Governor Timothy Kaine has proclaimed April 19-25 as Volunteer Week in Virginia. As a prelude to Volunteer Week, the Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Awards will be held in Richmond, April 15. Awards will be given to individuals and organizations who have exemplified extraordinary volunteer service during the past year. Volunteer Week in Virginia coincides with National Volunteer Week, a program of the Points of Light Institute. Nationally, there will be several recognition events celebrating leaders in the field of service, including a reception on Capitol Hill honoring Senators Kennedy and Hatch for their efforts behind the Serve America Act. Download the Governor's proclamation in low resolution [PDF - 143kb] or high resolution [PDF - 7.5mb].
AmeriCorps members, alumni, project staff members, commission members, friends, and supporters will participate in AmeriCorps Week, May 9-16. The goal is to bring more Americans into service, salute members and alumni, and thank the partners who make AmeriCorps possible. Get the tools and ideas you need to plan for AmeriCorps Week 2009. For more information about AmeriCorps in Virginia, visit http://www.vaservice.org/.
Virginia Advisory Board on National and Community Service
Serving as an AFL-CIO Community Services Liaison, C.B. Sinclair has been on staff at United Way of Greater Richmond and Petersburg as director of labor participation since 2004. Prior to working at United Way, he retired from a major manufacturing company. C.B. works closely with organizations such as Virginia Rapid Response, the Central Virginia Food Bank, the Richmond Chapter of the American Red Cross, Central Virginia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), the Virginia Service Foundation and the Richmond Regional Central Labor Council. He has served as a Governor's Advisory Board member since 2007. "Volunteering has been a part of my life for well over thirty years," he says. "My first volunteer opportunity came when someone asked me to accompany them one day to deliver meals to people. That was a life changing experience. To see the conditions of how others were living, really made me appreciate the good health that I have. From that day forward, I started to look for ways I could make a positive difference to help others."
Global Youth Service Day events are planned for April 24-26. The event, sponsored by Youth Service America, is the largest service event in the world with millions of youth volunteering in projects worldwide. Global Youth Service Day is designed to foster a life-long path of service and civic engagement. The event is also designed to educate the public, the media, and elected officials about the role of youth as community leaders. Youth are urged to tutor young children, engage in disaster relief, register new voters, educate their communities about good nutrition, distribute HIV/AIDs prevention materials, and meet many more community needs through service. Learn about events in Virginia.
The National Council of Nonprofits has posted a series of special reports relating to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (commonly referred to as the economic stimulus bill). Nonprofits and faith-based organizations are encouraged to check the Web site frequently or subscribe to their news feed for information on possible funding and grant opportunities.
Could your organization benefit from the help of youth volunteers? Two new programs in the Richmond area could help.
- HandsOn Greater Richmond is now offering volunteer projects exclusively for youth between the ages of 12-18. Contact HandsOn if your organization would like to work with a youth team, if you currently work with youth organizations or schools, or if you
- know of any youth that are looking for opportunities to give back to their community.
- Operation Community Kindness seeks to have Richmond area schools involved in acts of kindness in their community. A Community Kindness Festival will be held November 15, at the Science Museum of Virginia to celebrate the program's accomplishments.
The Department of Education has published regulations for the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA). This Act provides loan forgiveness for full-time employees of public service organizations. Nonprofit full-time employees making monthly college loan repayments can count each month of nonprofit employment towards the 120 months of payments needed to quality for forgiveness of the remaining loan balance, beginning with payments after October 1, 2007. Get more information.
Recruiting and engaging Virginians with disabilities in service is fundamental to our goal to provide service opportunities for individuals of all ages and backgrounds. Persons with disabilities contribute a wide range of talents to our communities and are looking for opportunities to serve in significant ways. As your organization plans for member and volunteer recruitment efforts, here are some great tips on recruiting individuals with disabilities.
- Melanie DePaulis served with AmeriCorps previously in the Montana Conservation Corps and now serves with the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia as a part-time member. She was quickly able to get up to speed and serve as the lead teacher at two class sites where she oversees and supports volunteer classroom teachers and aides, acts as a liaison with site managers, and teaches classes herself. "Seeing my students develop the skills they need to thrive in the U.S. -- and to do so enthusiastically -- makes working with AmeriCorps very rewarding!" she says.
- Virgnia Community Corps member Silvia Sisk of Stafford Department of Social Services Olde Forge Junction comments on her after-school tutoring experiences: "The icing on the cake is the day they run to show you their report cards. The moment you have one of your students make the honor roll, which one did, is a feeling of awe. It's seeing first hand how encouragement, reinforcing knowledge, and building confidence puts the children on a path of success, and they see that success is achievable."
- New Nonprofit Good Practice Guide - The Johnson Center at Grand Valley State University has created a new tool for rebuilding and sustaining during tough economic times.
- American Teens Choosing to Volunteer Over Employment - In a recent survey, parents and guardians said that instead of getting a part-time job, 82 percent of the teens in their lives do something to support charitable causes.
- Virginia's Mental Health Report Card - The National Alliance on Mental Illness has released a comprehensive, state-by-state analysis of the nation's public mental health care system for adults. Virginia's mental health care system received a grade of C, up from a D three years ago.
- More Nonprofits are Merging Together - Nonprofits merge at almost the same rate as for-profit businesses according to a report conducted by the Bridgespan Group. The article also explores the Child and Family Services field, where market conditions are especially favorable to combinations, and profiles two nonprofits making the most of acquisitions.
- New Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Resource - Stop It Now!, a national leader in child sexual abuse prevention, has launched a 24-hour Online Help Center for people with concerns or questions about specific child sexual abuse situations.
- "Ranks of Volunteers Swell as Joblessness Rises" - The New York Times reports that a growing number of newly unemployed professionals have been streaming into the offices of nonprofits since the onset of the recession looking to do some good, to network, or simply to fill the hours they used to put in at their former jobs.
- "Losing Faith" - The Waynesboro News-Virginian reports that the number of Virginians calling themselves Christians is in line with the national average, down 12 percent from a decade ago.
- "Virginia ranks 15th in study of well-being of Americans" - The Richmond Times-Dispatch recently featured a story about the latest report on the nation's emotional, economic and physical health.
- "Volunteers needed for world's largest day of service" - WLOS-10 in Roanoke announced Global Youth Service Day and its need for volunteers.
- "How will you help your community in the next 20 years?" - The Richmond Times-Dispatch covered a forum of community service leaders in a discussion on the future of service.
"Obama Announces White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships" - President Obama has signed an executive order establishing the new agency to work on behalf of Americans committed to improving their communities, no matter their religious or political beliefs.