Saturday, April 23

State of Service: The next chapter of service

The AmeriCorps Alum Boston Chapter, along with the MassINC Associate Board present the third in a series of discussions about the state of service and volunteerism in Massachusetts and nationally. To Register for the event, click here

After a months-long battle in Congress over the future of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and service programs across the nation, the goal of the event is to build upon the strengths of the sector through dialogue around creating pipelines of human capital; effective advocacy for government funding; and communicating the impact of service.

Discussion groups will be led by community leaders from every sector, and participants will have the chance to join working
groups to discuss ways to strengthen and promote service in Massachusetts over the coming months. Attendance is limited, to register, click here.

This event is made possible with generous support of The Highland Street Foundation and the support of the Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA), who serves as the fiscal agent of the AmeriCorps Alums Boston Chapter.

Thursday, March 17

THANK YOU and keep calling!

Boston Alums -our voices were heard! Thanks to you, and thousands of other Alums and supporters across the country, over 10,000 calls were made to Senators this past Tuesday. We made a loud statement that AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service matters and needs to be funded for this year.

If you were unable to call your Senators Tuesday, it is not too late! The toll-free line remains open: 1-855-US-SERVE
(1-855-877-3783). Please continue to spread the word and remind your Senators that we are here and actively engaged. Please also continue to visit for updates and informatio

Sunday, March 13

SAVE SERVICE -Tuesday, March 15th 2011

Hi AmeriCorps Alums and Supporters,

The next step in the fight to save service is coming up this Tuesday, March 15th. It is coming down to the wire for the Senate to vote on the proposed cuts to eliminate AmeriCorps entirely. It is up to US to let our Senators hear how important AmeriCorps is to us, our communities and our country. There are many groups that are mobilizing to save important causes, and we need to make sure our voice is heard among those groups.

We've made the process as easy as possible. You will call 1-855-US-SERVE and be asked to enter your zip code. Then, you will hear some talking points and be connected to your senator -it only takes 10 minutes.

We are asking everyone to take the pledge to call at -by registering, you will receive a reminder email Tuesday AM with the instructions above. Please take the time to call and help us SAVE SERVICE.

-The Boston AmeriCorps Alums Board

Monday, February 21

Call you Reps & Stand For AmeriCorps!

The most effective way you can help us Stand For AmeriCorps is to c Your Member of Congress. Voicing your support to your member of congress is one of the easiest and most effective ways to demonstrate your concern for the proposed AmeriCorps budget cuts. If you need help determining the members of your congressional delegation, visit This database will provide you with contact information for your elected officials. Once connected, identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak to the Legislative Director or the Legislative Assistant in charge of national service. If calling the House, be sure to voice your thanks or displeasure over how your representative voted (votes recorded here). Talking points for your call are noted below.

Talking points for Calling members of Congress:
  • (Senate only) I am calling to urge you to vote NO on any proposal to eliminate funding for AmeriCorps or the Corporation for National and Community Service.
  • The CR will decimate vital services in our communities when millions of Americans need food, shelter, healthcare, job training and educational support.
  • Communities are counting on AmeriCorps members, national service participants and community volunteers to meet the increased demand for services.
  • Provide an example of your local impact and what will be lost if your program is eliminated. Example: My organization has 140 AmeriCorps members serving in 10 Boston Public Schools. They are providing targeted and school-wide interventions in literacy, match, attendance and classroom behavior. If Congress eliminates AmeriCorps, nearly 2,000 high-risk 3rd-9th graders will no longer receive this additional support in the classroom.
  • The CR will only push unemployment rates up. Unemployment numbers -- particularly for young people, veterans and military spouses, older Americans and people of color-remain alarmingly high.
  • For Americans who are struggling to find work, national service programs offer participants the opportunity to earn a subsistence-level stipend, develop skills, and create pathways to future employment. Eliminating programs like AmeriCorps will result in jobs lost for the corps members and the staff who supervise them. Example: If Congress eliminates AmeriCorps, our 140 AmeriCorps members and the staff that supervise them will be out of work.
  • The federal investment made in faith based and community organizations through the Corporation for National and Community Service leverages $799 million in matching funds from companies, foundations and other sources. If you defund the national service programs, whole organizations will shut down and most will not be able to reopen again even if funding is restored.

Tuesday, February 8

Bad Press For AmeriCorps

Gregory Korte of USA TODAY has written a rather scathing piece about the "pattern" of AmeriCorps fraud going on across the country. In a time where funding for National Service is on the table with the new Congressional session and word that the Segal AmeriCorps Educational Award reform bill has been wiped off the table, this is scary stuff.

You be the judge. Do you think this accurately depicts AmeriCorps?

The top watchdog over AmeriCorps has told Congress that he has found several cases of fraud in the national service program — but that prosecutors won't pursue them.

In some cases, the alleged fraud involves the misuse of more than $900,000. The acting inspector general for the Corporation for National and Community Service also says there's a "pattern" of volunteer fraud — grant recipients misusing their time, often for personal gain.

Investigators "continue to face challenges in having our investigations accepted" for prosecution, Kenneth Bach said in a December report. Federal prosecutors told him the cases "lack jury appeal" or don't meet a "dollar threshold."

The Justice Department would not discuss individual cases, but spokeswoman Jessica Smith said each case is evaluated on a number of standards, including the weight of the evidence.

"Procurement fraud and theft of government funds are taken very seriously," Smith said.

AmeriCorps is the largest and best-known program run by the $1.1 billion Corporation for National Service, spending $698 million to support 88,530 members who serve in poor communities.

Bach declined to speak to USA TODAY. In an internal newsletter last year, he called a recent spate of cases "serious offenses against volunteers and the public's trust." Such scams cost not only taxpayers and communities, but also take "unfair advantage of the highly motivated volunteers."

Bach's report and agency records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show:

•Annie Burton-Byrd, the program director of the Martin Luther King After-School Program in Baltimore, used five AmeriCorps members to work at her rental management and tree-trimming businesses. Cost to taxpayers: $30,634. She did not return a call seeking comment.

(Read more)

Wednesday, January 26

Lead a Project, Win a Volunteer Vacation

Hey Alums!

Now that MLK, Jr. Day is a success AmeriCorps Alums is turning its attention to Follow The Leader!(And if you have not already, please take a quick moment to complete the MLK, Jr. Day meriCorps Alums survey)

In the footsteps of our TAG! challenge, Follow the Leader encourages people to turn their service into an ongoing commitment to community change by offering step-by-step playbooks that recreate some of t h e most successful volunteer projects we’ve seen delivered across the nation.

To play Follow the Leader, simply pick a project to replicate (find them here) and then recruit others to join you. Follow the Leader is partnering with Crowdrise, which will give you an opportunity to raise funds with your social networks to make your project incredibly successful.

Completing and reporting back on a project will earn you a shot at winning the Grand Prize: an all expense paid trip for two to the Philippines for a one week "Volunteer Vacation” coordinated by HandsOn Manila, that includes airfare, fees and six night’s lodging! You could also win these monthly prizes...

January:iPad for you and $2,500 grant for your cause

February: All expense paid trip for two and two tickets to the Tribute event in Washington DC in March 2011

March:All expense paid trip for 2 to the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in New Orleans - June 6-8, 2011

April:iPad for you and $2,500 grant for your cause

May:All expense paid trip for two for taping of Curb Appeal: The Block with John Gidding

So what are you waiting for? Let's Play!

<>In service,

The AmeriCorps Alums Team

Thursday, January 20

We Need You -Join a committee this week!

Step up to lead in service!

With MLK day just a few days behind us, we imagine many of you are thinking about how you can continue the commitment to serve and lead in your community. Lucky for you, the AmeriCorps Alums Board is thinking about it too! We have two great opportunities for you to SERVE and LEAD. We are looking for Alums who want to serve on short-term committees for two exciting upcoming events. Please read below and email us if you are interested in joining us. Because these events are coming up soon, please email us at by JANUARY 30th if you are interested!

Mass Service Alliance Annual Conference: Alumni Track
–MSA is looking to create a track specifically for AmeriCorps Alums at their annual conference this May. MSA has recently shown their support for AmeriCorps Alums by signing on to be our fiscal agent! Now, we want to show our support to them by partnering to create a conference track that is meaningful and beneficial to Alums. Are you interested in helping? Email us!

State of Service Part 3: Put yourself on the map- This year, AmeriCorps Alums partnered with MassInc to host a series of conversations on the state of service in Massachusetts. We have held successful events in Boston and Worcester, and are in the planning phases of our third and final event. We have an AWESOME idea that we are really excited about, but are looking for more input and feedback. Are you interested in helping? Email us!