AMERICORPS AND VISTA HEROS CELEBRATED

The Children and Families Commission of Orange County Recognized AmeriCorps and VISTA Members for their Outstanding Service to the Community

IRVINE, CA – The Children and Families Commission of Orange County recognized members and partners of the AmeriCorps and VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) programs at a special event in Santa Ana on July 8. The AmeriCorps and VISTA programs are dedicated to the fight against poverty and provide direct health and educational services to families and young children.

AmeriCorps and VISTA members have impacted the lives of many families in Orange County. With the support of the Children and Families Commission, federal and state funding, and the help of local organizations, AmeriCorps and VISTA members are deployed to areas that need the most support in our community.

During the 2009-2010, nearly 100 AmeriCorps and VISTA members served in OrangeCounty and with statewide First 5 commission partners, 77 of which served in Orange County. From July 2009 to March 2010, members visited 18,343 homes with children ages 0-5, completed 593 health insurance applications for families with young children, implemented 526 classroom based early learning activities for children and parents, provided 11,210 hours of volunteer service…and the list goes on and on.

The survival of service programs is dependent upon adequate funding, but the supply of helping hands from willing individuals is just as vital. The AmeriCorps and VISTA programs provide the work force to make the many programs funded by the Commission possible, like 2-1-1 Orange County, Home-based Activities Building Language Acquisition (HABLA), and the Children’s Health Initiative of Orange County, to name a few.

AmeriCorps and VISTA members are passionate about what they do. These individuals aim to break the cycle of poverty by directly going to the people. In conjunction with the Commission’s goals, AmeriCorps and VISTA work to build a better future, equipping parents with the necessary tools to raise healthy and educated children.

About the Children and Families Commission of Orange County

The Children and Families Commission of Orange County oversees the allocation of funds from Proposition 10, which added a 50-cent tax on tobacco products sold in California. Funds help pay for education, health care and child development programs for children from the prenatal stage to age five and their families. The Commission’s goal is to ensure all children are healthy and ready to learn when they enter school. For more information, please visit www.occhildrenandfamilies.com.