A Batting Practice Fastball
Folks, whether you support his policies or not, President Obama is absolutely committed to the concept of volunteerism and community service. That’s our bread and butter. It’s part of our fraternal DNA. It’s who we are and what we do. That’s why we don’t just need to take advantage of the Administration’s support of such efforts, we need to embrace them. This is a batting practice fastball that we should hit out of the park.
On Monday, June 22, the President will kick-off an initiative known as “United We Serve.” Details about the program, including a variety of links that will provide you everything you need to promote and participate in it, are included in the official announcement that follows. This is an easy and effective way for every fraternal and every local lodge to jump start their community service activities and spread the word about them to a new generation of potential fraternalists.
I can't stress enough how important our involvement in this program is. I urge each of you reading this to join the team and get your societies on board by letting every member and local lodge know about the program, by putting a link to the program’s home page on your Web site, by registering your society as a participating organization, by posting your society’s projects on the Serve.gov Web site, and by sharing stories of how your society has made a difference in the quality of life in the communities we serve.
A delegation of NFCA representatives from large and small fraternals will be meeting with officials from the White House Office of Faith-Based Initiatives – another key player in the President’s community service and volunteerism efforts – on July 1 in Washington, D.C. We’d like nothing better than to report that fraternals are eager participants in the Serve.gov initiative and to demonstrate that our network of local lodges is one of the most efficient and effective ways to distribute much needed social services to underserved populations.
Joining forces in this effort is good for your members, your society, the NFCA, and – most importantly – the communities in which we live, work, and serve. Please let me know if you’re willing to get involved so that we can relay this information to the White House on July 1. Can’t wait to hear from you. Either leave me a comment below or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Announcement from Corporation for National and Community Service
As you know, the Corporation for National and Community Service has been preparing for the launch of an exciting new summer service initiative in partnership with the White House. Today, in a video message, President Obama will officially announce the initiative, United We Serve, encouraging Americans to create meaningful change in their communities by engaging in service.
United We Serve will kick off on June 22 at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service and will run through the new National Day of Service and Remembrance on September 11. All the tools for participating in this initiative can be found on the Corporation’s website, Serve.gov. Please go there today, if you haven’t already, to post your own volunteer projects.
In addition, we encourage you to spread the word about United We Serve by:
- Sending a message about United We Serve, including a link to the President’s video, to your distribution lists.
- Putting a link on your homepage to Serve.gov – banners and logos are available at http://www.serve.gov/link.asp.
- Issuing a press release about your participation in United We Serve – a sample release is available here: http://www.serve.gov/assets/documents/09_0616_sample_release.doc.
- Sharing stories about how your volunteers are making a difference at http://www.serve.gov/share.asp. We will highlight examples of exemplary service throughout this summer.
Capacity is strained in community organizations across the country, so today we are also calling on Americans to take a leadership role in recruiting and organizing their friends, family, and neighbors to develop their own service projects that address pressing community needs in partnership with local organizations. To assist you, Serve.gov features toolkits for developing projects in education, health, energy and the environment, and community renewal.
To encourage participation in service this summer and beyond, the Serve.gov website features a volunteer matching platform called All For Good that allows people to search for volunteer opportunities based on location and interests. The site also allows users to sign in with their primary social network and includes social media tools to share volunteer opportunities with friends and see what activities they are participating in.
This will be a very exciting 81 days. But, of course, the call to service will not end on September 11. We hope that Americans who serve this summer will stay engaged in the ongoing work of strengthening our communities.
America’s new foundation will be built through an ethic of service and the personal commitment of individuals willing to give of themselves to create a better future.
Corporation for National and Community Service