(Washington, DC) – Today, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) – a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee – announced with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Representatives Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) that the Friends Program in Concord has been awarded $149,811 in AmeriCorps funding to support their AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers in the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) Program which engages people 55 and older in volunteer services to meet critical community needs and provide them with an enriching experience. The funds were awarded as part of a grant competition to increase the impact of national service in New Hampshire.
“These federal funds make important investments in New Hampshire’s community service programming, bolster volunteer opportunities for seniors and support the Friends Program’s mission to empower Granite Staters with the tools they need to give back to their communities,” said Senator Shaheen. “The challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic have brought out the best in New Hampshire residents who have answered the call to help their friends and neighbors. It is so encouraging to see organizations like the Friends Program that help Granite Staters continue to give back. I’m thrilled to see federal resources going to such an important cause and I’ll keep working in Congress to support measures that invest in community service programming.”
“Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, what gives me hope is the all-hands-on-deck spirit and generosity that I have seen from so many Granite Staters who have stepped up to help their friends, neighbors, and communities in need. Volunteer programs throughout our state have played an important role in this, connecting Granite Staters willing to help with those who could use it. The Friends Program in Concord is one of these critical groups, and I am very pleased that they will receive this grant so that their Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) Program can continue to thrive,” said Senator Hassan.
“Fostering local engagement and service, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, is crucial to building strong communities and developing comradery between neighbors,” said Congresswoman Kuster. “I’ve been so moved by the strength of our citizens and communities here in New Hampshire throughout this pandemic, and I am thrilled to see federal funds go to such a helpful organization. I look forward to seeing the impact of these funds and working on future community engagement measures in Congress to support the Granite State.”
"Since the start of this pandemic, New Hampshire's seniors have faced loneliness, isolation, and separation from friends and family. That is why this funding for the Retired and Senior Volunteer (RSVP) Program though AmeriCorps couldn't come at a more important time," said Congressman Pappas. "This funding will provide those who are 55 and over with enriching volunteer experiences that will also help meet critical community needs. I remain committed to working with New Hampshire's congressional delegation to provide additional support for older Granite Staters throughout this pandemic and beyond."
Senator Shaheen is a strong supporter of national service programs. In May, Shaheen introduced the Pandemic Response and Opportunity Through National Service Act, legislation that would fund 750,000 national service positions over a three-year response and recovery period, in part to meet the projected need for as many as 300,000 public health workers. Earlier this year, the New Hampshire delegation also announced $4.7 million in AmeriCorps funding for New Hampshire programs and an additional $360K in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in July.