As leaders of American faith communities, we are writing to request your support for increased funding for national service in the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bill.
We represent a diverse array of faith traditions active across the country united by a call to serve our neighbor. We know well the power of national service programs like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and YouthBuild to solve problems and transform lives where we live, worship and work. We also know that it takes robust infrastructure to mobilize volunteers effectively to make an impact. In our communities, we have seen how national service programs provide this tremendous level of organization to best leverage our communities’ assets and inspire people of all backgrounds to work in common purpose.
Mobilizing millions of volunteers every year, AmeriCorps members serve alongside many faith-based organizations to power soup kitchens, homeless shelters, disaster recovery sites, tutoring and mentorship programs, and other vital community programs helping people in need. Many of us work closely with AmeriCorps members, including AmeriCorps VISTAs, on a daily basis as they bring structure, organization, and expertise to every project.
By leveraging volunteers locally, national service allows us to do more with less. Our communities have a strong tradition of effectively serving people in need, and with the help of AmeriCorps members we are able to magnify our reach and multiply our impact.
Most importantly, when it comes to uniting our increasingly diverse country at a time of sharp division, there is no better shared ideal than service to both heal and strengthen our country. As you weigh priorities in the FY18 budget, we urge you to consider the impact national service has on our communities and increase investment in national service programs like AmeriCorps, the Peace Corps, and YouthBuild.
Thank you for your leadership and continued support.