Mayor-President Melvin L. “Kip” Holden today joined more than 600 mayors across the country for the first-ever Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, a nationwide bipartisan effort to highlight the impact of national service in tackling city problems.
“National service is a vital resource for our city,” said Mayor Holden. “AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps participants have a positive and lasting impact on our city. As Mayor, I am grateful for the dedication and sacrifice of these citizens, who are helping make Baton Rouge a better place to live, work and play.”
Mayor Holden joined with AmeriCorps members at the Alaska Street Boys and Girls Club to encourage students to continue to do their best by creating vision boards, displaying pictures that motivate them to continue on the right path. He will also issue a proclamation highlighting the impact national service has on the Baton Rouge community.
Given the many social needs facing communities – and the fiscal constraints facing government at all levels - mayors are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to meet city needs. More than 390 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers serve in Baton Rouge, providing vital support by strengthening education, bridging the achievement gap through tutoring and mentoring students, promoting healthy living and active lifestyles, facilitating neighborhood revitalization, building homes, managing community volunteers, developing awareness and outreach campaigns, rebuilding after disasters and providing companionship and friendship to our vulnerable population.
National service participants increase the impact of the organizations they serve with, both through their direct service and by recruiting and managing millions of additional volunteers. They serve in more than 70,000 locations across the country, including 78 locations in Baton Rouge, bolstering the civic, neighborhood, and faith-based organizations that are so vital to our city’s economic and social well-being. Baton Rouge’s national service participants represent organizations such as Boys & Girls Club of Greater Baton Rouge, Catholic Charities – Foster Grandparent Program, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Baton Rouge, City Year, Teach for America, Volunteer Louisiana, Louisiana Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA), Louisiana Delta Service Corps, Louisiana Primary Care Association, Baton Rouge Crisis Intervention Center, and Our Lady of the Lake’s Senior Companion Program.
The Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service was conceived of by Philadelphia Mayor Michael A. Nutter, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, as a way to recognize the positive impact of national service in cities, to thank those who serve; and to encourage citizens to give back to their communities. The day is sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the National League of Cities, and Cities of Service.
“Mayors are leaders who get things done, responding every day to needs in their cities,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “I commend Mayor Holden for joining in this important effort to recognize the impact of national service. We are proud to work hand-in-hand with mayors and other local partners to improve lives and strengthen communities through national service.”
As the federal agency for service and volunteering, CNCS annually engages more than five million citizens in service at more than 70,000 locations in 8,500 cities across the country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs. National service participants address the most pressing challenges facing our cities and nation, from educating students for the jobs of the 21st century and supporting veterans and military families to preserving the environment and helping communities recover from natural disasters.
Across the country, mayors are participating in a variety of activities, including visiting national service programs, hosting roundtables at City Hall, issuing proclamations, and communicating about national service through social media. By shining the spotlight on the impact of service and thanking those who serve, mayors hope to inspire more residents to get involved in their communities.
“National service shows the best of the American spirit – people turning toward problems instead of away, working together to find community solutions,” said Mayor Holden. “Today, as we thank national service members for their commitment, let us all pledge to do our part to strengthen our city through service and volunteering.”
For more information on the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, including background and a list of participating mayors, visit www.nationalservice.gov/mayorsforservice.
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The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund, and leads President Barack Obama’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.