Newsletter – February 2009

Cesar Chavez Day 2009

Photo of Cesar ChavezIn celebration of Cesar Chavez Day 2009, CaliforniaVolunteers will build six new community play spaces that will serve thousands of children. In honor of Chavez’s commitment to community building and service, all aspects of the builds will have heavy community involvement. Committees comprised of local children, teachers and parents will organize volunteer recruitment, site preparation and safety/logistics for each of the builds.

Planning for the playgrounds will begin the week of March 2, when children from each community will meet with organizers from KaBOOM! and CaliforniaVolunteers to draw their “dream” play spaces. The children’s drawings will be used to create the final play space designs.

To make sure that the play space is a lasting monument to Chavez’s teachings, a unique mural will be painted at each site. Community volunteers will also build picnic tables, benches, shade structures and take part in landscaping projects.

The playground builds, which will take place on Saturday, April 25, 2009, will serve the communities of: Delano, Fullerton, Lemoore, Sacramento, San Bernardino and San Diego.

2009 Minerva Awards

The Minerva Awards 2009CaliforniaVolunteers’ Honorary Chair, First Lady Maria Shriver is dedicated to promoting the practice of service and volunteering. One of the ways in which she does this is at the annual Women’s Conference, held each year in Long Beach during October. A highlight of the day is the presentation of The Minerva Awards, which the First Lady founded in 2004 to honor the work of remarkable California women who have committed themselves to serving others. These women have recognized problems, needs or injustices around them, then rolled up their sleeves to get to work addressing them. Some Minervas have started organizations, programs and movements; some have changed their communities in smaller ways. Some are famous; most are not. But they all deserve to be honored.

CaliforniaVolunteers invite you to visit the Minerva Web site to read some of the winners from past years. Then think about the women you know who are involved in the organizations and work you support. Think about the women who have founded organizations in the communities you serve, who toil on the front lines of humanity daily and who have made an impact on the lives of others. If you know someone who deserves recognition for her dedicated service to empowering others, please complete the online recommendation form. CaliforniaVolunteers and The Minerva Awards appreciate your suggestions and look forward to learning more about the remarkable women you know of who live in our communities!

2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service

The 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service, will take place June 22-24 at the Moscone Center in the heart of San Francisco. The conference is the world’s largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, government and corporate sectors. Co-convened by Points of Light Institute and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the annual event provides attendees with an opportunity to learn, connect, and be inspired through a wide range of exciting and informative plenary sessions, workshops, special events, service projects, exhibits, specialized corporate tracks and more.

Honorary Chairs, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver encouraged: “Service and volunteering play a critical role in addressing our nation’s most pressing challenges. That’s why here in California we have promoted civic engagement to the highest levels of state government. Through acts of service, we can create change and achieve a positive legacy in our communities, in each of our states and beyond. Join us in San Francisco to learn about the latest trends and innovations in the field of service.”

More information regarding the conference is available at the conference Web site –

House Hearing on National Service

The House Committee on Education and Labor will hold a full committee hearing titled Renewing America through National Service and Volunteerism on Wednesday, February 25. Among other things, the hearing will focus on reinvigorating civic engagement across all levels of society, expanding opportunities for young people to participate in service, and how national and community service can help “green” America. Those providing testimony include:

  • Usher Raymond IV Recording Artist and Chairman, Usher’s New Look Foundation
  • James Harris Youth Participant, Usher’s New Look Foundation
  • Richard Stengel Managing Editor, TIME Magazine
  • Van Jones Founder and President, Green for All
  • Cheryl L. Dorsey President, Echoing Green
  • The Honorable Harris Wofford former US Senator (D-PA) and former CEO, Corporation for National Service
  • Sgt. Major of the Army Kenneth O. Preston United States Army
  • David L. Caprara Director and Nonresident Fellow, Brookings Initiative on International Volunteering and Service
  • Lisa Hamilton President, UPS Foundation

Surviving and Thriving Conference Tour

The current nationwide economic downturn is taking a significant toll on California’s nonprofit sector. According to an October 2008 study from GuideStar, 35 percent of nonprofits saw a decrease in giving for the first nine months of 2008 and 64 percent of nonprofits saw increased demand for their services.

CaliforniaVolunteers has developed a series of six half-day conferences to provide nonprofits access to key training and resources to help them better weather the economic downturn. These free conferences will be held across the state, in six different locations:

April 2 – Sacramento
April 8 – Fullerton
April 9 – Los Angeles
April 15 – Ontario
April 16 – Fresno
April 28 – Bay Area

For more information and registration, please check the CaliforniaVolunteers Web site on or after March 5, 2009.

Federal Stimulus Package Supports Expansion of AmeriCorps

NoneOn February 17, President Barack Obama signed a $787 billion stimulus package into law that included $201 million to support AmeriCorps programming administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service:


  • $89 million for AmeriCorps*State and National to support existing grantees
  • $65 million for AmeriCorps*VISTA
  • $40 million for the National Service Trust to fund education awards
  • $6 million for technology upgrades at the Corporation
  • $1 million for the Inspector General

Further guidance regarding the implementation of the stimulus package funding is forthcoming from the Corporation.

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