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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
Friday, April 22, 2005

CONTACT: Siobhan Dugan
Phone: 202-606-6701
Email: [email protected]

   

Senior Corps Volunteers Receive National Award For Outstanding Service

 

Washington D.C. – As the country celebrates National Volunteer Week, the MetLife Foundation and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging today will honor Senior Corps volunteer Victoria Thorton-Lucas with the Community Champion Award in the 2005 Older Volunteers Enrich America Awards for outstanding contributions to her community.

The Older Volunteers Enrich America awards celebrate the accomplishments of volunteers age 55 and over whose volunteer service helps to build healthier communities. The awards ceremony is being held today at the Phoenix Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. Thorton-Lucas, of South Ozone Park, N.Y., launched the Bushwick Community Council Service (BCCS) Soup Kitchen and Pantry in 1996 to combat the pressing social needs in her neighborhood. BCCS provides meals to more than 30,000 individuals each year, as well as free clothing, job referrals, and a variety of job-training services.

Several other Senior Corps volunteers also received honors. RSVP volunteer Betty Jo Harvey of Wichita Falls, Texas, was recognized for her service with the American Red Cross. After the explosion of the Columbia space shuttle, she worked with the search and rescue teams, in addition to responding to numerous other disasters. Senior Companion Ruth Harris of Denver volunteers a minimum of 20 hours a week, providing encouragement and support to families facing the death of a loved one, as well as tending to the needs of 1,100 elderly individuals over the last 12 years. W.F. Vancleave of Billings, Mont., organized an RSVP volunteer force of approximately 140 volunteers for a disaster preparedness phone tree. He also trained team leaders who in turn train other volunteers to respond to disasters. Foster Grandparent Bill Young of Sacramento has helped more than 700 students improve their mastery of the English language and pass the GED test in math.

“These recipients demonstrate the high caliber of volunteers that serve in our programs,” said Senior Corps Director Tess Scannell. “My hope is that other people age 55 and over will note the success of these volunteers and offer their own skills and talents to a cause they care about in their own communities.”

This is the third year that the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging has administered the awards for the MetLife Foundation. Several Senior Corps members have been among the recipients each year. “People age 55 and over have tremendous skills and experience that can be put to use to strengthen their communities,” Scannell added. “We encourage anyone over age 55 to log onto www.seniorcorps.gov to find a local volunteer opportunity. It’s easier than ever to get involved, and your community and country need you.”

Senior Corps, a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, taps the experience, skills, and talents of more than a half a million older Americans to meet community needs. Foster Grandparents serve one-on-one as tutors and mentors to young people with special needs. Senior Companions help homebound seniors and other adults maintain independence in their own homes; and RSVP volunteers conduct safety patrols for local police departments, participate in environmental projects, provide intensive educational services to children and adults, and respond to national disasters, among other activities. Together with USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation for National and Community Service is working to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. The Corporation’s other programs include AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America. For further information, visit www.nationalservice.gov .

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