Newsletter – September 2009

CaliforniaVolunteers announces new Working Smarter: Surviving and Thriving During Tough Times Tour 2009

Surviving and Thriving Tour logo

Last April, CaliforniaVolunteers ( hosted a series of free, one-day conferences designed to provide nonprofit leaders access to key training and resources to help them effectively weather and thrive during the economic downturn. The series, which began on April 2 in Sacramento, attracted hundreds of nonprofit executive directors, board members and leaders. Other stops on the statewide tour included Los Angeles, Orange County, Rancho Cucamonga and Fresno. The most recent stop on the tour took place on April 28 in San Francisco.

In response to the tremendous success and feedback from the initial tour, CaliforniaVolunteers has announced three new dates for the Working Smarter: Surviving and Thriving During Tough Times Tour 2009:

  • October 15 Silicon Valley
  • October 21 San Diego
  • October 22 Stockton

The Surviving and Thriving series is made possible through a Bank of America and the Taproot Foundation. Sessions include how to effectively leverage volunteers, financial and operational tactics to weather the tough economic climate and how to better understand and communicate with nonprofit donors.

For more information about volunteering in California or the Surviving and Thriving Conference Series visit


iParticipate logo

As announced earlier this summer, the Entertainment Industry Foundation has created a multi-year campaign called iParticipate to help make service and volunteerism a national priority. The campaign will kick off with a week-long television event running from October 19 – 25, 2009.

During that week, America’s most-loved television shows on ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, and other broadcast networks will spotlight service through scripted programming, segments and Public Service Announcements with inspirational messages, and storylines about volunteerism.

The shows that will feature volunteerism during the week of October 19 include:

  • ABC’s All My Children, America’s Funniest Home Videos, Brothers and Sisters, Castle, Cougar Town, Dancing With The Stars, Desperate Housewives, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Flash Forward, General Hospital, Good Morning America, Grey’s Anatomy, Hank, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Modern Family, One Life To Live, Private Practice, The Forgotten, The Middle, The View, and Ugly Betty.
  • CBS’ Cold Case, Criminal Minds, CSI: Miami, CSI: NY, Gary Unmarried, Ghost Whisperer, and Numb3rs.
  • FOX’s America’s Most Wanted, Bones, Brothers, COPS, So You Think You Can Dance, and ‘Til Death.
  • NBC’s 30 Rock, Access Hollywood, Community, Days of Our Lives, Heroes, Parks and Recreation, The Biggest Loser, The Office, and Today Show.

For more information on EIF’s iParticipate campaign, visit Make sure your organization’s volunteer opportunities are included in this initiative. To post your volunteer opportunities please visit, your local volunteer center’s website or another volunteer connector Web site such as

Governor Proclaims 9/11 Day of Service

Photo of Arnold Schwarzenegger standing at a podiumOn September 11, 2009 Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined Secretary for Service and Volunteering Karen Baker to celebrate the National Day of Service and Remembrance and proclaim the California Day of Service, created to unite and strengthen communities throughout California and to remember the events of September 11, 2001. Below find text from the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance event held in the California State Capitol Rotunda.

“Eight years ago, nearly 3,000 lives were lost on this tragic day. As our country came under attack, we answered our call to service – as a state and as a nation – in the face of adversity to aid those in need and confront the hardships ahead,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Today, Maria and I join all Californians as we remember those who lost their lives and honor them by answering our new call to service. Together, we must renew our continued commitment to serve and pledge to bring a positive change to our communities. Our hearts are with all Americans as we remember that fateful day and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”

Earlier this year, President Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act which designates September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Americans everywhere participated in service and memorial events which aim to strengthen our communities and commemorate those who passed away on September 11. Additionally, Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed the California Day of Service and requested that all flags flown over state buildings be lowered to half-staff.

“Today we honor the heroes of 9/11, whose courageous acts during and after the tragic events of that day made a lasting impact in the lives of many,” said Secretary for Service and Volunteering Karen Baker. “We also recognize every Californian serving in their community; by serving others you become an everyday hero to those in need.”

To view the proclamation in its entirety, please visit the Governor’s Web site.

CaliforniaVolunteers Holds Inaugural Business Partners Meeting

CaliforniaVolunteers Business Partner ProgramOn September 9, representatives from more than 25 of California’s leading businesses came together for the first-ever CaliforniaVolunteers Business Partners meeting. This gathering initiated these businesses’ long-term commitment to join forces and address community needs across California through volunteerism.

The CaliforniaVolunteers Business Partners Program aims to facilitate partnerships between the business community, nonprofit organizations, volunteer centers, public agencies, and other comparable organizations in order to expand the number and impact of business volunteer programs across California.

For more information about the CaliforniaVolunteers Business Partners Program, visit

CaliforniaVolunteers Coordinates Volunteer Efforts for Wildfires

Photo of wildfireIn response to the wildfires that ravaged much of southern California earlier this month, CaliforniaVolunteers coordinated volunteers and monetary donations to help affected Californians.

“Our volunteers have been a great asset in helping the victims of these terrible fires begin the recovery process,” said Secretary of Service and Volunteering Karen Baker. “Californians have given their time and donated to their communities and I am sure that this will continue as neighborhoods in these affected areas are rebuilt.”

In total, volunteers filled more than 700 volunteer positions and contributed more than 5,000 hours to the Station Fire battle and recovery efforts. These volunteers, which consisted of Community Emergency Response Team and Volunteers in Police Service, were part of a rotation helping at the command center and in other roles in an effort to assist the response effort.

Click here for additional information on CaliforniaVolunteers’ role during a disaster, how to volunteer in times of a disaster, and how to donate for relief and recovery efforts after a disaster.

Maria Shriver Celebrates Family Day in California

Photo of Maria Shriver with a familyAs Honorary Chair of California’s Family Day for the past four years, First Lady Maria Shriver has hosted Family Day events in cities throughout California, encouraging families to spend time doing activities that strengthen the family unit through eating, playing, serving and preparing together. Shriver celebrated WE Are Family Day by visiting Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, a Foster Grandparent Program in Sacramento and Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, where she concluded her day’s activities. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also proclaimed September 23-30, 2009 as “WE Are Family Week: A week to eat dinner with your children.”

“Family Day is about gathering as a family, whatever shape, size or form that may be,” said First Lady Maria Shriver. “For the past several years, I have joined Californians from all walks of life to celebrate this day, from encouraging families to share a meal, to serving our communities, playing with our children, and even recognizing those who are without family. It’s important that we come together as the California family to strengthen the lives of others, of our communities and to make the time we spend together matter.”

The First Lady kicked off California’s WE Are Family Day celebration by visiting Homeboy Industries, an organization that works to break the cycle of gangs and drugs, and empowers mothers and fathers to learn skills for success. Following the tour of Homeboy Industries, Shriver met with families participating in the “Baby & Me” class, where parents learned how to play with their children in an effort to better connect with their kids.

A strong proponent of intergenerational interaction for both seniors and children, the First Lady continued her day long activities by visiting Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance’s Foster Grandparent Program. This innovative program allows foster grandparents to operate a children’s play care center onsite, while parents meet with the various program representatives to receive the services they need. In celebration of Family Day, Shriver joined a dozen foster grandparents to help assemble packages of food and handed them out to the children and families on site.

The First Lady concluded California’s WE Are Family Day celebration at Travis Air Force Base by connecting hundreds of military parents and children with a variety of support services and resources through a partnership of more than 30 organizations, and free dinner provided to the families attending the event, made possible through the partnership of El Pollo Loco.

Since 2004, California’s Family Day has grown to become a statewide initiative that encourages families across California to eat dinner together and engage in other activities that teach life lessons. This year Shriver’s WE Are Family Program created several tools that help connect families to each other, including the new set of “10 Tips to Celebrate Family Day” and the Web site, which promotes tools for communication and resources that strengthen families.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards

Picture of the Prudential Spirit of Community AwardThe Prudential Spirit of Community Awards program was created in 1995 by Prudential in partnership with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) to honor middle level and high school students for outstanding service to others at the local, state, and national level.

The program’s goals are to applaud young people who already are making a positive difference in their towns and neighborhoods, and to inspire others to think about how they might contribute to their communities. Over the past 14 years, more than 260,000 young Americans have participated in the program, and nearly 90,000 of them have been officially recognized for their volunteer work.

To find more information or to apply please visit the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards Web site.

FY10 Appropriations

Picture of United States Capitol Building

President Obama’s current FY10 proposal includes $261 million increase in funding for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The budget seeks to:

  • Expand AmeriCorps from 75,000 to 250,000 slots over several years
  • Create a Social Innovation Fund to invest in nonprofit innovation
  • Engage more retiring Americans in service
  • Expand service-learning initiatives in schools nationwide

On Thursday, July 30, the Senate Appropriations Committee reported out the FY2010 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill, which includes $1.157 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service. The figure is $8 million above President Obama’s request for CNCS and $98 million more than the House of Representatives approved earlier in July. Furthermore, this funding level is a $267 million (30%) increase over the FY09 enacted level and will enable CNCS to strengthen and expand existing programs and invest in key initiatives authorized by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.

California Coastal Cleanup Day

California Coastal Cleanup DayOn September 19, thousands of volunteers came together to remove over a million pounds of trash from California’s coast line. The effort was part of the 25th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Since the program started in 1985, over 800,000 Californians have removed more than 13 million pounds of debris from our state’s shorelines and coast. When combined with the International Coastal Cleanup, organized by The Ocean Conservancy and taking place on the same day, California Coastal Cleanup Day becomes part of one of the largest volunteer events of the year.

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