For Immediate Release:
June 19, 2012
New York State Commission on National & Community Service Announces First Wave of Results Towards the Goal of One Million New Volunteers State-wide Over a Three-Year Period
The Long Island Volunteer Center Has Big Impact in Our Area
Last September, the New York State Commission on National & Community Service, through the New Yorkers Volunteer initiative, announced the establishment of 10 Regional Volunteer Centers across the State, whose goal is to foster the recruitment of one million new volunteers State-wide through partnerships with thousands of non-profit organizations. Just 7 months into the initiative, the Commission has completed a survey of all the Centers and reports that significant progress has already been made.
Locally, the results have been impressive. “Long Islanders have always shown their compassion towards others,” said Diana O’Neill, who directs the volunteer program at the Long Island Volunteer Center, the designated Regional Volunteer Center for this region. “In just 7 short months, over 16,000 new volunteers have stepped forward, and we’ve only scratched the surface.”
O’Neill cited new technology as both a way of getting the word out to people who want to volunteer, as well as helping capture and report the data. “It’s become so much easier to connect people with community needs. Our website, as well as social media such as Twitter and Facebook, are invaluable in connecting with all those who want to volunteer, but may not have found the right match. At the same time, new software has allowed us to keep track of our volunteers and let the State and Federal funders know that their investments are working!”
“The incredible commitment of the staffs and volunteers at all ten Regional Volunteer Centers, along with the efforts of their partner agencies, has already begun to pay off,” said Mark Walter, Executive Director of the New York State Commission on National & Community Service. The survey results show that more than 50,000 new volunteers have been recruited throughout New York State during the first six months of the program. These new volunteers join many New Yorkers in service and represent caring citizens from all walks of life, including: seniors and college students, corporate volunteers and skilled workers, and on and on. New Yorkers taking the time to help their neighbors and develop their communities is inspiring and impactful.”
In 2008, New Yorkers Volunteer website was launched as a statewide initiative to engage more New Yorkers in volunteering and community service. It provides information and training opportunities for local volunteer organizations. It provides a marketing and media campaign to promote volunteering. And, it educates New Yorkers about state and federal funding opportunities for national service and volunteer programs.
The Long Island Volunteer Center is included on the New York Volunteers website and is an independent non-profit organization that creates opportunities for all individuals to serve, challenging citizens to turn their ideals into action and their passion into positive change. This Regional Volunteer Center serves Nassau and Suffolk counties.
The New York State Commission on National and Community Service was established in 1994 by an Executive Order of the Governor, and administers programs funded by the National Community Service Trust Act of 1993, including AmeriCorps State and AmeriCorps Education Awards programs. The Commission members are diverse and bi-partisan and are appointed by the Governor.
The State Commission on National & Community Service works collaboratively with the Corporation for National & Community Service and New York State Education Department to administer 240 national service programs that engage more than 80,000 volunteers annually in the State of New York. The State Commission and its partners leverage the impact of AmeriCorps, VISTA, and Senior Corps programs to address the needs identified in the State’s service and civic engagement agenda in the core areas of education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures, disaster services, veterans and military families, and economic opportunity. In addition, the State Commission leads the efforts of a statewide network of ten regional volunteer centers that partner with community-based organizations to deliver training and resources that build volunteer management capacity in order to more effectively meet state and local needs.