From sports teams to philanthropic organizations, AmeriCorps’ partners have been integral in helping bring out the best of America for the past 30 years. Since its inception, AmeriCorps has been a government corporation that invests limited federal dollars to leverage substantial private investment to improve lives and communities, enabling the agency to build strong public-private partnerships and relationships with businesses, foundations, and other partners.
As we celebrate our milestones, we shed light on our partners’ contributions and commitment to supporting AmeriCorps’ mission and empowering Americans to strengthen our communities.
Hitting Home Runs Through Service
Major League Baseball’s New York Yankees launched HOPE Week in 2009 to recognize Americans who step up for their community, rooted in the fundamental belief that acts of goodwill provide hope and encouragement to more than just the recipient of the gesture.And every year since AmeriCorps has joined the Yankees HOPE Week to present the President’s Volunteer Service Award to exceptional volunteers and honor Americans whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires others to act.
But HOPE Week has also been a chance to make dreams come true. In 2021, Gwen – a Yankees fan of more than 60 years and a social worker in Connecticut’s Westport school system for more than three decades – fulfilled her dreams from when she was 10 years old during HOPE Week. Gwen wrote a letter to the Yankees’ front office expressing her dream of being a bat girl and while her original request was declined, she was honored to take the mound to throw the first pitch and serve as bat girl for the night.
Creating Healthier Communities
In 2022, AmeriCorps partnered with the Home Depot Foundation to assist Up With Trees with a citywide tree planting effort to revitalize major roadways throughout Tulsa, Okla. The partnership helped address the effects of the several hundreds of trees lost due to the unseasonably hot and dry summers. Through philanthropic efforts, the new plantings increase biodiversity throughout the city and provide a wide variety of species to support diversification, strengthening the hardiness of Tulsa’s trees.
The cleanup and replanting project completed by AmeriCorps NCCC teams and volunteers helped create a safer and healthier place for passersby traveling throughout Tulsa and the neighboring communities. For six weeks, AmeriCorps members and volunteers from Tulsa and the Home Depot planted more than 700 trees to decrease noise pollution from traffic, increase shade, and absorb gaseous pollutants. To ensure the longevity of these combined efforts, today, Up With Trees continues to water, warranty, and maintain these trees to ensure their proper establishment and health.
Spotlighting Future Leaders of Public Service
Our partners’ commitment also relies on how our missions are aligned. The mission of the Schultz Family Foundation, a longtime AmeriCorps partner, is to create greater opportunity, accessible to all Americans. Similar to how AmeriCorps aims to reduce barriers to service.
Through funding initiatives like the National Service Challenge, the Schultz Family Foundation partners and invests in programs that expand service and economic mobility opportunities, especially for underrepresented young adults in underserved communities. Through these investments, AmeriCorps and State Service Commissions can fund innovative solutions to community challenges through service and provide support and capacity for nonprofits while creating service-to-career opportunities for the young adults who serve.
Helping Spread the Word
For 30 years, AmeriCorps has been an essential nonprofit and community partner that invests in programs to help improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through national service and volunteering. AmeriCorps’ partners like the New York Yankees, the Home Depot Foundation, and the Schultz Family Foundation help strengthen our efforts and demonstrate the impact of service, showcasing the importance of people helping people. Through ongoing collaboration, our partners continue to help us generate interest, awareness, and funding to encourage more Americans to give their time and do good in our communities.
Thank you to our partners for joining America’s coalition to make lasting change in our communities, guide the next generation, and create opportunity. Join our efforts and give the gift of time. Whether you volunteer for a day on MLK Day or full-time, any act of service has the power to make a difference.
Photo credit: New York Yankees