If you’re keeping tabs on national service news, things might sound pretty scary as of late. While 2017 appears to be safe in terms of secured funding for most CNCS programs (except for the Social Innovation Fund), the newest budget proposal for FY18 doesn’t look so stellar.
The proposal supports the shutdown of the Corporation for National and Community Service over the next year.
*Cue the scary movie music*
Seriously though, things are getting real: we’ve got to get moving and get shi––um––stuff done.
Luckily, as current and former service members, and those who care about service, that’s kiiiind of our jam.
To help you get started, I compiled a little rundown checklist of things you can do to get involved with the #SaveService movement. Start at the top, start at the middle, start with your own creative idea, I don’t care.
What matters is that you start.
1. Sign the Save National Service Petition
It takes one minute and kills two birds with one stone by giving you the option to get involved as a volunteer.
Go ahead, I’ll time you.
2. Contact Congress with Voices for Service
If you haven’t head of Voices for Service yet, go check these cool cats out. The coalition is all about working towards expanding the service movement by raising awareness of service programs, educating leaders about its impact and effectiveness, and basically helping ensure that generations to come are able to serve.
They’ve got the hookup for contacting Congress to show your support for service.
3. Advocate Expanding Service with Service Year Alliance
Speaking of badass organizations, the Service Year Alliance is aiming to make “a year of service a common expectation and opportunity for all young Americans as a way to tackle important challenges while transforming their own lives.”
Find concrete plans of action, like starting movement meetups, social media campaigns, and advocacy toolkits, all in one place.
4. Connect with Grassroots Efforts
While tapping into the #LetUsServe movement on a national level is key, sometimes starting locally can be the easiest way to… well… start!
If you haven’t already, now is the best time to find and get involved with the AmeriCorps Alums chapter in your state or city. Find yours here, or search AmeriCorps groups on Facebook to get connected.
5. Download and Use the AC Alums Advocacy Toolkit
Bet you didn’t know this existed, huh? (There’s a good chance I didn’t before today…)
As you might have imagined, this isn’t the first time CNCS or any of its programs have had to fight to stay alive and kicking. So, they’ve already amassed this pretty extensive guide to promoting and advocating for it.
Ch-ch-check it out.
6. Rep Your AmeriCorps Pride on Social Media
I’ll admit, I used to be skeptical of hashtags, Facebook profile frames and the like. But when it comes to movements like this, social media is a critical piece of the puzzle to both raise awareness and show support.
Service Year has some great ideas for ways to share content on social media to get the message out.
Let me know in the comments of your badass efforts to #LetUsServe!
If you liked this, you might also like: How AmeriCorps Made me a Better Citizen, and Why We Need it Now More Than Ever
Let's change the world.
Who wrote this?
Gina Edwards, Impact Explorer founder and lover of all pun jokes, making a positive change in the world, Stephen Colbert, Jif Peanut Butter, and staying inside on rainy days. Order may vary.