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Maine VolunteerFare

From the Corporation

Published January 19, 2006


New National Campaign Urges America?s 77 Million Baby Boomers to Volunteer

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) ? Recognizing the extraordinary potential for social good among America?s 77 million baby boomers, the Corporation for National and Community Service today unveiled a multi-year public service ad campaign that asks baby boomers to get involved in their communities.

The ?Get Involved? campaign was launched at the White House Conference on Aging, a once-a-decade gathering that makes policy recommendations to the President and Congress about aging issues. The PSA campaign is part of a larger effort by volunteer and nonprofit leaders at the conference to develop a national strategy to engage more baby boomers in service.

Born between 1946 and 1964, baby boomers came of age in a period of great social idealism. Many were inspired to service by President Kennedy?s famous ?Ask not?? speech. Data released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics last Friday shows that 33.2 percent of all boomers ? 25.8 million people ? volunteered for formal organizations in 2005. This represents the highest rate of volunteering of any age cohort. Campaign organizers want to increase that percent, especially as boomers begin to retire and have more free time

?America?s baby boomers are an untapped resource of extraordinary proportions. They are the largest, healthiest, best-educated generation in history ? and they can leave an incredible legacy through service to others,? said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, who spoke to the 1,200 delegates about the need for change in the business, nonprofit, and government sectors to attract boomer volunteers. ?This campaign is a first step in larger strategy that has the potential to transform our society.?

The campaign?s goal is to increase the number of boomers engaged in community service. It drives viewers to a new website, www.getinvolved.gov and toll-free hotline, 1-800-424-8867, where they can search by zip code and interest area for local volunteer opportunities that best suit their needs, experience and lifestyle.

The public service announcements will begin running in January 2006, when the first wave of baby boomers start to turn 60. The ads feature a series of English and Spanish language version television, radio and print ads profiling baby boomers (ages 55-60) of different backgrounds sharing how community service changed their lives and inviting their peers to join them. The ads feature real volunteers from the Corporation?s RSVP and AmeriCorps VISTA program.

The ?Get Involved? campaign is being launched in partnership with America?s nonprofit community. Thirty-four organizations, including AARP, the American Red Cross, America?s Promise, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities, Communities in Schools, have signed on campaign supporters. A full list is available at www.getinvolved.gov. The campaign also has support from private-sector organizations that share a commitment to civic responsibility including IBM, CVS, America Online, and Inova Health System.


National Service Agency Awards Grants to Support Hurricane Relief Efforts by Baby Boomers

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) ? The Corporation for National and Community Service announced today that it will award a total of $3.9 million in ?Challenge Grants? to six national nonprofit organizations to engage baby boomers in helping Gulf Coast communities recover from the hurricanes of 2005.

The grants, announced at the White House Conference on Aging, will go to six organizations: the AARP Foundation, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Habitat for Humanity International, the Hands On Network, Nazarene Compassionate Ministries Inc., and the Points of Light Foundation. Together the grants are expected to support the mobilization of nearly 72,000 volunteers, most of whom are expected to be baby boomers.

?Baby boomers have an extraordinary set of talents that can be tapped to help in the Gulf recovery effort,? said David Eisner, the Corporation?s CEO. ?From architects and builders to mentors and counselors, baby boomers have the skills and desire to make a difference. We?re delighted to work with these outstanding organizations to find innovative ways to unleash the volunteer power of boomers.?

The announcement was made during a press briefing at the White House Conference on Aging, a once-a decade gathering that makes policy recommendations to the President and Congress about aging issues. Among the key issues being discussed at the conference is development of a national policy to engage more baby boomers ? generally regarded as the best-educated, wealthiest, and healthiest in history ? in service to their communities as they reach their later years.

To help achieve that goal, the Corporation today launched its new ?Get Involved? public service advertising campaign aimed at recruiting America?s baby boomers to volunteer. The PSAs will begin running in January 2006 and feature a series of English and Spanish-language television, radio, and print ads profiling baby boomers of different backgrounds. Real baby boomer volunteers share their stories and invite their peers to join them in making a difference. The spots drive viewers to a new www.getinvolved.gov website which has a comprehensive online volunteer search engine to make it easy to find volunteer opportunities.

Corporation Challenge Grants require that each Federal dollar awarded be ?matched? by a minimum of $2 in private funding. As a result, the grants are expected to leverage nearly $8 million in non-federal funds for the grantees.

?These grantees are some of the very best at both innovation and financial sustainability,? said Eisner. "We are excited to work with them to develop new sources of funding, to build effective and sustainable service, and to engage baby boomers and other Americans in volunteer programs in the Gulf region."

The 2005 Challenge Grant competition was designed to address three significant strategic priorities for the Corporation: providing disaster relief and recovery for the population affected by the recent hurricanes, ?leveraging? the number of community volunteers, and engaging more baby boomers in service, along with private sector resources to match federal resources

The organizations and programs selected to receive grants in this competition are:

The AARP Foundation ($500,000)

The AARP Foundation, in partnership with Faith in Action and Rebuilding Together, will provide needed services related to hurricane damage recovery, including independent living, home repair/modification, employment, and consumer assistance for seniors in the Gulf Region. The foundation will expand existing, successful programs with the support of baby boomer volunteers in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas by recruiting more than 1,350 new boomer volunteers to assist more than 12,000 vulnerable older adults and their families in the affected areas.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America ($500,000)

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBSA) will recruit and provide mentoring opportunities for up to 1,800 baby boomer volunteers to mentor children who have been impacted by the hurricanes in the Gulf Coast region. BBBSA will develop new corporate partnerships as a vehicle to attract and engage babyboomers in service and will undertake a marketing campaign to engage the baby boom generation.

Habitat for Humanity International ($1,468,000)

Habitat for Humanity International will establish the Habitat Disaster Corps to provide volunteer support to various disaster response activities. The new corps will assist with both long-term recovery and immediate shelter needs through training of disaster response volunteers and disaster recovery work teams. The program will recruit, train, and manage 3,000 baby boomer volunteer leaders to carry out specific support functions necessary to assist with disaster preparedness, response, and recovery efforts within assigned communities. The program will also address the need for a trained corps of volunteers to implement the Habitat for Humanity disaster response, recovery, and reconstruction efforts in Alabama, Mississippi, Texas, Florida, and Louisiana.

Hands On Network ($500,000)

The Hands On Network will establish three Civic Action Centers ? one each in central Louisiana, the Mississippi Gulf Coast, and southern Alabama ? to mobilize the corporate workforce from the local area and across the country to carry out a range of disaster response projects. These centers will share a common structure, program offerings, baby boomer recruitment strategies, and overall service scope to create projects to meet priorities and needs of each community. By working with state and local agencies, as well as local community, faith-based, and voluntary action agencies, the centers will identify on-going and temporary service projects and provide Hands On project management and training and technical assistance to successfully carry out projects and help re-establish long term civic infrastructure. The effort is expected to involve 60,000 volunteers, half of which are expected to be boomers.

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, Inc. ($500,000)

Nazarene Compassionate Ministries will serve as an intermediary to develop a long-term volunteer infrastructure to respond to recent hurricane damage as well as to future disasters in six states across the Gulf Coast region. Based on a model successfully piloted in Florida, the group will establish local Rapid Response Teams equipped and trained to operate in coordination with local, regional, and national disaster response systems in each of the Gulf Coast states, from Florida to Texas. These Rapid Response Teams will mobilize 5,000 new volunteers, particularly baby boomers, to assist with repairing and rebuilding housing and community facilities, and helping meet other unmet needs of disaster victims.

Points of Light Foundation ($500,000)

The Points of Light Foundation will engage volunteers to support the critical role of providing food, medical care, shelter, long-term housing, mentoring, and public safety to meet the basic needs of those who have been impacted by the hurricanes. Volunteer Centers will assign and place 2,000 volunteers, half of them boomers, in areas identified by their local emergency management offices and partners in the hurricane relief and recovery effort.


White House Conference on Aging Stresses Value of Older Volunteers

Once-a-decade conference urges Baby Boomers to ?Get Involved?

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? The White House Conference on Aging came to a close last week after delegates passed a set of recommendations to the President and Congress that included a call for a national strategy for volunteering and a push for the renewal of laws that authorize national service programs.

The 1,200 delegates to the conference wrestled with complex and controversial issues related to Social Security, Medicare, pensions, long-term care, and elder abuse, among others. Volunteering ? and the immense potential for social good in the coming Baby Boomer generation -- was an idea that received widespread acceptance and a high level of attention from delegates and speakers at the gathering.

Claude Allen, the President?s Domestic Policy Advisor, praised the nation?s 500,000 Senior Corps volunteers and asked boomers to use their skill and experience to meet societal needs. ?Boomers can be tapped to become teachers, they can be tutors, they can be stewards of the environment, they can also help young members of our society who are at risk for gang violence.?

That theme was echoed and amplified by Corporation for National and Community Service CEO David Eisner, who called for a cultural shift and a national strategy to tap the volunteer power of the 77 million baby boomers. ?We need to we need to change our perceptions of aging and our expectations for people over 55. We have to learn to see older people as an asset, not a burden, and retirement as a time for personal renaissance and societal relevance.?

As a first step in the cultural shift, Eisner announced two agency initiatives to engage more baby boomers in service. The first was the awarding of $4 million in new challenge grants to support six organizations that will mobilize nearly 72,000 volunteers -- most who will be baby boomers ? to help families and communities recover from the Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The second was the launch of a new "Get Involved" public service advertising campaign aimed at recruiting America?s baby boomers to volunteer. The PSAs will begin running in January 2006 and feature a series of English and Spanish-language television, radio, and print ads profiling baby boomers of different backgrounds. The spots drive viewers to a new www.getinvolved.gov website which has a comprehensive online volunteer search engine to make it easy to find volunteer opportunities.

Delegates voted to include the two volunteer service recommendations among the top fifty resolutions that will be forwarded to Congress and the President. On the second day of the conference, they met in small groups to discuss implementation strategies. For the national volunteer strategy resolution (56), delegates asked employers to provide opportunities for their employees to volunteer, and urged the creation of transferable education awards for volunteers who serve at least 500 hours a year, among other ideas. On resolution 59 calling for reauthorization of the national service laws, delegates called for a doubling of Senior Corps and urged greater flexibility to support demonstration and innovative programs. The full report summarizing the implementation strategies will be available in June 2006 at the conference website at www.whcoa.gov.

?No one at this conference could walk away without having heard the volunteer and national service message loud and clear,? said Tess Scannell, Director of Senior Corps. ?For that, I thank our Senior Corps association leaders and their half-million volunteers. Their dedication is changing the lives of countless Americans. We look forward to working together to unleash the immense power of the baby boomers.?

From the kick-off service project to the plenary speeches and implementation sessions, volunteering was a common theme at the 2005 White House Conference on Aging.

A Hands-On Kick-Off

The conference opened on Sunday morning with a volunteer service project for delegates and D.C. area volunteers. About 40 volunteers painted walls and weatherized the building that is home to Educational Organization for United Latin Americans (EOFULA), a local community center for Latino seniors. Volunteers also made lunch for about 40 clients of the center and distributed disaster preparedness kits donated by the National Association of Broadcasters. The service project was sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Washington, DC Jewish Community Center.

Center director Angel Luis Irene was grateful for the volunteer help. ?More than 90 percent of Latino elders in DC live at or below the poverty line and more than 65 percent live alone. The volunteers helping today are giving both a physical and psychological boost to our senior clients.?

?It may seem surprising to kick off a policy conference with a volunteer project,? said Eisner. ?But really, it makes perfect sense. This project sends an important message: Older Americans make outstanding volunteers, and a key to successful aging is getting involved in your community.?

A Salute to Older Volunteers

Later that day, the Corporation hosted a ?Salute to Volunteers? reception for all conference delegates. The reception was made possible through the generous support CVS Pharmacy and America Online.

The highlight of the reception was the premiere of ?After the Storm,? a new seven minute documentary-style video that highlights the contributions of Senior Corps volunteers in Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The video showcases the ?everyday heroes? who volunteer through the Foster Grandparent, RSVP, and Senior Companions programs. More than 4,000 Senior Corps volunteers have engaged in Hurricane Katrina relief and recovery efforts. The video shows how these volunteers sprang into action even when many were facing their own losses.

?They did what I think they just normally would do, which is look for the need and then go see how they can help,? said Priscilla Outhuse, RSVP Director, St. Taminy Parish, La., ?and that's what they did.?

A Campaign Launch

Surrounded by leaders from the nation?s senior service and nonprofit sector, Corporation CEO David Eisner unveiled a new multi-year public service advertising campaign aimed at recruiting America?s 77 million baby boomers to volunteer.

Eisner was joined at the noontime press conference launch of the ?Get Involved? campaign by White House Conference on Aging policy chair Dorcas Hardy, baby boomer expert Ken Dychtwald, USA Freedom Corps director Desiree Sayle, and the four boomer volunteers featured in the new ads.

The campaign?s goal is to increase the number of boomers engaged in community service. It drives viewers to a new website, www.getinvolved.gov and toll-free hotline, 1-800-424-8867, where boomers can search by zip code and interest area for local volunteer opportunities that best suit their interests.

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