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AmeriCorps Grant to Help Red Cross Educate Thousands about Preparedness, Home Fire Safety

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 10, 2017 — The American Red Cross received $1,066,400 in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) to support AmeriCorps members as they help the Red Cross teach people about how to be prepared for emergencies. CNCS is the federal agency for volunteering and service programs.

Through this generous grant, 80 AmeriCorps members will work in Red Cross Chapters in 15 states to provide preparedness education to 80,000 individuals, helping to save lives and build more resilient communities. The states include Alabama, Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Virginia and Washington.

Also, AmeriCorps members will train 400 volunteers that will focus on the nationwide Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, launched with the goal of reducing the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent, as well as the Red Cross Pillowcase Project, a free emergency preparedness program for 3rd-5th grade youth designed to increase children’s awareness and understanding of natural hazards and empower them to take preparedness action.

“We are grateful for this terrific support from the Corporation for National and Community Service,” said Harvey Johnson, senior vice president, Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services. “By helping support the Home Fire Campaign and Pillowcase Project, we will be able to teach more households and children about fire prevention and the importance of being prepared.”

Since the Home Fire Campaign began in October of 2014, 258 lives have been saved, more than 840,000 smoke alarms installed in homes all across the country and more than 810,000 youth have learned how to be safer during an emergency.

In addition, AmeriCorps members are supporting the Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces, teaching preparedness in targeted military communities. “When members of our military are far from home, it’s comforting to them to know the AmeriCorps members are helping improve the lives of their families,” said Koby Langley, senior vice president, Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces. “We are thrilled to have this support for them.”

The CNCS investment of $1,066,400 will be matched with approximately $1 million in private funding. CNCS will also provide education scholarships for the AmeriCorps members funded by this grant to help pay for college, vocational training, or pay back student loans.

Beginning this fall, AmeriCorps members serving through the Red Cross will join the more than 80,000 AmeriCorps members serving across the country in 21,600 locations. These members help communities tackle pressing problems while mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.

Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million men and women have served in AmeriCorps, providing more than 1.4 billion hours of service and earning more than $3.3 billion in education scholarships to pay for college or pay back student loans, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student loans debt.

About CNCS:

AmeriCorps is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads volunteer initiatives for the nation. For more information, visit www.NationalService.gov.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.