The Belle Center

Buffalo AmeriCorps Awarded A New $278,907 Grant

Buffalo AmeriCorps Awarded A New $278,907 Grant

Buffalo, New York–January 7, 2014–Could you imagine taking an oath to serve your community for a full year? Thanks to a $278,907 NYS Commission on National and Community Service grant, 27 Members of the Buffalo AmeriCorps program at The Belle Center will be sworn-in for a new year of service to the Buffalo & WNY community.

Mayor Byron Brown will swear-in 27 new BuffaloAmeriCorps members for a brand new year of service at11:00 a.m.January 9, 2014 at The Belle Center located at 104 Maryland Street Buffalo, NY. During the ceremony AmeriCorps members will get the opportunity to reflect on the importance of their oath of service while learning about the past accomplishments of the program. The Mayor will also close the ceremony by dismissing the members to their sites for service.

“I am always happy to swear in new Buffalo AmeriCorps members,” said Mayor Byron Brown. “Their contributions to our community are very valuable and they touch thousands of lives every year through their work.”

Every day in the United States millions of volunteers of all nationalities and abilities spring into action to assist those that are in need of a helping hand. According to the Federal Agency for Service and Volunteering, in 2011, 64.3 million Americans volunteered for an organization totaling nearly 8 billion hours and equating to an economic value of $171 billion.

This year’s program focuses are education and healthy futures. Members will serve to assist young children with school readiness initiatives and help youth in grades K-12 improve in literacy and/or Math; members will also serve seniors and the disabled with snow removal, lead abatement and other items to help them age in place and live independently. Callie Johnson the director of Marketing Communications at The Belle Center will lead the charge as she adds management of the AmeriCorps program to her duties.

Buffalo AmeriCorps members will serve in the following sites: BMHA-Planning and Information Center, Buffalo Dream Center, Buffalo Urban League, City of Buffalo - Division of Citizen Services, Ss. Columba-Brigid, The Belle Center – After-School Advantage Program & Early Childhood Center and West Buffalo Charter School.

Volunteerism has a significant impact on our economy at both the national and local levels. From the most distressed cries of those that are in need of help – Buffalo AmeriCorps members respond. Since its inception in 2007, the Buffalo AmeriCorps program has awarded over $700,000 in education awards and over one million dollars in stipends. Members have tutored over 5,000 school-aged children in kindergarten through grade 12, eradicated over 26 miles of graffiti, shoveled snow for 800 senior and disabled citizens and have recruited over 35,000 volunteers to work in low income communities.