A dear friend of mine who also happens to also be a VISTA, emailed me this article the other day.
Without going into excessive detail, it describes how the GOP is trying to eliminate AmeriCorps in order to cut spending. I don't want to get political, I don't, but this infuriates me. Of all the programs to do away with, AmeriCorps shouldn't even be a contender. We volunteers dedicate our time, dedicate a year of our lives, at a minimum, to help with capital projects, with direct service, to improve educational facilities or achieve sustainable development for nonprofits across the country. To deem us unworthy of the pittance we're paid is insulting. Pray tell, GOP, what do you deem a more worthy cause of my living stipend? I'm sorry to be inconveniencing you in my efforts to raise money for nonprofits in Roanoke. You're right, incredibly cheap labor for a righteous cause... it's worthless.
One of our clients, a nonprofit after-school program, has an 80% high school graduation rate, whereas the rate for Roanoke City public schools is a mere 67%. They've had one pregnant girl in their thirty years in this city. One. You dare tell me that's not an institution worth building capacity for? You have the gall to say let them fundraise on their own in these trying economic times? You honestly believe they don't deserve a VISTA to assist in their sustainability efforts?
Shame on you. My work means more than that.
Please sign the petition to keep AmeriCorps up and running. Remind the rest of this country of the importance of community service.
Edit: Here is a great piece on the importance of AmeriCorps in Florida, and throughout the country.