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Cochran, Wicker honor Mississippi volunteers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) joined in honoring AmeriCorps and its volunteers, who have contributed to Mississippi and the nation, with the introduction of a Senate resolution to designate “AmeriCorps Week.”

The resolution was introduced by Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), with Cochran and Wicker as the lead Republican cosponsors.  The measure highlights the 80,000 AmeriCorps participants and millions of community volunteers who annually work on service projects in communities nationwide.  Launched in 1994, AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service and has a National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) campus in Vicksburg.

“AmeriCorps has proven itself to be a worthwhile program for promoting volunteer work to improve communities.  We’ve seen its benefits in Mississippi in our schools and during times of emergencies,”Cochran said.

“Service projects supported by AmeriCorps represent our longtime tradition of helping a neighbor in need,” said Wicker.

“In Mississippi, we are no stranger to acts of volunteerism. Volunteer Mississippi and the AmeriCorps campus in Vicksburg are examples of how this national program can serve and unite communities throughout our state and across our country. No matter the challenges we face as Americans, we always find a way to make our country better.”

The bipartisan resolution points out that “AmeriCorps members have served a total of more than 1,000,000,000 hours nationwide, helping to improve the lives of the Nation’s most vulnerable citizens, protect the environment, contribute to public safety, respond to disasters, and strengthen the educational system.”  It acknowledges that “national service and volunteerism demonstrate the best of the American spirit—people turning toward problems and working together to find community solutions.”

The Vicksburg campus is one of five NCCC centers that in 2016 trained AmeriCorps members to recruit and supervise more than four million volunteers at more than 21,000 locations nationwide, including nonprofit organizations, schools, faith-based and community organizations, and emergency and disaster sites.  In 2012, the Vicksburg facility partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to establish a FEMA Corps to give young volunteers greater opportunities to enter emergency management careers.

Volunteer Mississippi also coordinates with AmeriCorps to maximize volunteerism throughout Mississippi.

Cochran and Wicker are members of the National Service Congressional Caucus, a bipartisan group founded to raise awareness of national service and expanding service opportunities in America.

A copy of the resolution is available here:  http://bit.ly/2navdRO

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