Governor Timothy M. Kaine has announced the recipients of the 2009 Governor's Volunteerism and Community Service Awards. These awards highlight the efforts of outstanding citizens of the Commonwealth who seek to enhance the lives of others in their communities. The awards are presented to groups, individuals and families whose efforts exemplify extraordinary volunteer service. Governor Kaine has also proclaimed April 19-25 as Volunteer Week in Virginia. As a prelude to the recognition week, individuals and organizations were honored at a special ceremony, April 15 in Richmond. Read profiles of this year's award recipients and view the photo gallery.
May 9-16, AmeriCorps members, alumni, project staff members, commission members, friends, and supporters will participate in AmeriCorps Week. Throughout the Commonwealth, organizations are making a difference and touching lives through participation in AmeriCorps. Last year, AmeriCorps*State resulted in nearly $7.4 million dollars worth of service to Virginia. The state's 17 programs and their 371 AmeriCorps members recruited more than 10,000 volunteers resulting in more than 300,000 service hours. In Virginia, SynerGeo, Inc. will host a volunteer/member recognition dinner, a partner/program participant's art show, and a community event. The Virginia Commonwealth University AmeriCorps program will deliver meals to needy senior citizens in the Richmond area through Meals on Wheels. Mountain Empire Community College (MECC) AmeriCorps will participate in a walk-a-thon to benefit an area emergency fuel assistance program that helps senior citizens. Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps in Virginia will participate in a Build-a-Thon in Iowa, building homes for 2008 flood victims in conjunction with 500 other Habitat AmeriCorps members from across the country. Congressman Tom Perriello hosted an AmeriCorps member open house in Charlottesville on May 11 (view photos). See a complete list of AmeriCorps Week activities.
Register today for the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, June 22-24, in San Francisco. Co-convened by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Institute, the conference will feature more than 170 workshops designed for today's service leaders to re-imagine, rebuild and re-inspire a movement for service and engagement. Tap into the renewed enthusiasm for volunteering to meet critical community needs and participate in vital conversations about the future of service and volunteering in America. Learn about the historic Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act and its implications for the nonprofit and volunteer sector. This year's theme — "Civic. Energy. Generation." — reflects the tremendous excitement in our nation today as people of all ages and backgrounds unify in a powerful movement to bring about social change. Details and registration.
Governor's Advisory Board on National and Community Service
Holly Hatcher first became involved in community service at Appalachian State University (ASU). "I was a tutor at a local elementary school in rural western North Carolina," she recalls. "Then I went on to coordinate ASU's first ever Alternative Spring Break where I led 14 fellow students to volunteer for a week in Atlanta. I have made a career of community service ever since." Holly has 10 years of experience working for nonprofits with five of those years serving as a community organizer. As a community organizer, she worked on issues of economic justice, reproductive rights, resident rights and affordable housing. Two years ago, Holly joined the philanthropic sector as director of programs for the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation (CACF). There she is responsible for the overall effectiveness and management of the Foundation's grant making. CACF makes grants of more $4 million annually to nonprofit organizations working to improve the quality of life in the city of Charlottesville and counties of Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, and Nelson. Holly has also served on several local boards and commissions and is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership where she was a 2004 fellow in the Political Leaders Program. "My own experience working with nonprofits, in addition to my current work of funding hundreds of nonprofits in my community, has greatly strengthened my appreciation for volunteers," she says. "So many nonprofits rely on volunteers to fulfill their missions. Volunteers are at the heart of the nonprofit sector - their dedication enables nonprofits to enhance the quality of life in our Commonwealth."
On April 21, 2009, President Barack Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act that reauthorizes and expands national service programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The Serve America Act, which goes into effect on October 1, aims to enhance opportunities for Americans of all ages to serve by increasing AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 positions over the next eight years, while also increasing opportunities for students and older Americans to serve. It will strengthen America's civic infrastructure through social innovation, volunteer mobilization, and building nonprofit capacity. The new law is also designed to strengthen the management, cost-effectiveness and accountability of national service programs. CNCS is sponsoring a number of opportunities for public input over the next month, including listening sessions around the country, conference calls, and a web page for submitting your written comments. Learn more about this important legislation.
Governor Timothy M. Kaine has declared May as Military Appreciation Month in Virginia, and is encouraging all citizens of the Commonwealth to join in recognizing the contributions and sacrifices made by Virginia-based military personnel and their families. "We're proud of these men and women and their dedication to the defense of our nation and the Commonwealth" said Governor Kaine. Virginia is home to more than 206,000 active military and civilian defense personnel, the most of any state, as well as more than 35,000 members of the Reserves and National Guard. Read the Governor's press release.
Innovations in Civic Participation (ICP), an organization committed to increasing youth service opportunities in the U.S. and abroad, is expanding its Program & Policy Database to include innovative Summer of Service (SOS) programs. To facilitate this they have developed the Summer of Service Survey. SOS program survey responses will be entered into ICP's growing database. Some of you may have filled out a similar survey before; the new survey is updated and expanded to provide more useful information. Please take a few minutes to fill out the Summer of Service Survey even if you have done so before.
- Explore a collection of resources developed by the Center for Nonprofit Excellence and National Council of Nonprofits to help nonprofits understand and navigate everything from the current economic environment to engaging social media.
- The Foundation Center examines trends in foundation giving priorities during times of financial difficulty.
- Non-profit guides are free Web-based grant-writing tools for non-profit organizations, charitable, educational, public organizations, and other community-minded groups.
- The Chronicle of Philanthropy takes a look at whether or not nonprofit groups should have formal contribution requirements for those who serve on their boards of directors.
- Guidestar offers do-it-yourself solutions for fundraising.
- The Older Dominion Partnership and the Community Foundation of Greater Richmond and Petersburg offer presentation on how to increase boomer volunteerism in central Virginia.
- "Bill Expanding AmeriCorps Prompts Funding Debate" - NPR explores opposing viewpoints on the proposal to expand the AmeriCorps program.
- "6 Ways You Can Give Back" - Reader's Digest offers suggestions on how you can make a difference, and feel good doing it.
- "Anonymous Giving Gains in Popularity as the Recession Deepens"
- "President Obama to Request $50 Million to Identify and Expand Effective, Innovative Non-Profits" - Office of the Press Secretary, The White House
- "Report says Virginia not doing enough for poor" - Richmond Times Dispatch