California Volunteers
CaliforniaVolunteers Newsletter - April 2008

National Volunteer Week 2008


Sacramento – Governor Schwarzenegger proclaimed April 27 – May 3 as “Volunteer Week” in California.

“California depends on its volunteers who willingly work to improve the state we call home, and I deeply appreciate all those who selflessly commit themselves to bettering the lives of others,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

National Volunteer Week was designated in 1974 to call attention to the tremendous contribution of volunteers. This year’s theme, "Volunteer to Change the World" reflects the power volunteers have to make positive and lasting impacts in their communities.

During National Volunteer Week, the Governor’s new Secretary of Service and Volunteering, Karen Baker, will hold roundtable discussions with over 100 leaders in the nonprofit sector in Southern California to discuss barriers to volunteering and service and how the state can play a role in addressing them.

“I extend my deepest gratitude to every Californian who gives a small measure of themselves to improve the world around them,” remarked Karen Baker, secretary of Service and Volunteering. “I encourage more Californians to find ways they can make a difference at”

by the
Governor of the State of California

Gandhi wrote,"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." Volunteers do just this. Whether they are tutoring at elementary schools, walking dogs at animal shelters or assisting families affected by natural disasters, volunteers take on many necessary roles, and their spirit of generosity is a tremendous force of good in our state.

I have seen firsthand the fantastic work done by volunteers in our Golden State. In response to these extraordinary efforts, I established the nation’s first Cabinet-level position for Service and Volunteering this past February. The importance of service should be encouraged by the highest levels of government, and this action will improve the coordination of volunteer activities – especially during emergencies – while enhancing our state’s strong legacy of service.

California depends on its volunteers who willingly work to improve the state we call home, and I deeply appreciate all those who selflessly commit themselves to bettering the lives of others. I also urge everyone to visit and see how you can give some of your time and talents to make a positive impact and serve those in need. Together, we can make a difference.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim April 27-May 3, 2008, as "Volunteer Week."

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 22nd day of April 2008.

Governor of California


Secretary of State

CaliforniaVolunteers launches First Lady Maria Shriver’s Disaster Preparedness Campaign: WE Prepare

WE Prepare logo The WE Prepare program is designed to motivate families to take action and get prepared for both natural and man-made disasters.

“As a mother of four children, I realize how important it is that WE Prepare for disasters as a family,” said Maria Shriver. “We cannot afford to wait for the next disaster to hit before we take steps to Get Ready! I encourage families to visit and download the WE Prepare tools today so everyone will know what to do before the next disaster strikes.”

WE Prepare features easy-to-use disaster preparedness tools on, such as:

o a customizable children’s story designed to teach children how to be disaster prepared in a fun, non-threatening way;

o a fill-in-the-blank family plan that tells families where to meet if they have to evacuate, who they’ve identified as an out-of-state “family contact,” how to get emergency information in their community and how to take care of their family’s unique needs such as infants, seniors and pets;

o a risk assessment to help determine a family’s current level of preparedness.

Since 1950, 255 states of emergency have been proclaimed in California. Since 1989, there have been 27 major declared disasters. Despite this threat of unexpected disasters, less than half of Californians have a disaster plan. WE Prepare is designed to make it easy for families to take the necessary steps to become disaster ready.

“California is a disaster-prone state – a state where wildfires, earthquakes, winter storms and even man-made disasters can happen without warning,” said Karen Baker, Governor Schwarzenegger’s newly-appointed secretary of service and volunteering. “When families are well prepared, they can become part of the solution so disaster workers can focus on those most in need.”

As part of the Los Angeles-area WE Prepare disaster preparedness pilot program, CaliforniaVolunteers has created a “Moms Brigade,” a group of more than 100 mom advocates who are charged with spreading the word to other moms about the importance of being disaster prepared. These moms are empowering fellow moms and their families to visit and complete a family disaster plan.

The WE Prepare disaster preparedness initiative will initially be piloted in the greater Los Angeles area during the month of April. By the end of 2008, CaliforniaVolunteers plans to expand the initiative statewide.

Cesar Chavez Day 2008

Photo of Cesar Chavez aliforniaVolunteers administers the Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning program and engages K-12 students in service in honor of the life and values of Cesar E. Chavez. This year, in partnership with Youth Service California, CaliforniaVolunteers awarded grants for the formation of 77 afterschool service clubs in Title 1 middle schools across California.

Together with the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation and Youth Service California, CaliforniaVolunteers developed curricula to guide these afterschool service clubs as well as school day activities.

Finally, to celebrate and commemorate Cesar Chavez Day (March 31) CaliforniaVolunteers partnered with KaBOOM! and more than 3,000 community volunteers to construct 10 playgrounds in communities across California.

Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (Los Angeles)
Lytle Creek Park (San Bernardino)
Hammond Park (Eureka)
Alta Mesa Park (Redding)
Jerome Park (Santa Ana)
Linscott Charter School (Watsonville)
Rainbow Recreation Center (Oakland)
Coachella Valley Housing Coalition (North Shore, Riverside County)
City of Modesto Parks, Recreation and Neighborhoods Department (Modesto)
Riverview Elementary School (Lakeside, San Diego County)

National Conference on Service and Volunteering

The Urgency of Now! Learn... Connect... Get Inspired in Atlanta, Georgia June 1-3, 2008

The National Conference on Volunteering and Service is the world's largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders. Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, this year's conference theme is a call to action for a new generation of civic leaders. The conference will feature exciting speakers, special events, immersion learning sessions, service projects and 175 workshops.

Call for Stories

Points of Light & Hands On Network is looking for stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to create positive change in their world. The most inspiring stories will be featured at the 2008 National Conference on Volunteering.

How did you, someone you know or an outstanding group of people make a positive impact in a community? Tell your story and include:

Inspiration: What motivated you to get involved?
Action: What did you do?
Results: What's different now?

Share your story today!

Prevailing Wage & Volunteering State Legislation Update


By 2003, state labor laws and regulations evolved to the point where strict limits on donated labor on public works projects limited volunteers and service members from working on community projects that could be classified as public works. This meant that volunteers that wanted to work on a public works project – tree plantings, habitat restoration, school beautifications, etc. – were required to be paid a prevailing wage. A local volunteer organization was fined $33,000 in 2003 for failing to pay volunteers a prevailing wage for their service restoring a local creek bed.

In response to the limits placed on volunteers, the Legislature passed AB 2690 in 2004, which exempted volunteers from the prevailing wage requirement. As a result of this legislation, volunteers were able to serve in their communities on public works projects. The bill contained a sunset clause that will expire on January 1, 2009.

Several pieces of legislation have been introduced to address this issue.

SB 1345 (Ashburn): This bill would have permanently exempted volunteers on public works projects from prevailing wage requirements. SB 1345 failed 2-3 in the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee on April 9, 2008.

AB 2364 (Walters): This bill would have permanently exempted volunteers on public works projects from prevailing wage requirements. AB 2364 failed 2-6 in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on April 17.

AB 2537 (Furutani): This bill will extend the exemption for volunteers on public works projects until January 1, 2012. Ab 2537 passed unanimously in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee on April 17.

AmeriCorps Week 2008: May 11-18

AmeriCorps Logo May 11-18, 2008
is the second annual
AmeriCorps Week.

Sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps Week is a recruitment and recognition event designed to bring more Americans into service, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible.

AmeriCorps Week provides an opportunity for AmeriCorps members, alums, grantees, program partners, and friends to shine a spotlight on the work done by members in communities across the country—and to motivate more Americans to join AmeriCorps or volunteer in their communities.

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