Newsletter – January 2009

First Lady Maria Shriver and Secretary Karen Baker head to DC for MLK Day and Inaugural Events

Day of Service logoCalifornia First Lady, Maria Shriver, and Secretary of Service and Volunteering, Karen Baker, traveled to Washington D.C. to participate in events celebrating the Martin Luther King Day of Service and the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

Shriver participated in the “New Era of Service” breakfast held at Ballou High School in D.C. ServiceNation hosted the breakfast in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and highlighted President Obama’s support for expanding national and community service and the importance of bipartisan support for service in Congress. In addition to Maria Shriver, speakers included Martin Luther King III, Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), Congressman George Miller (D-CA), Washington, D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, Tobey Maguire, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher. Richard Stengel, managing editor of TIME, moderated a discussion on service in America.

Secretary Baker joined 150 AmeriCorps Alums marching in the inaugural parade. AmeriCorps Alums is the official national network of the half million Americans who have completed a year of service in AmeriCorps and are civic leaders addressing the critical needs of our nation.

Governor Schwarzenegger Proclaims January 2009 As Mentoring Month

Volunteer working with childrenGovernor Schwarzenegger proclaimed January 2009 as “California Mentoring Month”.

“My gratitude goes to the many wonderful Californians who are devoted to seeing our youth succeed in life,” noted Governor Schwarzenegger. “Mentoring Month is a special time to recognize their deeds and is also a time to encourage more people to become mentors.”

Research has shown that mentors can play a powerful role in academic achievement, and mentored youth are less likely to be involved with gangs, violence, teen pregnancy, alcohol and drug use.

“Becoming a mentor is one of the most rewarding acts of service a Californian can perform,” said Karen Baker, California’s secretary of service and volunteering. “At we have made it simple to find the right opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of our state’s youth and our communities.”

California Mentoring Month coincides with the eighth annual National Mentoring Month, designed to demonstrate how individuals, businesses, government agencies, schools, faith communities and nonprofits can work together to increase the number of mentors and therefore assure brighter futures for our nation’s youth.

To view the full text of the proclamation, visit:

House Democrats Economic Stimulus package includes $200 million to expand AmeriCorps

Capitol DomeHouse Democrats unveiled an economic stimulus package that includes $200 million to expand AmeriCorps by 16,000 members to help combat the economic downturn. The package also includes $50 million to Youth Build USA, a nonprofit group that puts low-income young people to work building affordable housing.

Prior to release of the stimulus package, the ServiceNation coalition, Voices for National Service, America Forward and more than 1,000 non-profit leaders, CEOs of service programs, community partners and private sector partners penned a letter to President Obama and Congress urging the inclusion of national service funding into the stimulus package.

Such an investment in national service could create upwards of 175,000 new jobs, expand service opportunities and foster innovation, providing vital services in the areas of education, the environment, fighting poverty and more.

Click here to read the letter to President Obama and Congress signed by more than 1,000 non-profit and national service leaders to date.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee launches

President ObamaBuilding on the success of his grassroots presidential campaign, President Obama’s Inaugural Committee has launched, an interactive Web site where Americans can find or upload service opportunities in their area.

As part of his “Renew America Together” initiative, the President is working to ignite the spirit of service in our nation by asking all Americans to make a lasting pledge to serve their communities.

Retired General Colin Powell unveiled for the January 19 King Holiday. Nearly 11,000 events were listed on the Web site.

“At this moment of great purpose and great promise, President Obama is calling on all Americans to make an ongoing commitment to serve their communities and their country,” said Powell. “The Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday is not only a day off but also for the last 14 years, it has been a day on. It’s a day to reach out to our fellow citizens in need.”

Please visit for full text of this press release.

2009 AmeriCorps Grantmaking

AmeriCorps LogoCaliforniaVolunteers, in its role as the state service commision, awards AmeriCorps grants to eligible organizations to recruit, train and manage AmeriCorps members who address identified community needs.

On January 13, CaliforniaVolunteers submitted 28 applications to the Corporation for National and Community Service for consideration requesting approximately $17 million in AmeriCorps funding to support 2,800 members for the 2009-2010 program year. Of the 28 applications submitted, 15 were for AmeriCorps programs requesting continued funding, totaling approximately $10 million. Twelve applicants were either new or recompeting programs requesting approximately $7 million. Funding is contingent on congressional appropriations yet to be determined. Funding decisions will be issued in late May 2009.

Another round of grant opportunities will be available this coming summer to support AmeriCorps programming in 2010-11.

For more information, please visit

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