Facebook4Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by United Way of Thurston CountyIn recent years, United Ways across the U.S. have seen their mission broaden, from simply being collectors and distributors of funds, to serving as focal points for mobilizing communities to create a better life for all. United Ways emphasize not only monetary donations, but also advocacy and volunteerism, particularly around issues of education, living-wage income, and good health.United Way of Thurston County (UWTC) will continue putting this philosophy into practice with its project for AmeriCorps Week, on Friday, March 15th. For this event, UWTC will recruit AmeriCorps members placed at local organizations through the Washington Service Corps to distribute resource materials to service agencies in Thurston County. These materials include information about the FamilyWize prescription discount program, 2-1-1 service directory call centers, and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).“This project comes at a time when many people in our local area, and in communities across the country, are facing a dire economic situation,” said Faith Trimble, Chair of the Income Panel of UWTC’s Board of Directors. “No one should ever be forced to choose between shelter, food, and medicine. Providing these resources – especially together – can help prevent people in our community, our neighbors, from ever having to make such a choice. It is easy to see their importance in light of AmeriCorps and United Way’s shared emphasis on economic opportunity and access to healthcare.”Members of AmeriCorps and its poverty-fighting branch, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America), have undertaken more than one billion hours of public service across the nation in the past twenty years to address issues of education, economic opportunity, disaster relief, health, environmental stewardship, and support for veterans and military families. AmeriCorps is a federal program administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which aims to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.