Vail Daily letter: AmeriCorps Week |

Vail Daily letter: AmeriCorps Week

Annelies Leland
Vail, CO, Colorado

Every day across the United States, more than 80,000 AmeriCorps members are making a powerful impact on the most critical issues facing our nation.

They are improving schools, fighting poverty, rebuilding after disasters, providing health services, preserving the environment and supporting veterans and military families.

March 10 to 18 marks the sixth annual AmeriCorps Week, which honors these public servants, salutes the 775,000 AmeriCorps alumni who came before them and thanks the community partners that make AmeriCorps possible.

Since the program began in 1994, AmeriCorps members have completed one billion hours of service and acted as force multipliers in


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In 2011 alone, about 80,000 AmeriCorps members mobilized an additional 3.4 million community


Their work makes a measureable impact on America’s most vulnerable communities.

I am proud to be an AmeriCorps member. AmeriCorps provides a great way for me to gain job experience while serving my community and protecting the environment.

I hit the ground running at the Eagle River Watershed Council. I organize volunteers, film events, write grants, judge science fairs and everything in between. I have learned so much that will stick with me in the years to come, all while making a positive impact in the valley.

AmeriCorps works through existing organizations to help them reach more people and better achieve their mission. AmeriCorps members support organizations throughout the Vail Valley, from the Eagle River Watershed Council, to SOS Outreach, to the Youth Foundation.

AmeriCorps has a triple bottom line return on investment – for the recipients of service, the people who serve and the larger community and nation.

AmeriCorps members gain valuable professional, educational and life benefits, and the experience has a lasting impact on the members and the communities they serve.

A longitudinal study shows that AmeriCorps members typically remain actively engaged in their communities once their service is complete. They not only volunteer their time, but they also run nonprofits, marshal resources within their communities to address difficult issues and frequently pursue public service careers.

AmeriCorps alums often stay in the valley and deepen their ties to this beautiful place.

The Eagle River Watershed Council advocates for the health and conservation of the Upper Colorado and Eagle River basins through research, education and restoration. We provide a forum where everyone can gain a greater understanding of the Eagle River environment.

We work to preserve our quality of life by protecting the Eagle and Colorado Rivers in Eagle County.

Annelies Leland

Outreach Coordinator, Eagle River Watershed Council

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