Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Volunteers Needed ; Kansas Volunteer Commission Seeks People for AmeriCorp Grants

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Volunteers Needed ; Kansas Volunteer Commission Seeks People for AmeriCorp Grants

Article excerpt

After announcing $2 million was getting divided among eight Kansas nonprofit organizations in August, the Kansas Volunteer Commission now needs the people to carry out the work of the federally funded, locally matched grants for AmeriCorps workers.

Brittany Crabtree, executive director of the Kansas Volunteer Commission, said though most of the organizations receiving the Corporation for National and Community Service grants have recruited volunteers, more are needed.

"We know they (nonprofits) put together a great grant application," she said. "Now all they need is the manpower. These are kind of those remaining spots that need to be filled. We're trying to get them through that last stretch."

Crabtree said there is a misconception that AmeriCorps volunteers have to be high school graduates or college students.

"AmeriCorps members are not just in their 20s," she said. "We're inviting baby boomers, recent grads, anyone who's returning to school."

Crabtree said AmeriCorps applicants have to be at least 18 years of age or older, be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident and agree to one full year of service with a Kansas nonprofit organization.

In return, the volunteer receives a $12,500 annual salary, health care and child care benefits, Crabtree said, adding that a $5,730 education award that may be used "to help pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans," is also included once the AmeriCorps member completes his or her service. The annual salary may vary depending on where the nonprofit is located and how long the AmeriCorps members work at that location. Crabtree emphasized that AmeriCorps workers "make a sacrifice" for their communities and aren't typical volunteers for the nonprofit organization for which they are serving.

"They're mobilizers and recruiters," she said. …

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