My name is Hasani D. Lee and AmeriCorp*VISTA has screwed me over after serving from 1999-2001. They are working with the Department of The Treasury Financial Management Service as they trying to BULLY money from me that I never received.
They think I will STOP and give up, but I assure you! I WILL NOT!
Hey, buddy can you spare a volunteer? Nope, wait, I hear the government pays them…I’ll just order one on Amazon! I hear they are cheap, fraudulent, heavy drinkers and Po‘ rich kids…
“Hey, AmeriCorps…your roof is leaking…”
Ain’t nothing wrong with the roof. When it’s sunny it’s as good as any man’s roof…and when it rains…well, it’s just too wet to fix it!
“I like work it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours.” –Jerome K. Jerome.
So much for volunteering.
Fact number one: “We’re talking about a government program that will hire a quarter of a million, supposedly as volunteers that we pay. That will be the 14th largest employer in the country, assuming the federal government can actually manage this thing.” … Senator Jim DeMint Fact number two: Financed by the federal government, AmeriCorps funnels taxpayer dollars into the coffers of selected nonprofit organizations, which in turn use that money to pay the young people who register for a term of service with them. The recipients of AmeriCorps grants tend to be organizations whose politics fall on the left side of the spectrum, and whose efforts are focused on such projects as environmental activism, social-welfare programs, legal-aid assistance, political activism, teacher-education programs, community-organizer training, public health initiatives, childcare services, and ethnic-identity politics. Among the more notable recipients of AmeriCorps funding is the National Council of La Raza…
the National Council of La Raza succeeded in raking in over $15.2 million in federal grants last year alone, of which $7.9 million was in U.S. Department of Education grants for Charter Schools, and undisclosed amounts were for get-out-the-vote efforts supporting La Raza political positions.
It is of note that because there are no ‘worthy’ jobs out there for recent graduates, more and more are becoming paid volunteers. Putting more and more of a burden on our ‘economic’ distress.
Fact number three: CNCS, and specifically its AmeriCorps division, has been plagued with scandals. AmeriCorps is a federally funded community service program. Misuses in grant monies. Sexual harassment via the higher echelon amongst the ‘young’ volunteers. Having to spend more tax dollars to instill a ‘watch dog’ committee/babysitter for these unkept and misused services. Have all been issues raked over a bed of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ coals.
Enough said. So, yeah, I worked under the table for about five or six months. Obviously, I fit the ‘ethic and profile’ that AmeriCorps VISTA is looking for.
Perhaps, my sexual harassment of employees at my previous ‘above board’ place of employment will place me even higher up the ladder.
Who knows maybe I can run for office someday with my resume of illegal and immoral behavior.’ It’s good to be me. White and happy and smiling. Fed, breed and never gonna be wed.
Definition of Volunteer Service. Volunteer service is any type of work that is done free of charge.
Really? I didn’t know that. I wouldn’t have taken the gig if that were true.
For all you young idealists out there who want to go “make a difference” and “change the world” go right ahead, but don’t do it with AmeriCorps. The last few months I have spent with this organization has been pure fuckin’ hell…
AmeriCorps seems great at first. An education award ($4725), and a living stipend ($10,600) seems like enough to get by on. It isn’t.
1. The Education award is taxable, and that’s even if you earn it. Only about 50% of my class will actually be finishing their 1700 in order to earn their award. This is because the program is set up to have you finish in August when everyone else is applying and getting new jobs in May.
2. $10,600 averages out to about 2$ an hour. There are many other fulfilling organiztions you can go work for that will pay you a real salary.
3. AmeriCorps lied to me and just about everyone I know about what our actual job assignments would be. My time as of late had been spent checking in on fake friends and mastering masturbation. Ideal hands our the volunteer’s workshop.
4. For anyone out there who write this off as a cynical rant you can politely go F^%*( yourself. AmeriCorps sucks, ask anyone.
5. If you’re so psychopathic that you are only doing a summer tour; work on your tan…you’ll have plenty of free time.
6. Bend over put your head between your legs and kiss your ass good-bye and your sex life…no, good deed goes unpunished.
I hope this will help some of you make better career decisions.
Post Script- the food sucks too. Not real sure how I keep getting fatter. I could live off my body fat for a year and still have leftovers to offer the rest of the troop.
Check list for any reader looking to volunteer with AmeriCorps, FEMA or VISTA.
Not applicable if you are looking to enlist with the Armed Forces, Peace Corp or McDonalds!
1. Be an avid fan of porn
2. Have several mistaken and misguided sexual romps with men and women; make sure not to use protection.
3. Have to have been approached by at least one law enforcement agency about public nudity and PDS: public display of sex!
4. Connected with at least one family member, in a manner to which is not considered ‘normal’. Unusual thoughts of seeing them naked, mother/daughter incest and/or strange attachment after adulthood has started; mother buys your clothes/father does your bills.
5. Have an on going addiction to Oxy and/or other substance not deemed ‘appropriate’ in large quantities.
6. Change name several times in hopes of leaving past behind.
7. Work under the table via Craigslist. NH/Nude Model for Hire.
8.Belong to the idea that work was made for sleeping through and watching trailers of Pocahontas.
9. Cut, gash, slice and self mutilate in areas of your body just noticeable for someone to feel bad for you.
10. Cry yourself to sleep every night.
That is about it. I’m sure there are many other qualities that above mentioned agencies are looking for. Certainly, the proud the few the sedated are urged to apply.
Always a plus to be on several psychotropic sedating medications at the same time.
Wondering about volunteering to help little old ladies across the street? Wondering why you give hard earned money to deviant fools such as the Ambien Graces of this world? Curious as to why I’m paid $5,000 to keep popping those psychotropic pills and wander aimlessly ’bout America looking for a way out? Not me! I’ve got it too good. Get paid to see America, don’t spend a dime of your own money and take the ‘volunteering’ question out of the public sector’s hands.
Listen up people, you are being duped and here is why:
Three-quarters of American households give to charity. About 90 million adults volunteer; the value of their time has been estimated at nearly $200 billion.
Impressive as this is, it isn’t enough to meet all of the pressing human needs that face our society. But can this need best be met by a government program like the Corporation for National Service and AmeriCorps? I think not.
Service in America is so vital because it is decentralized and privately organized, addresses perceived needs, and grows out of people’s sense of duty and compassion. Any federal service program must be judged by whether it is consistent with this vision of volunteer service.
The explicit goal of advocates of mandatory service programs is to create a duty to the state rather than to the supposed beneficiaries of service. Moreover, service is to fit into a larger social plan implemented and enforced by government.
A public-sector bias is reflected in the fact that 2,800 of the first 20,000 AmeriCorps participants were assigned to federal agencies. The Department of the Interior used these workers to “update geological and hydrological information for the U.S. Geological Survey” and restore wetlands and wildlife habitat. These jobs, while respectable, resemble traditional government employment rather than “service.” Such activities are not likely to promote volunteerism around the country.
A more subtle problem is the likely long-term effect of federal funding on the volunteer groups and those who normally support volunteer groups. It is, in the abstract, hard to criticize grants to organizations like Habitat for Humanity (which until now refused to accept government funding), Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and the Red Cross. These groups do good work and money given to them is likely to be well spent.
Who, however, should do the giving? Should the IRS empty pockets nationwide, give part of that to a government entity, which gives it to charity? No. Individuals should give to charity directly, not through the IRS. And it is understandable that the Habitat for Humanity could use more full-time supervisors for its volunteers, but not that the Habitat should get them from the government.
Finally, AmeriCorps may have undesirable consequences on volunteers as the government turns “volunteer service” into a job that pays better—all things considered —than other entry-level work. Some participants have privately admitted that they see national service as remunerative, not as an opportunity to help the community.
Indeed, government-funded service plays into what some national-service proponents have denounced as an entitlement mentality—the idea that, for instance, students have a right to a taxpayer-paid education. Some have asked, why should middle-class young people be able to force poor taxpayers to help put them through school? Is the government actually fueling tuition hikes by making this money available? How about addressing the host of other “entitlements” that riddle the federal budget and sap people’s independence? And, are taxpayers likely to get their money’s worth from the service provided by AmeriCorps members?
If AmeriCorps is not the answer, what is? First, government barriers in the way of private individuals and groups who want to help should be torn down.
Second, leaders—lawmakers, clerics, philanthropists, corporate presidents—need to emphasize that the responsibility of helping the needy lies with individuals, families, communities—not government.
Third, tax incentives, particularly tax credits for charitable donations, should be giver. to encourage people to make contributions.
Finally, to the extent that serious social problems remain, government should use narrowly targeted responses to meet only the most serious problems. Let private volunteerism handle the rest.
There is no predetermined definition of service, pattern of appropriate involvement, set of “needs” to be met or tasks to be fulfilled. America’s strength is its combination of humanitarian impulses, private association and diversity. We need service, not “national service.”
Honestly, we’ve already discussed that I could be the next incident waiting to happen. How hard is it to figure out that Ambien Grace and all the Tom, Dick, Amber and Annie’s are gladly picking your pocket in order to tour the south and continue in our avoidance of ‘real’ work paid for by the private sector.
Oh, one more thing, don’t let my mentor know I let you in on this secret. I believe they are already watching me for signs of instability!
EARL'S PLACE: "AN OPEN & RESPECTFUL ONLINE SPACE TO DEBATE OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES FACING THE GLOBE," CURATED BY AWARD-WINNING COLUMNIST, EARL PLANTE, AN UNFLINCHING ADVOCATE FOR SOCIAL & ECONOMIC JUSTICE