York City celebrates national service volunteers

Jason Addy

York City Mayor Kim Bracey joined more than 4,500 U.S. elected officials and tribal leaders Tuesday in declaring April 4 to be Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service.

About two dozen volunteers from local service organizations met Tuesday in York City Hall to hear the mayor’s proclamation, which lauded volunteers for their commitment, dedication and patriotism.

Bracey thanked volunteers from the American Red Cross of York and Adams counties, the Community Progress Council’s Foster Grandparents Program, York Habitat for Humanity, United Way of York and Crispus Attucks YouthBuild, among other organizations.

York City Mayor Kim Bracey thanks a volunteer from the Crispus Attucks Charter School's YouthBuild program on Tuesday in York City Hall. Bracey declared April 4 as "Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service." Photo courtesy of the City of York Facebook page.

“You help our communities and our city … really hum and keep ticking,” Bracey told the  volunteers.

James Kerrigan, Pennsylvania state program officer for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), called on the York community to celebrate the contributions of “national service champions” on Tuesday and throughout the year.

The CNCS oversees programs “that engage millions of citizens in service each year,” including AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and the Social Innovation Fund, Kerrigan said.

Kerrigan said there are more than 90 AmeriCorps volunteers and 130 Senior Corps volunteers “getting things done” in York County, and more than 1,300 county residents have volunteered more than 900,000 hours since 1994.

“Citizens serving through our programs address the most pressing issues facing our cities and nation,” Kerrigan said. “They represent America at its best — citizens turning toward problems instead of away, working to solve local challenges.”

Volunteers provide mayors and county officials with a “smart and cost-effective” strategy to tackle local issues, Kerrigan said, by preparing students for tomorrow’s workforce, reducing crime, connecting veterans with jobs, fighting the opioid epidemic and helping people rebuild after natural disasters.

“Thank you to each of you. Our national service volunteers unselfishly give back to our York and make it a better place to live, work and play,” Bracey said. “It is no secret, service to others is a hallmark of the American character and central to how we meet many of our challenges.”