Thursday, July 16, 2009

NV Energy Steps Up in Support of AmeriCorps

LAS VEGAS — NV Energy donated $5,000 in support of Nevada Volunteers, a nonprofit organization and gateway to the AmeriCorps program.

Nevada Volunteers faces a financial crisis due to an oversight in the last legislative session. Had the bill passed, federal funding would have matched the states investment 19:1, bringing in $7.5 million to the state over the next two years. Now, Nevada Volunteers is relying solely on the support of the community to raise the money.

Fortunately, some members of the community are taking action. The $32,500 needed by Oct. 1 seemed like a debilitating amount to Nevada Volunteers, until NV Energy led the community with their donation, reducing the amount owed to $27,500. Motivated by NV Energy's initiative, another $250 was donated anonymously.

"It's refreshing to see some businesses, individual citizens, and members of the media like KLAS taking a lead to help save AmeriCorps in Nevada," said Richard Becker, commissioner for Nevada Volunteers. "We clearly need more help until the state recognizes the need and finds a suitable solution to save AmeriCorps. Sometimes, even a single business donation can be the catalyst for an entire community to rally behind."

Since it was formed eleven years ago as the Nevada Commission for National and Community Service, Nevada Volunteers has provided the administration for programs in which nearly 2,000 AmeriCorps members — mostly college age students paid minimum wage — have provided needed services throughout the state. Add thousands of volunteers to the mix and the effect on social services and the environment has been substantial.

As one example, during the 2007-08 service year, the organization provided support to 721 homeless veterans, giving them the ability to maintain a stable place of residence. In another community AmeriCorps members have collected and distributed almost 60,000 pounds of food and clothing to 21,500 Nevadans.

Whether it is a $5,000 donation or a $5 donation, it could be the catalyst for change in your community. NV Energy saw the value in investing in the community, and it didn't take long for others to follow suit. Often, this is all it takes.

If you too would like to donate to Nevada Volunteers, please visit their Web site.

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