National Service in West Virginia

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History 
National Service has a long history in West Virginia. If AmeriCorps had a great grandfather, The Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's and 40's would be it. The public relief program, part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, housed over 67 CCC camps in West Virginia. The program put young men to work during the Great Depression. CCC participants built many of the parks, bridges, lodges, and lakes that we use today.

Next came Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA), the brainchild of President John F. Kennedy. Created as a domestic alternative to the Peace Corps, some of the first VISTA volunteers served in Appalachia, mentoring youth and educating communities on black lung. With the state's most famous VISTA being Senator Jay Rockefeller, who moved to Emmons, West Virginia to serve in the 1960's. The program was incorporated into AmeriCorps and renamed AmeriCorps VISTA with the creation of AmeriCorps in 1993.  

With all this history, it is no coincidence that West Virginia ranks third in the nation for producing AmeriCorps volunteers. National Service programs like AmeriCorps, VISTA, and Senior Corps build on our state's long tradition of neighbor-helping-neighbor.  


Photo Credit: Top: Sen. J Rockefeller during his VISTA service in Emmons, WV | Charleston Gazette-Mail
Bottom L: Former VISTA volunteer Naomi Cohen in Raleigh County |  Robert Sharpe Productions, Before The Mountain Was Moved 
Bottom R: John F Kennedy in Logan, WV | rarehistoricalphotos.com


National Service in West Virginia 
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More than 3,200 people of all ages and backgrounds are helping to strengthen communities through National Service in West Virginia. Serving at more than 871 locations throughout the state, these volunteers mentor youth, support Veterans, combat food deserts, preserve historic locations, and more. 

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To learn more about National Service in West Virginia click here

Volunteer West Virginia

600 Capitol Street, Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 304.558.0111 | Toll Free: 800.WVHELPS | Fax: 304.558.0101

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