On February 13, 2012, Dr. Don Levy, Director, Siena College Research Institute gave two presentations of the just-published New York State Civic Health Index which measures the level of civic engagement of New Yorkers according to established metrics. The morning meeting was hosted by the Health & Welfare Council of Long Island for heads of member agencies and the afternoon presentation was held at United Way of Long Island for volunteer coordinators and community leaders. Over 100 Long Island organizations were represented at the two offerings. Newsday covered the afternoon event and published excerpts from the findings reporting that the Long Island region leads the state both in rates of volunteerism and in making charitable donations. Some challenges continue to exist in satisfactory volunteer experiences, recruiting volunteers for effective placement, and volunteer management capacity.
The Long Island Volunteer Center, an affiliate of HandsOn Network, made the arrangements for the presentations and for the afternoon offering secured panelists representing different sectors of community including academia, business, government, service organization, seniors, and youth to talk about their experiences in advancing the cause of volunteerism and to react to the findings of the study. With Dr. Levy were two members of the New York State Office of National & Community Service, Beth Tailleur and Eric Czupil, who sponsored the research. Ms. Tailleur officially announced that as of September 1, 2011, the Long Island Volunteer Center has been designated as one of ten regional volunteer centers selected to increase volunteers and raise the profile of civic engagement across the state. This designation was made through a competitive grant process under the Volunteer Generation Fund created by the Serve America Act.
In addition to these organized presentations, the Long Island Volunteer Center has sponsored the September 11 and Martin Luther King, Jr., National Days of Service, the Fifth Annual Long Island Volunteer Fair, and the Tenth Annual Long Island Volunteer Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Reception. It also converted to a new website platform HandsOn Connect and published seasonal lists of volunteer opportunities and its holiday volunteer opportunities and needs list. Facebook, Twitter, Blog and LinkedIn accounts have also been established to promote access to volunteer information and increase use of technology in volunteer recruitment. In addition, the EGC Group selected the Long Island Volunteer Center for its annual CreateAthon last fall and developed a pro-bono marketing and advertising campaign for the Fifth Annual Long Island Volunteer Fair held at Farmingdale State College.
For more information, contact the Long Island Volunteer Center at 516-564-5482 or access www.longislandvolunteercenter.org.
Newsday coverage can be found at http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/study-ny-volunteerism-strongest-on-li-1.3533496
The New York State Civic Health Index can be accessed at http://www.ncoc.net/NYCHI2011
The New York State Office of National & Community Service can be accessed at http://newyorkersvolunteer.org/