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Volunteers Meet Community Needs in Washington State

Last year more than 6,600 adult volunteers met local needs, strengthened communities, and expanded economic opportunity through national service in Washington State. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) invested more than $33.3 million to support cost-effective community solutions, working hand in hand with local partners to empower citizens to solve problems. AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers are mentoring youth, helping struggling students achieve greater success, working to reduce crime, and building homes. Some work to connect veterans to services, fight the opioid epidemic, help seniors live independently, and rebuild communities after disasters.
 
Service members served at more than 1,100 locations across Washington State. Nonprofit agency sites included schools, food banks, homeless shelters, health clinics, youth centers, veteran s facilities, and other nonprofit and faith-based organizations. Through a unique public-private partnership, CNCS, its grantees, and project sponsors generated more than $10.1 million in outside resources from businesses, foundations, public agencies, and other sources in the last year. This local support strengthened community impact and increased the return on taxpayer dollars.
 
Last year, more than 2,200 AmeriCorps members met pressing local needs across Washington, making a lasting impact in communities while gaining valuable skills and experience to advance their careers. AmeriCorps members serve through one of three AmeriCorps programs, each uniquely designed to engage adults in volunteerism by working directly with clients from underserved populations, or building capacity for programs that serve low-income community members, or perform conservation work and disaster preparedness, response and recovery.
 
Senior Corps taps the skills, talents, and experience of Americans age 55 and over to meet a wide range of community challenges. Last year, more than 4,500 Washington seniors met critical community needs through one of three Senior Corps programs: Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion and the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) program. In the last fiscal year, $365,250 from Department of Commerce, leveraged over $1.24 million in federal funds for 15 RSVP programs across the state. This investment in RSVP supported 603,178 statewide hours of service. That is an investment of just $0.59 per volunteer hour. Although the state uses an average hourly wage, posted in 2018 at $30.46 per hour, based on the Independent Sectors' Washington state data, that same 603,178 statewide hours equivalent if conducted by a paid staff person, would amount to $18,372,801.88!
 
The United Way of Thurston County sponsors RSVP in Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties. Literacy programs, food banks, hospice care, and services to help older seniors age at home all depend on the service of RSVP volunteers. In 2018, RSVP supported over 400 service members volunteering throughout the South Puget Sound region. RSVP volunteers logged 36,148 hours serving with beneficial programs such as Reading Buddies, Food Banks, Meals on Wheels and more. 
 
While a volunteer's service is essentially priceless, the benefits to the volunteer are many. The sense giving of oneself truly enriches your life!
 
All of us at RSVP thank you for your service!
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