AmeriCorps Week highlights service

Santa Maria Community Services Inc. joins dozens of nonprofits, schools and volunteers in Greater Cincinnati to celebrate AmeriCorps Week and the contributions of AmeriCorps members who have pledged to “get things done” in their communities. 

“We are proud to be part of AmeriCorps and grateful for the AmeriCorps members who are getting things done for Ohio,” said Hunter Lang, Project Advance AmeriCorps Program Director at Santa Maria. “AmeriCorps members have made a significant impact on Ohio’s ability to meet so many local needs in education, employment, health and housing, and AmeriCorps Week is a perfect opportunity to recognize their great work.” 

AmeriCorps Week, which is March 13-19, also honors the contributions and support of local organizations that make AmeriCorps programs possible. In Cincinnati, AmeriCorps members are serving in the community by providing direct service to individuals in need of housing, education, health and employment assistance at local community service and nonprofit agencies.   

This year, more than 900 AmeriCorps members serve at more than 500 schools, nonprofits, community and faith-based organizations across Ohio, dedicating more than 1.2 million hours of service. These members will be awarded more than $4.3 million in education awards to use toward continued education or student loan repayment. 

Map shows AmeriCorps local locations: Programs (serveohio.org)

Nationally, more than 80,000 Americans are engaged in AmeriCorps, a federal agency that operates national service programs through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Volunteer Generation Fund programs.

“I’m proud to serve the Price Hill community as a housing and benefits specialist with Santa Maria Community Services through AmeriCorps,” said Monica Smith. “One of my clients, who was a victim of domestic violence, lost everything and I was able to help her get her whole house furnished for her and her children.”

Santa Maria is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit originally founded by the Sisters of Charity in 1897 and place-based in Cincinnati’s Price Hill community. Santa Maria provides more than 2,500 individuals with educational tools and resources to build strong families, promote healthy residents and foster neighborhood revitalization.

AmeriCorps members like Smith have played a critical role in the recovery of local communities. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs. 

A growing body of research shows that service has an effect on more than just the communities served, but also on the members themselves. AmeriCorps alumni credit their year of service for developing leadership skills that bridges divides solves problems and opens doors to opportunities that advance their careers and education. In addition, research shows that alumni gain skills and are exposed to experiences that communities and employers find valuable. 

AmeriCorps programming is administered by ServeOhio, the state’s commission on service and volunteerism. To learn more about AmeriCorps, visit www.ServeOhio.org/AmeriCorps.

To learn more about Santa Maria Community Services’ Project Advance AmeriCorps, visit https://www.santamaria-cincy.org/americorps-program/.

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