This year marks a significant milestone for AmeriCorps: 30 years of unwavering dedication to community service and philanthropy. Over the past three decades, Points of Light has witnessed and supported AmeriCorps’ journey of embracing the shared vision of empowering communities and fostering a culture of service. In this reflection, we honor the undeniable impact AmeriCorps has had on our nation, embodying the ethos of “getting things done.”
A Legacy of Service and Impact
Three decades ago, President Bill Clinton signs the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993, creating AmeriCorps. A remarkable journey began with more than 20,000 Americans pledging to serve their country. These pioneers of service ventured into more than 1,000 communities, laying the groundwork for what would become an enduring legacy of community investment. This initial step symbolized a commitment to unity, resilience and the power of collective action.
Since 1994, more than 900,000 Americans have served as AmeriCorps members, contributing more than 1.2 billion hours of service to their communities across the U.S. And when considering the value of a volunteer hour is $31.80, that accounts for more than $38 billion in service hours given across every state and U.S. territory. Their work has spanned diverse fields, from education and health to environmental stewardship and disaster response, embodying a holistic approach to community development and philanthropy.
Responding to Moments of Crisis
AmeriCorps’ resilience and adaptability have been most evident in times of national crises. When the country faced the aftermath of September 11th terrorist attacks, the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, AmeriCorps members were there, leading recovery and rebuilding efforts. Their response in these pivotal moments underscores the essence of their mission – to answer America’s call with action and compassion.
At Points of Light, our partnership with AmeriCorps has been integral to fostering a culture of service and volunteerism. By collaborating on various initiatives, we have amplified the impact of community service, inspiring others to join in this noble cause. Our combined efforts underscore the belief that every individual has the power to make a difference, and together, we can illuminate the path to a brighter, more inclusive future.
Looking Ahead: The Future of Service
As AmeriCorps celebrates this 30-year milestone, we look to the future with optimism and determination. The foundation laid by those first 20,000 members has grown into a robust, diverse and impactful network. Moving forward, their focus remains on deepening community investment, fostering inclusive philanthropy and nurturing the next generation of service leaders.
AmeriCorps’ achievements reflect a collective commitment to bettering our nation, one community at a time. Points of Light celebrates AmeriCorps’ past accomplishments, and we look forward to the continued impact of this remarkable organization. Together, we reaffirm our pledge to get things done for America, turning every moment of impact into a movement of national service. AmeriCorps’ 30-year journey is a testament to the enduring power of service and community. And it’s just the beginning.