AmeriCorps celebrated its 25th Anniversary in Austin on Friday.
In May the Corporation for National and Community Service announced that $560 million in AmeriCorps funding will help national and local organizations, faith-based groups, and educational institutions respond to the most critical issues facing communities in the United States.
According to the group, Texas received an estimated $21 million in AmeriCorps grants, shared amongst 12 nonprofits or programs.
One of the programs is OneStar Foundation — a group that helps to build a stronger nonprofit sector in Texas. They work and partner with various nonprofits in Texas, including AmeriCorps.
“We have around 3,200 AmeriCorps members serving across the state of Texas,” said Chris Bugbee, CEO and president of OSF. “That's the largest core of American members that we've ever had, so we're excited about that.”
Former New Braunfels City Councilman George Green is on OSF’s board. On Friday he attended the AmeriCorps ceremony in Austin representing New Braunfels.
“For New Braunfels, it's a growing market for us,” Green said. “This is a resource that has been there for us.”
Bugbee and Green want to get the word out, so that New Braunfels residents can also serve.
“When there was a severe flooding several years ago, we had an AmeriCorps team come down and provide a lot of services, a lot of muck and gutting of houses and kind of managing volunteer reception centers to just leverage the volunteers that were showing up trying to help,” Bugbee said. “So you know there is a wide range of services that these AmeriCorps members provide.”
AmeriCorps provides other services such as tutoring or mentoring kids, or working in the parks to clear trails.
“In times of disaster, they're all called to support our community, so they really are public servants,” Bugbee said.
According to the CNCS, AmeriCorps provided services at more than 2,500 local service sites, and over 18,900 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members met “local needs, strengthened communities, and expanded economic opportunity through national service in Texas.”