HELENA – Since 1994, more than 7,200 Montana residents have served more than 6.7 million hours with AmeriCorps.

This week, Montana is joining a nationwide celebration of AmeriCorps Week, spotlighting the service done by these volunteers. In Big Sky Country, AmeriCorps members build trails, mentor at-risk youth, weatherize homes, help students learn to read, assist with tax preparations, build homes for low-income families, recruit volunteers, help nonprofits achieve their mission, among other projects.

The public is encouraged to thank AmeriCorps members for their service to Montana and find an AmeriCorps Week event in their area. A number of events are happening around the state including a service project in Dillon, a public display in Bozeman.

For a list of AmeriCorps Week event in Montana, please visit: serve.mt.gov/?p=8133

“AmeriCorps members are vital to our Montana nonprofits and community organizations,” said Jan Lombardi, Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Community Service. This year 1,418 AmeriCorps members will support more than 500 nonprofits, schools, and community organizations.

Through service with AmeriCorps, individuals receive career and leadership skills and AmeriCorps members typically remain actively engaged in their communities once their service is complete. Upon completion of their term of service, AmeriCorps members are eligible to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award of $5,550, which can be used to pay back student loans or cover future tuition costs. Since 1995, $10.6 million in education awards has gone to colleges, universities and student lending organizations in Montana.

AmeriCorps works through existing organizations and helps them reach more people and better achieve their mission. Since 1994, more than 775,000 AmeriCorps members nationwide have given one billion hours of service, mobilized tens of millions of volunteers, and improved the lives of countless citizens.

For more information, visit americorps.gov.

The Governor’s Office of Community Service expands and promotes national service and volunteerism in Montana and engages citizens in service and emergency preparedness.