Newsletter – May 2010

2010 Governor and First Lady’s Medals for Service

Photo of Governor Schwarzenegger speaking at a podiumOn May 6, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver joined Secretary Karen Baker to present the second annual Governor and First Lady’s Medals for Service at the California Museum. The ceremony celebrated the extraordinary dedication of individuals and organizations to service and volunteering and honored the state’s top service and volunteering leaders with seven prestigious awards.

“The Medals for Service ceremony is a fantastic opportunity to recognize volunteers and organizations that support service,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Government alone cannot tackle all of the challenges facing our communities, and every Californian has an important role in making our state stronger. Today, we are paying tribute to some true California heroes, seven honorees that are pioneers in service, who have demonstrated a commitment to expanding service in their own unique way and in giving something back.”

“Service is more than just something we do, it is a part of who we are,” said First Lady Maria Shriver. “Tonight, we honor remarkable Californians, trailblazers and unsung heroes, working on the frontlines of humanity in our communities.”

The Governor and First Lady’s Medals for Service, the cornerstone of CaliforniaVolunteers’ recognition program, distinguish individual volunteers, business volunteer programs, nonprofits and organizations whose innovations in the field of volunteerism have a tangible impact on their community, region and the state of California. Shining a spotlight on the state’s commitment to service, the awards demonstrate how simple acts can make big changes in communities.

“Service is the backbone of every successful community and the people of California have proven time and again that when times are difficult – they will rise to the challenge,” said California’s Secretary of Service and Volunteering Karen Baker. “I congratulate all of tonight’s honorees and encourage all Californians to find their own way to give back.”

The second annual Governor and First Lady’s Medals for Service, sponsored by the Shinnyo-en Foundation, featured six Medals for Service in the categories of: Volunteer, AmeriCorps Member of the Year, Business Volunteer Program, Small Business Volunteer Program, Nonprofit and Service Group. In addition, the Taproot Foundation was honored with a spotlight award for their innovative strategies to engage skilled volunteers in pro bono service.

To see a full listing of award winners please visit

Cities of Service

Cities of Service logoCities of Service is a bi-partisan coalition of mayors from large and small cities across the nation who have pledged to work together to engage citizens in service and volunteering. Eighteen California cities throughout the state are currently members of the coalition and it is anticipated that several others will join in the coming months. CaliforniaVolunteers is supporting Cities of Service in collaboration with the CaliforniaVolunteers Business Partners Program, the Bloomberg Foundation, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Be the Change/ServiceNation, Points of Light/HandsOn Network and Reimagining Service.

CaliforniaVolunteers, the CaliforniaVolunteers Business Partners Program, Gap Inc., Home Depot, AARP California, Bank of America, Kaiser Permanente and Deloitte are partnering to host a convening of California Cities of Service on May 27. The convening will include substantive trainings for city staff members as well as a historic gathering of California’s Cities of Service mayors. So far, 14 cities have confirmed their attendance to this important event. In addition to mayors and city staff, attendees will include representatives from California’s business community and nonprofit sector and from west coast state service commissions. The convening’s activities will focus on the importance of executive leadership in creating community change through service. Speakers will include Secretary Karen Baker; Jim Anderson of Cities of Service, Bloomberg Philanthropies; Shirley Sagawa of the Sagawa-Jospin Consulting Firm; and Joel Bashevkin of the Taproot Foundation.

Governor Schwarzenegger proclaims May 8-15, 2010, as “AmeriCorps Week”

AmeriCorps Getting Things Done, May 8 - 15, 2010Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed May 8-15, 2010 as “AmeriCorps Week in California”.

“Serving others is the greatest and most rewarding work we can do, and AmeriCorps provides fantastic opportunities to reach out a helping hand to those in need,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Whether teaching a child to read, building a home, cleaning up a park or participating in countless other acts of service, AmeriCorps members make a big difference in the lives of those touched by their actions.”

Often referred to as the domestic Peace Corps, AmeriCorps is a network of service programs that engage Americans in year-long intensive service to meet the nation’s critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment. Since 1994, 88,000 California AmeriCorps members have served a combined 94 million hours and received more than $216 million in Segal Education Awards.

“The historic passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act last year laid the groundwork for tripling the size of AmeriCorps, a critical community resource in these challenging times,” said Karen Baker, California’s Secretary of Service and Volunteering. “I extend my deepest gratitude to every California AmeriCorps member and encourage all Californians to find their own way to make a difference by visiting”

Programs around the state celebrated AmeriCorps Week by participating in a number of service related projects ranging from a beautification project in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles to blood drives in Lake County.

CaliforniaVolunteers, in its role as the state service commission, supports more than 4,300 AmeriCorps members via $31.5 million in grants to 61 programs statewide.

To view the full text of the proclamation, please visit AmeriCorps Week Proclamation.

Disaster Corps Grants

Disaster Corps LogoCaliforniaVolunteers, Disaster Volunteering and Preparedness (DVP) Department released a competitive Request for Applications (RFA) for the Disaster Corps Grant on Friday, April 16, 2010. A total of $1.2 million was available for the grant program, and on Thursday, May 13, 2010, five Operational Area applicants were awarded $231,000 to test, implement, and refine the Disaster Corps program model.

The purpose of the grant is to provide funding to:
• Build a cadre of 1,000 Disaster Corps volunteers that meet Disaster Corps training, typing, certification, and security screening guidelines, and
• Develop, expand, and enhance state and local governments’ ability to use disaster volunteer resources.
• Fund a volunteer coordinator position in each Operational Area.

Awards were made to the following Operational Areas:
• Los Angeles
• Riverside
• San Bernardino
• San Diego
• San Francisco

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