MANCHESTER, N.H. – Each year, new AmeriCorps members are sworn in, and 2020 has proven to be no different, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. However, this year’s crop will join a new organization suited to the times.
In a Zoom conference on Tuesday, 16 new AmeriCorps members assigned to New Hampshire this summer officially took their positions in a ceremony with Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Barbara Stewart and organized by New Hampshire State Representative Matt Wilhelm (D- Manchester Wards 1-3).
Those new AmeriCorps members now will join the New Hampshire COVID Community Care Corps, a project created by Wilhelm jointly including AmeriCorps, Goodwill Northern New England, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
The new pilot program will last for eight weeks, and help those now unemployed due to the pandemic at no cost to taxpayers.
“I’m proud that AmeriCorps can be a part of New Hampshire’s response to COVID-19 by meeting the needs of its citizens and helping communities recover,” said Stewart. “In moments of crisis, Americans have always come together to serve those who need help. United, there is no problem we can’t tackle.”
Twelve of the 16 new AmeriCorps members will be assigned to Manchester, with Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig thanking AmeriCorps and Goodwill Northern New England as the assist various city employees with their work.
“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our community has come together to assist people in need. And the NH COVID Community Care Corps is the perfect example of individuals stepping forward to serve others,” said Craig.
According to New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, the state has committed $1.5 million in CARES Act funding to expand the COVID Community Care Corps across the state this fall through the Volunteer NH initiative.
Approximately 800,000 people have served as AmeriCorps members since 1994, including Wilhelm, with over a billion hours volunteered by that group to date.