Serve Illinois Commission Announces $15.6 Million for AmeriCorps Programs

32 grantees will place almost 1,600 AmeriCorps volunteers in communities

SPRINGFIELD – The Serve Illinois Commission on Volunteerism and Community Service (Commission) today announced approximately $9.2 million in Corporation for National and Community Service federal grants to almost 1,600 volunteers in 32 AmeriCorps programs to better serve Illinois communities.  An additional $6.4 million will support education awards for the volunteers after their service is completed.
“This year we were able to leverage enough federal funds to expand AmeriCorps’ reach into new counties throughout the state,” said Serve Illinois Executive Director Scott McFarland.  “AmeriCorps members work every day to support thousands of Illinoisans in need including 425,000 disadvantaged youth and 10,000 veterans and military family members.  These volunteers are going to change the lives of hundreds of thousands of Illinoisans.”
These federal grants will be used for services in Illinois, including tutoring and mentoring at-risk youth, preparing communities to respond effectively to emergencies, feeding those in need, providing legal support services, reentering incarcerated individuals into their communities, and improving youth and adult literacy.  The Commission, a part of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), administers the AmeriCorps programs in Illinois.
“While they serve others, AmeriCorps members also expand opportunity for themselves – gaining the skills, experience, and college money to help jumpstart their careers,” said Bill Basl, director of AmeriCorps. “We are looking for men and women of all ages who want to serve and make a difference for their country.”
AmeriCorps members dedicate a year to helping communities meet their unmet economic, education, health, public safety, and environmental needs.  Members may receive a modest living allowance, student loan deferment, and training.  Members who successfully complete their service receive an educational award of up to $5,775 to help pay for college, graduate school, vocational training, or to pay off student loans.
Since 1994, 33,000 people have volunteered 45 million hours in Illinois through AmeriCorps. Those hours equal more than $1.1 million in community impact.
Serve Illinois’ AmeriCorps Programs:

Program Counties Served Focus Areas Funding Members
Academy for Urban School Leadership Cook Education $40,000 50
American Red Cross Adams, Champaign, Cook, DeKalb, Kankakee, McDonough, Rock Island, Sangamon, St. Clair, Winnebago Disaster Services $332,085 27
Asian Human Services Cook Economic Opportunity, Education, Healthy Futures $164,421 12
Bhicks Childcare
*New Program
Champaign, Coles, DeKalb, Jackson, Madison, McDonough, Sangamon, St. Clair Education $109,121 20
City Year Chicago Cook Education $2,106,668 188
East St. Louis School District #189 St. Clair Economic Opportunity, Education $461,374 91
First Defense Legal Aid
*New Program
Cook Safer Communities $123,570 9
Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois
*New Program
Boone, DeKalb, Kane, McHenry, Stephenson, Whiteside, Winnebago Education $163,711 19
Greater Chicago Food Depository Cook Healthy Futures,
Veterans and Military Families
$139,143 15
Housing Forward Cook Capacity Building, Economic Opportunity $162,898 12
Illinois Bar Foundation Champaign, Cook, Kankakee, Knox, Lake, Madison, McLean, Will, Winnebago Economic Opportunity, Veterans and Military Families $280,641 68
Illinois Public Health Association Adams, Cook, Kane, Hamilton, Lee, Macoupin, McLean, Ogle, Sangamon, Stephenson, St. Clair, Wayne Disaster Services, Healthy Futures $274,549 20
Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House St. Clair Capacity Building, Economic Opportunity, Education, Healthy Futures $627,968 143
Lester & Rosalie Anixter Center
*New Program
Cook, DuPage, Lake Economic Opportunity, Education $109,820 16
Literacy Volunteers of Illinois Cook, DuPage, Henry, Kane, Saline Economic Opportunity, Education $261,825 31
Lutheran Social Services of Illinois Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Madison, Saline, St. Clair, Williamson, Winnebago Economic Opportunity $198,544 30
Northwestern University Settlement Association Cook Capacity Building, Education $502,740 75
Public Allies Cook Capacity Building $458,563 36
Rend Lake College Alexander, Clinton, Franklin, Hamilton, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Marion, Massac, Perry, Pulaski, Washington, Williamson, Union Economic Opportunity, Education, Environmental Stewardship $445,034 59
Sauk Valley Community College Bureau, Carroll, Henry, Lee, Ogle, Whiteside Capacity Building, Economic Opportunity, Education $201,145 45
Schuler Family Foundation
*Program only receives education awards
Cook, Lake Education $0 40
Southwestern Illinois College St. Clair Education $401,022 73
Springfield Urban League Sangamon, Morgan Education $198,521 54
Teach for America Cook Education $118,260 292
United Way Of Metropolitan Chicago
*New Program
Cook Economic Opportunity, Education, Healthy Futures $164,760 12
University of Illinois - Chicago Cook Economic Opportunity $151,474 21
Up2Us – Coach Across America Cook Healthy Futures $155,789 16
Western Illinois University Carroll, McClean, McDonough, Shelby Capacity Building, Disaster Services $137,300 14
Western Illinois University – Quad Cities Rock Island Education $207,854 40
YMCA – Rock River Valley Winnebago Capacity Building, Education, Healthy Futures $190,057 28
Youth and Opportunity United, Inc. (YOU) Cook Education $245,872 22
Youth Guidance Cook Education $105,823 16

Serve Illinois is a 40 member (25 voting and 15 non-voting), bipartisan commission appointed by the Governor and administered by IDPH.  Its mission is to improve Illinois communities by enhancing traditional volunteer activities and supporting national service programs.  The commission supports local community-based efforts to enhance volunteer opportunities and the administration of Illinois' AmeriCorps program. For more information on the Serve Illinois and AmeriCorps, visit