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About Senior Corps 
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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.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, June 20, 2006

CONTACT: Siobhan Dugan
Phone: 202-606-6707
Email: [email protected]

CONTACT: Fred Whiting
Phone: 301-994-5691
Email: [email protected]

   

Nation’s Service Leaders Honor Corporations For Commitment to Volunteer Service

 

SEATTLE – Volunteering and national service leaders honored leaders from the corporate sector yesterday, during the National Conference on Volunteering and Service. Eight companies, including several from the Fortune 500, were honored for their commitment to volunteering and civic participation. The annual conference is co-convened by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network.

The Corporation presented Corporate Spirit of Service Awards to The Home Depot, State Farm Insurance, and Hypertherm, Inc., in recognition of their commitment to volunteer service. The Points of Light Foundation presented Awards of Excellence in Workplace Volunteer Programs to Accenture, PNC Financial Services Company, The Timberland Company, UPS and Wells Fargo & Company with Awards of Excellence in Workplace Volunteer Programs. The companies honored support volunteering through means such as developing partnerships with nonprofit organizations, offering employees paid leave to perform volunteer duties, and focusing on specific social issues in their communities.

Another corporate leader, Sally Jewell, CEO of Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI), discussed her company’s commitment to service during the keynote address. Any employee of REI can get children involved in exploring the wilderness. All an employee has to do is grab a PEAK (Promoting Environmental Awareness for Kids) Pack, find a willing child, and head for the hills. REI had concentrated its corporate giving on saving wild spaces until 1976, Jewell said, but shifted its focus and developed the PEAK Pack after recognizing that many children have no wilderness knowledge.

Seattle businessman Phil Smart Sr. was honored for his volunteer activities over the past 40 years with the 2006 Points of Light Foundation Community Leadership Award. Smart is best known in the Seattle community as the founder of Phil Smart, Inc., the area’s first and most successful Mercedes-Benz dealership. But to thousands of hospitalized children in the area, he’s known as “Santa Claus” or just as a friendly man with a good story. Smart has volunteered at Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, visiting with children and telling stories for more than 40 years, and he has served as “Santa” for 26 Christmases. Smart received a standing ovation when he accepted the award “on behalf of volunteers everywhere who have found the way to give themselves away.”

Connect America, a program of the Points of Light Foundation, presented the Partner of the Year Award to the National Engineers Week Future City Competition, an education program designed to inspire future engineers. Connect America is a national movement of more than 125 leading nonprofit organizations, businesses and federal agencies striving to bridge differences and create new synergy around social issues. The Future City Competition’s mission is to provide an education outreach program that highlights and involves the engineering profession. Teams of middle-school students, working with an engineer-mentor, design a city of tomorrow using computer software.

In presenting the Corporate Spirit of Service Awards, Dorothy Johnson, a member of the board of directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, thanked the awardees for understanding that “doing well and doing good are not mutually exclusive. Without the substantial investment of the private sector, our grantees would not be able to do what they do, or even survive.” She encouraged nonprofit organizations to develop relationship with businesses, research company interests in corporate giving, and make sure that donated funds achieved measurable results.

Corporate support of volunteering has good results for businesses, the corporate awardees agreed. Richard Kovacevich, chair and CEO of Wells Fargo, noted that surveys of company employees reveal that the workers appreciate the emphasis on volunteering. Evern Cooper Epps, President of the UPS Foundation and vice president of corporate relations for UPS, said that support for the community has been a tradition since the company was established nearly a century ago. “Our founder understood that the success of a company is tied to the health of the community,” she said.

The Conference will continue through Tuesday at the Seattle Convention Center. Tomorrow’s highlights include presentation of the Romney Award to Andrew Young, chairman of Good Works International and a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Member of Congress, and Mayor of Atlanta; and a keynote address on mentoring by Seattle-area author Eric Liu.

The many sponsors of the National Conference on Volunteering and Service include Washington Mutual, United Parcel Service Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, The Schwann Food Company, Target Corporation, Anheuser-Busch Companies, Wells Fargo, The Home Depot, Starbucks Coffee Company, The Boeing Company, General Electric, KPMG LLP, Northrop Grumman, Safeco Insurance, The Henry M. Jackson Foundation, Casey Family Programs and others.

The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network engages and mobilizes millions of volunteers who are helping to solve serious social problems in thousands of communities. Through a variety of programs and services—including research, training, creation of model programs and compilation of resources—the Foundation helps organizations of all types manage their volunteer activity more effectively. For more information, visit http://www.pointsoflight.org.

The Corporation for National and Community Service administers the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs, as well as a number of special initiatives. The mission of the Corporation is to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering. Together with USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to foster a culture of citizenship, service and responsibility in America. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

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