VOLUNTEER GROUPS, NONPROFITS APPLAUD LATEST FREEDOM CORPS INITIATIVE
Volunteer Search Engine Created by Network for Good, Nonprofits and Government Agencies Contains more than 80,000 Volunteer Opportunities from 50,000 Organizations
Breakthrough Collaboration Includes Network for Good, VolunteerMatch, Points of Light, United Way, America's Promise, Youth Service America's SERVEnet, National Mentoring Partnership as well as
AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Citizen Corps, Volunteer.gov and Peace Corps
July 30, 2002, San Francisco, CA - Organizations that serve the nonprofit sector by supporting volunteering today praised the USA Freedom Corps "Volunteer Network", a new national search engine that gives Americans unprecedented access to volunteer opportunities in their own neighborhoods.
President Bush said, "Americans serve in their neighborhoods and communities in countless, extraordinary ways. While most of our Nation's civic work is being done without the aid of government, the Federal Government can do a much better job in helping support and encourage a culture of community service and civic responsibility."
The search engine, the result of a first-of-its-kind collaboration among nonprofit and government organizations, brings together in one central, virtual location more than 80,000 volunteer opportunities from more than 50,000 nonprofit organizations and major Federal agencies. The collaboration was led by Network for Good and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
"This Web site is a demonstration of what can be done when the government, the private sector and the non-profit sector collaborate and leverage technology around issues which are important to everyone," said Stephen Goldsmith, chairman of the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service. "This project is a step in the right direction for using technology to bring information to all Americans which will allow for more active citizenship."
Nonprofit partners in the initiative include VolunteerMatch, Points of Light, Youth Service America's SERVEnet, America's Promise, National Mentoring Partnership and United Way. Federal partner volunteer programs include, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Citizen Corps, Peace Corps, Department of the Interior and others.
Sponsors of the Volunteer Network include Network for Good, the AOL Time Warner Foundation, UPS Foundation, Microsoft, and Cisco Systems.
"This kind of collaboration between nonprofits has been needed for some time," said Ken Weber, head of Network for Good, the nonprofit online philanthropy, volunteerism, and civic engagement portal that helped create the new Freedom Corps Web site and the search engine. "But it was unlikely to happen without the leadership of the President and his Freedom Corps program -- or without the powerful engagement of the Corporation for National and Community Service and the co-operation of these nonprofit partners. Ultimately, both the nonprofit sector and the citizenry will benefit immeasurably."
Nonprofits Agree: USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network
Will Make a Big Difference
"Our mission is to help everyone find a great place to volunteer, and our support for USA Freedom Corps helps make it easier than ever for people to discover the reward and fulfillment that accompany volunteer service," said Jay Backstrand, president of VolunteerMatch.org. "VolunteerMatch is pleased to play a lead role in providing important content for the USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network."
"Building a culture of service in the country is an ongoing challenge," said Harris Wofford, Chairman of America's Promise. "The USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network unveiled by our President today offers a tremendous tool. This breakthrough network will be of tremendous use to the 500 Communities of Promise and the hundreds of nonprofit and corporate commitment makers across the country, participating in the America's Promise campaign for children and youth."
"The launch of the Freedom Corps search engine should dramatically increase user access to the dozens of Volunteer Solutions Sites currently operating in over 300 communities," said Michael Schreiber, Group Vice President of United Way of America. "The search engine will help us to further our goal of deploying meaningful local solutions for each community's particular needs."
"Playing such a vital role in the Freedom Corps Network helps us fulfill the vision of our founder, former President Bush, to strengthen America by increasing its thousands of points of light--the men, women and children who volunteer in their communities," said Robert K. Goodwin, president and CEO, Points of Light Foundation.
"Youth Service America created SERVEnet in 1995 to improve its ability to get more and more kids involved in service and service-learning," said YSA President and CEO Steve Culbertson. "This new collaboration with the Freedom Corps Volunteer Network will give us an even greater capacity to make service the common expectation and common experience of all young Americans."
"Recruiting volunteers is critical to mentoring's future success," said Gail Manza, Executive Director, MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership. "We are very excited about our partnership with the USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network -- and how that partnership will help link even greater numbers of caring adults with children in need of mentors."
About Network For Good
Network for Good is an independent nonprofit working to advance e-philanthropy and nonprofit adoption of the Internet as a tool for fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and civic engagement, in general. Network for Good was founded by a partnership of leading nonprofits and Internet companies, including AOL Time Warner Foundation and AOL, Inc.; the Cisco Foundation and Cisco Systems, Inc.; and Yahoo! Network for Good is the place to donate, volunteer, and speak out on the issues you care about. www.networkforgood.org
Contact: Ken Weber, 703-265-3235
About USA Freedom Corps
President Bush created the USA Freedom Corps office at the White House to foster an American culture of service, citizenship and responsibility. Through the USA Freedom Corps, President Bush wants to help every American answer the call to service by strengthening and expanding service opportunities to protect our homeland, support our communities and extend American compassion around the world. Interested volunteers can find information on the USA Freedom Corps at www.usafreedomcorps.gov or by calling 1-877-USA-Corps.
Contact: Lindsey Kozberg, 202-456-7346
About the Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service engages 2 million Americans in service each year through the AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. The Corporation is a part of President Bush's USA Freedom Corps initiative to involve all Americans in service to their communities.
Contact: Sandy Scott, 202-606-5000 x 255 or 235
VolunteerMatch (www.volunteermatch.org) is the nonprofit, online service that helps interested volunteers get involved with community service organizations throughout the United States. The ease and simplicity of the service have already helped more than 20,000 community service organizations receive over 790,000 volunteer referrals, helping address real-world needs nationwide. VolunteerMatch is the recipient of two 2001 Webby Awards for 'Activism' and 'Services', and has been recognized for its efforts by the Smithsonian Institution and MIT.
Contact: Jason Willett, Director of Communications, 415-241-6870 or 415-595-3306 (cell)
About Points of Light
The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network, a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization, supports and organizes the vital work of community volunteers who help solve our nation's most serious social problems by bringing people and resources together. The Foundation builds knowledge, skills and programs for volunteers to succeed, and provides leadership to mobilize volunteers in thousands of local communities across the country. To get involved with volunteer activities near you call 1-800-VOLUNTEER or visit www.1800volunteer.org.
Contact: Kimberli Meadows, Director, Media Relations,
202-729-3238 or 202-841-4730 (cell)
About United Way
United Way of America is the national organization dedicated to leading the United Way movement in making measurable impact in every community across America. The United Way movement includes approximately 1,400 community-based United Way organizations. Each is independent, separately incorporated, and governed by local volunteers.
Contact: Michael Schreiber, Group Vice President, 703-683 7839
About America's Promise
America's Promise was founded after the Presidents' Summit for America's Future in 1997 where Presidents G.H.W. Bush, Carter, Clinton, and Ford, with Nancy Reagan representing President Reagan, challenged the country to make children and youth a national priority. Colin L. Powell is the founding chairman.
Contact: Chad Tragakis, 703-535-3872
About Youth Service America
Youth Service America (YSA) is a resource center and premier alliance of 300+ organizations committed to increasing the quantity and quality of opportunities for young Americans to serve locally, nationally, or globally. Founded in 1986, YSA's mission is to strengthen the Effectiveness, Sustainability, and Scale of the youth service and service-learning fields. YSA envisions a powerful network of organizations committed to making service the common expectation and common experience of all young Americans. A strong youth service network will create healthy communities, and foster citizenship, knowledge, and the personal development of young people.
Contact: Dave DeCicco, Manager Communications and Grants, 202-296-2992 ext. 11
About National Mentoring Partnership
The National Mentoring Partnership is an advocate for the expansion of mentoring and a resource for mentors and mentoring initiatives nationwide.
Contact: Colleen Appleby-Carroll, 703-224-2200