AmeriCorps gives 4 Provo volunteers award for service
Utah is the No. 1 state in the U.S. for its volunteerism, according to data from AmeriCorps, a federal agency for volunteerism and national service.
Last week, AmeriCorps CEO Michael Smith showed just how important that volunteerism is.
Smith awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Lifetime Achievement Awards to four Provo volunteers who together have served tens of thousands of hours.
The honorees all serve with Utah County Senior Volunteers program through the Utah County Health Department and include:
- Candace Camp, 14,607 hours.
- Lucy Fenn, 3,032 hours.
- Trudy McBride, 6,204 hours.
- Jessie Shirk, 12,416 hours.
“The President’s Volunteer Service Award continues to highlight the enduring spirit of service that unites Americans and transforms lives,” Smith said. “I am honored to recognize four outstanding volunteers for dedicating thousands of hours each to service to their community and the country during AmeriCorps Week.”
The Utah County Senior Volunteers program is a division of the Utah County Health Department that includes the Foster Grandparent and Senior Companion programs. Volunteers serve Utah County children and home-bound seniors across Utah and Wasatch counties.
Within the next decade, both counties will face a steep increase in older Americans, according to Smith.
These older adults may face challenges that put them at risk of losing their ability to live independently. Challenges to mobility are often created by geography, as well as the environment in the service area.
The Senior Companion program engages volunteers to help older adults maintain independence and stay in their homes longer.
“Utah County Foster Grandparents was one of the original programs beginning in 1965 and continues to make a difference in the community to this day,” said Cheri Tuckett, Foster Grandparent program coordinator in Utah County. “In 2022, Utah County Senior Volunteers provided 92 volunteers in Utah and Wasatch counties serving 941 individuals. Our volunteers donated 64,346 hours providing companionship, transportation and respite services to help seniors remain independent and healthy, or serving as classroom grandparents, tutoring and mentoring children with special and exceptional needs.”
Led by AmeriCorps and managed in partnership with Points of Light, the President’s Volunteer Service Award allows organizations to recognize their most exceptional volunteers based on service over a 12-month period or a lifetime.
The awards program began in 2003 and honors individuals whose service positively impacts communities in every corner of the nation and inspires others to act, Smith noted.
The announcement coincided with AmeriCorps Week. During this week, AmeriCorps celebrates the millions of Americans ages 18 and older who have served with AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps Seniors. In nearly 40,000 locations, more than 200,000 people serve as members or volunteers throughout all 50 states and territories.
Currently, more than 3,800 AmeriCorps member and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers assist their communities at more than 600 locations across the state. Last year, AmeriCorps invested more than $14.6 million in federal funding to support cost-effective community solutions, directly working with other local organizations.