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AmeriCorps

Service Learning

Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.  Through service-learning, young people-from kindergarteners to college students-use what they learn in the classroom to solve real-life problems. They not only learn the practical applications of their studies, they become actively contributing citizens and community members through the service they perform.

Service-learning can be applied in a wide variety of settings, including schools, universities, and community-based and faith-based organizations. It can involve a group of students, a classroom or an entire school. Students build character and become active participants as they work with others in their school and community to create service projects in areas such as education, public safety, and the environment.  Community members, students, and educators everywhere are discovering that service-learning offers all its participants a chance to take part in the active education of youth while simultaneously addressing the concerns, needs, and hopes of communities.  Service-learning combines service objectives with learning objectives with the intent that the activity change both the recipient and the provider of the service. This is accomplished by combining service tasks with structured opportunities that link the task to self-reflection, self-discovery, and the acquisition and comprehension of values, skills, and knowledge content. The distinctive element of service-learning is that it enhances the community through the service provided, but it also has powerful learning consequences for the students or others participating in providing a service.

Why is Service-Learning Important?
A national study of Learn and Serve America programs suggests that effective service-learning programs improve grades, increase attendance in school, and develop students' personal and social responsibility. A growing body of research recognizes service-learning as an effective strategy to help students by:

  • Promoting learning through active participation in service experiences;
  • Providing structured time for students to reflect by thinking, discussing and writing about their service experience;
  • Providing an opportunity for students to use skills and knowledge in real-life situations;
  • Extending learning beyond the classroom and into the community; and
  • Fostering a sense of caring for others.

Service-learning also strengthens both education and local communities by:

  • Building effective collaborative partnerships between schools or colleges and other institutions and organizations.
  • Engaging parents and other adults in supporting student learning
  • Meeting community needs through he service projects conducted
  • Providing engaging and productive opportunities for young people to work with others in their community

To learn more, visit www.servicelearning.org.  

AmeriCorps

Training and Resources

The Louisiana Serve Commission staff is able to provide specialized training to your nonprofit, faith-based organization or public entity.  Topics include:

  • AmeriCorps program-specific topics
  • Learn and Serve program-specific topics
  • Managing Disaster Volunteers
  • Volunteer Reception Centers
  • Volunteer Management Training

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All We Need is U

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Foundation

The Volunteer Louisiana Foundation is a non-profit charity established, organized and operated exclusively as a direct support organization to assist the Volunteer Louisiana Commission.  The Foundation raises funds to aid the Commission in accomplishing its goals of meeting important human needs in Louisiana.


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Volunteer Centers

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Grant Opportunities

Operation AmeriCorps (Notice of Intent To Apply Due  December 29, 2014)

Operation AmeriCorps is a new initiative to help tribal and local leaders use AmeriCorps to accomplish big things in their community. These leaders will identify a high-priority local challenge that AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps NCCC and/or AmeriCorps VISTA members can address in a relatively short period of time (no more than two years). We are looking for proposals that are place-based, coordinated with existing community organizations, and with transformational outcomes. The solution may be a new initiative, or it may use national service to scale up an existing successful effort, but in either case AmeriCorps must be the additive ingredient to achieve transformative change at the local level.

The Fiscal Year 2015 Operation AmeriCorps competition has two funding priorities, and applicants may choose to apply to either of the priorities. The first priority focuses is narrowly tailored and focus on specific post-secondary outcomes for students. The second priority is more flexible and allows localities to identify their most pressing challenge. The grant competition is open exclusively to tribal and local governments, including counties, cities, towns, and school districts; and state service commissions. Interested applicants in Louisiana must submit a Notice of Intent to Apply by December 29, 2014.

Operation AmeriCorps NOFO

Application Instructions (Concept Paper)

Global Youth Service Day

Global Youth Service Day is the largest and longest running service event in the world. Every year, millions of youth of all abilities volunteer and serve in their communities in service and service-learning projects. Volunteer organizations, non-profits, and schools & community organizations will partner with groups of youth for a day of service event. The goal of the event is to encourage volunteer coordinators to reach out to a large section of the population which is often overlooked in volunteer outreach and create partnerships which will last for service project events to come. Projects lead by youth will receive priority, and projects which recruit volunteers from the disability community are highly encouraged. Educational and environmental related projects are also strongly encouraged. The grant is available to organizations or individuals operating in the state of Louisiana.  Volunteer Louisiana has $3,000 in funding up to pay for project supplies, volunteer refreshments/water (identified in the Project Budget) and some administrative costs.  

RFP Coming Soon

Other Grant Opportunities


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Training and Resources

Training

Volunteer Louisiana is pleased to offer the following trainings to any Louisiana nonprofit, educational institution, government agency, or faith-based organization at no cost.

COOP (Business Continuity Planning)

Nearly 70% of businesses and nonprofits affected by major disaster never reopen, and lack of planning is a primary reason. How will your organization handle the next disaster?  What should you do to prepare for organizational continuity?  This training will instruct participants on developing a complete business continuity plan, involving staff and volunteers to prepare for a stage evacuation, consolidation of activities, and restoration planning during recovery.  (2-4 hours of training; follow-on training in specific areas as needed.)

How to Recruit & Manage Volunteers for a Large Scale Event

Your next event needs 200+ volunteers.  Do you have a recruitment plan?  Once you’ve recruited them, do you have a plan to train, manage, and recognize your volunteers?  This training will instruct participants on best practices including: recruitment, management, and training, developing job descriptions, identifying Volunteer Leaders, accessing online resources, and evaluation and improvement plans.  (1 hour general overview, with longer additional sessions for specific issues as needed.)

Volunteer Reception Center

Have you ever thought about coordinating volunteers in the event of a local, regional or national disaster?  This training will prepare participants to staff VRCs that will register and place spontaneous volunteers in times of disaster.  Training attendees will gain the skills to establish a local VRC to coordinate local nonprofit needs and volunteers looking to make a difference.  The training includes an interactive volunteer reception center exercise where participants experience the VRC model and practice managing spontaneous volunteers. (4 hours of training and interactive period.  Minimum of 22 participants.)

Resources

AmeriCorps

FAQ

Individuals

I'm confused. There are different programs, with different names, but they're all AmeriCorps?

Yes, basically. AmeriCorps is a national network of hundreds of programs throughout the U.S. Two of these programs are managed nationally: AmeriCorps VISTA and AmeriCorps NCCC. The other programs are under the general heading of AmeriCorps, and they are found in local and national organizations throughout the US. Depending upon your interests and availability, we can help you determine which program might be best for you.

Is AmeriCorps like Peace Corps?

Yes. AmeriCorps is often referred to as "the domestic Peace Corps." Both agencies are committed to service, and both offer challenging and rewarding full-time opportunities. Peace Corps assignments are all overseas, and AmeriCorps members serve only in the US. While Peace Corps Volunteers serve for two years, a stint in AmeriCorps usually lasts 10 months to one year. (Some AmeriCorps projects also offer part-time opportunities, and some AmeriCorps members serve more than one term of service.)

What skills do I need to have?

Some programs have specific skill requests in certain areas, and others look for a bachelor's degree or a few years of related volunteer/job experience. For others, your motivation and commitment may be the primary requirement.

Is there an age requirement?

There are no upper age limits for Team Leaders. Corps Members must be between 18 and 24 years old. A person shall be eligible for selection for the national service program if the person— is, or will be, at least 18 years of age on or before December 31 of the calendar year in which the individual enrolls in the program, but is not more than 24 years of age as of the date the individual begins participating in the program; and is a high school graduate or has not received a high school diploma or its equivalent.

Can I join if I'm not a U.S. citizen?

You must be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident alien of the U.S. to be an AmeriCorps NCCC member. FEMA Corps Members must be U.S. citizens.

How long are the assignments, and are they all full-time?

The time commitment varies, from ten months to a year, depending upon your project. Most assignments are full-time, but there are some part-time service opportunities available.

Do I get paid?

For all AmeriCorps programs, members receive a modest living allowance, and some programs provide housing. You may not save much money during your year of service, but most members find the living allowance to be adequate to cover their needs. AmeriCorps members who complete a term of service also receive an AmeriCorps Education Award.

Organizations

How do I find AmeriCorps programs in my own community?

Visit our Current Programs page to see programs currently operating in Louisiana.

Explain to me the different types of AmeriCorps programs.
AmeriCorps State and National: AmeriCorps State and National supports a broad range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs. Learn more about AmeriCorps State and National
AmeriCorps VISTA: AmeriCorps VISTA provides full-time members to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs that build capacity and ultimately bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty. Learn more about AmeriCorps VISTA.
AmeriCorps NCCC: The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps is a full-time residential program for men and women, ages 18-24, that strengthens communities while developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. Learn more about AmeriCorps NCCC.

Where do I find out about AmeriCorps funding opportunities?

To learn more about what’s available, eligibility, responsibilities, and new grant opportunities, visit the Grant Opportunities page.

I’m a faith-based organization. Am I eligible to apply for an AmeriCorps grant?

The Corporation for National and Community Service's Faith-based and Community Initiatives (FBCI) is an integral part of our efforts to provide opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to give back to their communities. FCBI helps connect faith-based and other community groups to the Corporation, ensuring that these groups have the capacity, tools, and volunteer power they need to help America’s communities flourish. Learn more about FBCI.

Where can I find training and technical assistance information?

The National Service Knowledge Network, CNCS’s online stop for training and technical assistance. Through the Resource Center, you can access training publications, sample forms, funding notices, effective practices, and much more. For a directory of all CNCS training and technical assistance providers, visit the Learning and Best Practices page.

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Alumni

I will carry this commitment with me, this year and beyond

I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will Get Things Done!

(excerpted from the AmeriCorps pledge)

AmeriCorps alumni can stay engaged in service and also receive great benefits by joining AmeriCorps Alums. It is the only national network that connects the nearly one million alumni of all AmeriCorps programs who have served since 1994 (including an estimated 80,000 new alumni each year) to the people, ideas, and resources that support their commitment to a lifetime of service.

Website: http://www.americorpsalums.org

Twitter:  @AmeriCorpsAlums

Facebook: www.facebook.com/foramericorpsalums

Find an existing chapter: http://www.americorpsalums.org/?ActiveChapters

Start a Chapter: http://www.americorpsalums.org/?StartAChapter

AmeriCorps

Training and Resources

Training

Volunteer Louisiana offers several in-person trainings for all of our AmeriCorps programs. The menu of 2014-15 training options is in the document below.

(link to document)

Resources

Member Management (each bullet point will link to a url or document)

National Service Criminal History Checks (NSCHC)


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Impact

  • Volunteer Louisiana manages a current portfolio of 1100 AmeriCorps members serving with 14 programs in 22 parishes. $5.9 million of federal funds are matched with 5.7 million from local communities.
  • Since 1994, Volunteer Louisiana has hosted 19,950 AmeriCorps members who have provided over 7 million hours of community service  in education, disaster response,  environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, and healthy futures.
  • 100,000 AmeriCorps members have deployed to the Gulf Coast since 2005 to rebuild communities devastated by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, many of those in Louisiana.

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Current Programs

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Impact

  • Volunteer Louisiana engages citizens of all skills, interests, and abilities in service. Our online Volunteer Management System connects volunteers with volunteer opportunities throughout Louisiana.
  • Louisianians volunteer over 129 million hours per year, with an annual economic impact of $2.8 billion for our state.
  • Volunteer Louisiana has hosted 19,950 AmeriCorps members who have provided over 7 million hours of community service in education, disaster response, environmental stewardship, economic opportunity, and healthy futures.
  • Volunteer Louisiana has awarded over$196,000 dollars in grants to seventy nonprofits and local schools since 2010. Projects ranged from celebrations and discussions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to developing outdoor classrooms and gardens, from awareness of First Responders to neighborhood cleanups.  35,000 volunteers provided 175,000 hours of service with made an economic  impact of $3.7 million.

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About Volunteer Louisiana

Mission

The mission of Volunteer Louisiana is to build and sustain high quality programs that meet the needs of Louisiana's citizens and promote an ethic of service.

History

In 1993, Volunteer Louisiana was established in the Office of the Lieutenant Governor to rekindle the spirit of service and citizenship among the citizens of Louisiana. Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne continues the commitment to service in Louisiana. A policy-making body, the Commission serves as the focal point for national service efforts in the state and acts as a clearing-house for national service programs operating in Louisiana.

Volunteer Louisiana receives the funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service, which was established under the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993. Volunteer Louisiana awards grants to organizations and schools that foster civic responsibility and provide educational opportunities for those who make a substantial commitment to service.

Philosophy

National service is about getting things done, strengthening our communities, encouraging civic responsibility and expanding opportunity. Members of national service programs engage in sustainable projects that allow them to make fundamental changes in their communities. Programs not only create long-term results; they also rekindle the ethic of citizen service. Members are service pioneers committed to getting things done at the grassroots level and fortifying the ties that bind us together as a national community.

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Special FY14 AmeriCorps State NOFO Announced

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MLK Day projects impacted entire state

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MLK Day projects need volunteers

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MLK Day is January 20

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Happy Holidays

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MLK Day 2014

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Giving thanks for Louisiana volunteers

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JFK’s legacy of service

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Post Thanksgiving Volunteer Opportunity Friday, November 29 in New Orleans

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FY14 AmeriCorps*State NOFO released

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Champions of Service Gala a success!

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Meet our 2013 Champions of Service

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Join us for the 20th anniversary Champions of Service gala October 24

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Volunteers in Public Schools seeks Voyage Program mentors

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Warrick Dunn to be recognized as Louisiana Champion of Service

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Five Regional Volunteers Named Champions of Service

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Deadline extended for Champions of Service nominations

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On 9/11 we pause to remember

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Deadline extended for Champions of Service nominations

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Drew Brees teams with Super Service Challenge to support 9/11 Day observance

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September is National Preparedness Month

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Cornerstone Builders

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Community Builders Corps

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Communities in Schools of Greater New Orleans

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Boys & Girls Club of North Central Louisiana

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Nominate a Champion of Service

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9/11 National Day of Remembrance and Service Grants

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2013-2014 Keep Louisiana Beautiful Healthy Communities Grant

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ULL AmeriCorps named 2013 Innovation & Leadership Featured Finalist

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Volunteer Fair in Baton Rouge August 10.  Find a place to serve!

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Volunteer Ascension needs volunteers for School Tools July 13

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Volunteers needed July 2 and 3 in New Orleans

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Youth Service America grants available

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CNCS announces FY14 RSVP grants to engage volunteers 55

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Medical and non-medical volunteers needed for free clinic July 2 and 3

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Ask yourself: How can national service help my organization?

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Hurricane Season begins June 1

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National Hurricane Preparation Week May 26-June 1

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How you can help in Oklahoma’s recovery

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2013 Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday This Weekend

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Louisiana beaches rank 20th in terms of trash collected, Ocean Conservancy reports

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Senior Corps Week May 6-10

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Volunteer Louisiana celebrates 20 years with Capitol Day and Food Drive

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Volunteers needed for Senior Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP)

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GYSD fast approaching

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“I Serve Because” video contest

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Global Youth Service Day funds still available

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AmeriCorps Week 2013

More Information

FY14 Planning Grant NOFA
FY14 Planning Grant Instructions 

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FY14 Planning Grant NOFO

The Volunteer Louisiana Commission is pleased to offer up to $38,000 in AmeriCorps Planning Grants for the FY14 AmeriCorps year.  A planning grant is a restricted funds grant awarded to assist an applicant in completing the steps necessary to implement a sound concept that has already been developed.  The intent is for the recipient of a planning grant to develop their concept into a complete, comprehensive application in the next cycle of funding and be able to compete on a more level playing field in a competitive applicaiton process.  PDF versions of the NOFO and the Application Instructions appear on the right side of this page.

Volunteer Louisiana encourages all eligible organizations to strongly consider this opportunity. This is a very short application window and there are two important deadlines to note:

  • A Notice of Intent to Apply is due Monday, June 16, 2014 at 4 pm CST. Failure to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply will render an applicant ineligible to apply.
  • Applications are due Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at  4pm CST. Successful applicants will be notified no later than June 30.

Applicants will apply to Volunteer Louisiana through the eGrants web-based application system.  eGrants may be accessed at http://www.nationalservice.gov/egrants/index.asp, and applicants will choose the FY14 AmeriCorps State Formula NOFO option. 

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Virtual exercise series helps you get Good and Ready

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Baton Rouge professor publishes book on civic engagement

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Nominate a young person to be a Hasbro Community Action Hero

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Volunteers needed for Eight Days of Hope in Hurricane Isaac recovery

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LYAC is a great volunteer opportunity for Louisiana students

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Why Litter Stinks

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MLK Day 2013

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Funds still available for Global Youth Service Day 2013 projects

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It’s not too late to plan an MLK Day project

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U-High Baton Rouge conducts sports equipment and book donation drive

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St. John Parish Long Term Recovery Group establishes website

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Join the Super Service Challenge New Orleans

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City Year BR Looking for Mid-Year Corps Members

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FY 13 AmeriCorps State RFP now available

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City Year New Orleans

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Volunteer for the Bicentennial Military Parade Nov. 10

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Volunteers needed for Library Book Festival October 27 in Baton Rouge

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Tell us what you think about volunteering in Louisiana

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Become a Super Bowl XLVII volunteer

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Show Us Your U

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The ABC’s of AmeriCorps

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Louisiana Book Festival needs volunteers

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Remembering the 9/11 volunteers

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Hurricane Isaac Response

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Tangipahoa CERT classes Sept. 4

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We want to hear from you!

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Thank YOU to those who have worked for Recovery!

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Include Me grants up to $5K available

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Shelter Training in Baton Rouge

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June 1 marks start of Hurricane Season

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Foster Grandparent grant opportunity for Louisiana

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Jon Bon Jovi United We Serve PSA

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Governor Jindal proclaims Global Youth Service Day April 21

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April 15-21 is National Volunteer Week

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Wendy Spencer takes helm as CEO of CNCS

In Partnership with:

Americorps LAVCD Louisiana Travel LANO Corporation for National and Community Service