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About Senior Corps 
Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service

Monday, December 12, 2005

CONTACT: Sandy Scott
Phone: 202-606-6724
Email: [email protected]


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


Grants Announced at White House Conference as part of Baby Boomer Volunteer PSA launch

(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 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.

The Challenge Grants program is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, which also oversees AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America. For more information, visit


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