fosters civic responsibility, strengthens the ties that bind us together as a people, and provides educational opportunity for those who make a substantial commitment to service.

The Board of Directors for CNCS working in collaboration with the field and staff developed a strategic plan in 2006. The focus areas in the strategic plan are:

  1. Mobilizing more volunteers
  2. Ensuring a Brighter Future for All of America's Youth
  3. Engaging Students in Service
  4. Harnessing Baby Boomer's Experience.

For more information, please visit: National and Community Service at http://www.nationalservice.gov/about/focus_areas/index.asp.

AmeriCorps* State and National

This program's goals are getting things done, strengthening community, and encouraging responsibility. Members receive educational awards in return for service. The AmeriCorps network consists of a wide variety of diverse programs in every state of the nation.

Attached to this section is a current list of AmeriCorps* State and AmeriCorps* National Direct programs in Illinois. The hotline for the Serve Illinois Commission (SIC) is 1-800-592-9896.

AmeriCorps* VISTA

With a thirty-five year tradition of working with community groups to help low-income people help themselves, VISTA focuses on capacity building - helping local organizations develop plans, raise funds, coordinate programs, and recruit and train local volunteers to effectively serve those in need. For more information about AmeriCorps* VISTA in Illinois, contact John Hosteny at the Illinois Corporation for National and Community Service State Program Office in Chicago at (312) 353-3622, or IL@cns.gov.

AmeriCorps* NCCC

The National Civilian Community Corps involves young people ages 18-24 in performing community service projects. This program is a residential service program in which members are housed and trained together on military bases, and deployed as teams to service sites across the nation. NCCC members conduct service projects with a special emphasis on protecting the environment, promoting public safety, and responding to natural disasters. The campus for Illinois is located in Denver, Colorado. For more information about AmeriCorps* NCCC, Denver campus, contact (303) 844-7405.

Learn and Serve America

Learn and Serve integrates service into schools through a method called "service learning," which enables young people to serve their communities through their classrooms. It provides schools, colleges, and community organizations with grants to meet community needs while improving their skills and learning the habits of good citizenship. For more information about Learn and Serve grants in Illinois, contact Pat Poole at the Illinois State Board of Education at (312) 814-4212 or ppoole@isbe.net.

National Senior Service Corps

Or simply "Senior Corps," engages older Americans - with their great skills, talents, and experience - in addressing urgent issues facing the nation, in one of three programs: Foster Grandparents, who serve one-on-one with young people who have special needs; Senior Companions, who help other seniors live independently in their homes; and Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers, who work with local groups to meet a wide range of community needs. For more information about Senior Corps in the state of Illinois, contact the Illinois Corporation for National and Community Service Office at (312) 353-3622.

USA Freedom Corps

During his 2002 State of the Union address, President George W. Bush called upon every American to get involved in strengthening America's communities and sharing America's compassion around the world. He called on each of us to dedicate at least two years over the course of our lives to the service of others. He included all Americans because everyone can do something, and he created the USA Freedom Corps to help all Americans to answer his call. For more information visit USA Freedom Corps  at www.usafreedomcorps.gov.

Citizen Corps

The mission of Citizen Corps is to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds. For more information about Citizen Corps, contact visit www.citizencorps.gov