FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2016 (Washington, D.C.) – Lutheran Services in America, Incorporated (LSA) announces a partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps VISTA, to participate in the Resilience AmeriCorps program. This new initiative helps communities plan and implement efforts necessary to become more resilient to extreme weather events and other impacts of climate change.
LSA and its members join a select number of organizations invited to collaborate in this initiative and will sponsor eight AmeriCorps VISTA service members to improve community resilience in low-income and vulnerable communities in Austin, TX (Upbring); Columbia, SC (Lutheran Services Carolinas); Fargo, ND (Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota); St. Louis, MO (Lutheran Family and Children’s Services of Missouri); St. Paul, MN (Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota); and Fort Thompson, SD (Lutheran social Services of South Dakota), with LSA headquarters in Washington D.C. serving as the host for the VISTA project lead.
"Lutheran Services in America is excited to be part of the AmeriCorps Resilience program," said Charlotte Haberaecker, president and CEO of LSA. "By sponsoring eight AmeriCorps VISTA service members in low-income communities throughout the country, we are taking a proactive approach to resilience by placing a consistent presence with the most vulnerable people in those communities so they can be better prepared to rebuild and rebound from disruptions ranging from home fires to economic crises, extreme weather events, and human-caused disasters. This forward-looking and holistic approach builds upon the support provided by LSA organizations to improve the health, financial welfare, access to services, and well-being of 1 in 50 people across the country each year."
"We congratulate the new Resilience AmeriCorps communities from every corner of the country that have stepped forward with ideas of how national service can make their communities more resilient, especially those most vulnerable in the face of disasters," said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "The Resilience AmeriCorps program, and the partnerships that sustain it, are another example of how we collaborate with philanthropy, nonprofits, local governments, and other federal agencies to address the nation’s most-pressing challenges."
The LSA network of more than 300 health and human services organizations reaches six million people annually, touching the lives of 1 in 50 people in the U.S. each year. The VISTA project will help LSA assess and develop strategies to improve resiliency programs in low-income and vulnerable communities by engaging local nonprofit and government agencies, recruiting and managing volunteers focused on disaster services, and providing disaster preparedness and recovery training over the course of three years.
Lutheran Services in America, Incorporated (LSA) is one of the largest health and human services networks in the country with more than 300 members that provide a broad range of critical services from health care to children and family services, senior services, disaster relief, refugee services, disability support, housing, and employment support, among others. Collectively, LSA members serve 1 in 50 people each year in thousands of communities across the United States and are open to all regardless of their religious affiliation or social or economic background. The LSA network is ranked at #23 on the Philanthropy 400, an annual listing of top charitable groups, and has combined revenue of $21 billion. LSA is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS). To learn more, please visit www.lutheranservices.org.
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.