California Volunteers
CaliforniaVolunteers Newsletter - January 2010

Resolve to Volunteer in 2010

Resolve to Volunteer in 2010: Make Your Personal Pledge to Volunteer and Help Make a Positive Impact in Your Community Today

Across California and the nation, a volunteer movement is thriving. An unprecedented number of people are committing themselves to making a difference and meeting the critical needs and challenges of their communities, and in 2010, we want to make this the “Year to Volunteer!” If you want to resolve to make a difference in 2010 in your community, remember that a positive impact can be made in one hour, one day, one weekend or one month. Every contribution is valuable and even the smallest steps can lead to big changes.


Need some tips on how to get started? Check out these volunteer tips:

  • Identify a challenge in your community and find a way to make a difference. Live in a neighborhood that lacks greenery? Consider transforming an empty lot into a community garden.
  • Tap in to your entrepreneurial spirit. Have a knack for knitting? Gather a group to knit scarves for the homeless.
  • Use and improve your skills for social good. Creative and artistic? Help a nonprofit design a new brochure to promote their cause.
  • Your time is as good as gold! Every volunteer hour provides an estimated value of $20.25 for the organization you are helping.
  • Visit CaliforniaVolunteers.org often for access to more than 50,000 volunteer opportunities.

To find out more information or to find a volunteer opportunity, please visit CaliforniaVolunteers.org.


Governor Schwarzenegger Proclaims January 2010 as “Mentoring Month”

Photo of volunteer working on a computer with children Below is the full text of Governor Schwarzenegger’s ”Mentoring Month” proclamation:

As a young man, I was very fortunate to have the guidance and friendship of adults who took an interest in seeing me succeed. These mentors encouraged me, taught me and helped me reach my potential. In short, they changed my life, and I am endlessly grateful for all they did.

Each of us has that same power to change the lives of youth right here in California. Mentors are role models, teachers, advisors and inspirations to the young people they serve. Research shows that mentoring relationships have a significant positive impact on youth, including greater success in school and a reduced likelihood that they will use drugs or alcohol.

I encourage the people of California to get involved in mentoring and witness firsthand the difference it can make as you coach, tutor or participate in other positive activities with our youth. To those already serving as mentors, I applaud you for your commitment to the rising generation. Your investment in their future has a powerful influence on them and on our state. Thank you for your service.

To find out about mentoring opportunities in your area, please visit CaliforniaVolunteers.org.

To view this proclamation please visit the Governor’s Web site.

Governor Schwarzenegger Proclaims January 18, 2010, as the “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service”

Photo of Martin Luther King Jr. Below is the full text of Governor Schwarzenegger’s ”Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service” proclamation:

Few individuals have had as powerful an effect on American society as Martin Luther King, Jr. His fearlessness and determination in the face of incredible opposition changed the course of our nation’s history. Growing up, discrimination was a way of life for him, but he gave his life to make sure it wasn’t the way of the future.

Dr. King’s impact on African-Americans and millions of others in the United States and around the globe resonates today. His words continue to inspire and his ideals remain at the heart of the movement for equality and fairness in our world.

He once said that “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” These were words Dr. King lived by. Certainly his speeches are legendary and influential, but it was his willingness to take action that made him great and transformed our country.

In that same spirit of action, I ask the people of California to transform their communities by making this year’s celebration of Dr. King’s life a day of service. Many of us will not be working on this holiday, so let’s make it a day on instead of a day off. We have limitless opportunities to make a difference, and if you need some ideas, www.CaliforniaVolunteers.org is a wonderful resource. What we choose to do may not have a worldwide impact like Dr. King’s actions, but it can change the world for those we serve.

As we celebrate Dr. King’s legacy, I thank all those who embrace his work and advance the noble causes of equality, civil rights and service.

To view this proclamation please visit the Governor’s Web site.

Pepsi Refresh Project

Pepsi Refresh Project: Doing Good 101 In an effort to support those who generate innovative, optimistic ideas, the Pepsi Refresh Project, will award more than $20 million to projects that make a difference in six categories: Health, Arts & Culture, Food & Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods and Education. Individuals can apply for grants to benefit a variety of projects starting January 13, and site visitors can vote for the best ideas for funding starting February 1.

For more information please visit http://www.refresheverything.com/.

Sacramento and Los Angeles awarded Cities of Service Grant from the Rockefeller Foundation

The Rockefeller Foundation Ten cities were selected to receive $200,000 two-year grants, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, to hire a Chief Service Officer to develop and implement a citywide plan to increase volunteerism and address their city's greatest needs. Two California cities were selected, Sacramento and Los Angeles. Other recipients include: Chicago, IL, Detroit, MI, Nashville-Davidson, TN, Newark, NJ; Omaha, NE, Philadelphia, PA, Savannah, GA and Seattle, WA.

In addition to hiring a Chief Service Officer, the Cities of Service leadership grants will support the convening of strategic committees of service experts and stakeholders, assessments of existing service levels, and the establishment of collaborative partnerships to deepen the effects of local volunteerism. Each city will launch its comprehensive service plan by this fall.

More information about the coalition can be found at www.citiesofservice.org.

Governor Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver Serve on MLK Day

Photo of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver painting a mural Below is an excerpt from the Los Angeles Daily News:

Heavy rains and strong wind gusts couldn't dilute the will of more than 200 volunteers Monday who painted murals, cleaned bleachers and organized library books at Van Nuys Middle School in an effort to honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

The school-wide beautification project was one of several events hosted to commemorate the civil rights leader and marked the fifth year that L.A. Works, a non-profit that connects volunteers to projects, hosted it's "A Day on, Not a Day Off" event.

Even Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger got in on the day's festivities, as he picked up a paint roller and laid a fresh coat of canary yellow paint on the hallways of the five-decade-old campus. "You have to move it nice and steady," Schwarzenegger said as carefully glided the roller, avoiding any spills.

Schwarzenegger was joined by his wife, first lady Maria Shriver, who praised the kids in the audience for getting up early on their day off, despite the heavy downpour, to give back to their community.

"We thank you for being here ... like Martin Luther King said, everyone can be of service, everyone can change the world," she said.

To view the article in its entirety please visit the LA Daily News Web site.

Governor launches Operation Welcome Home - CalVet Corps

Operation Welcome Home: Veterans Helping Veterans On January 6, 2010 Governor Schwarzenegger launched California’s Operation Welcome Home, a statewide outreach initiative to connect each and every returning combat veteran to the services that can help them transition successfully from the battle front to the home front.

Operation Welcome Home will put 300 recent veterans to work identifying and making direct contact with the 30,000 heroes returning to California annually to counsel them about benefits and transitional workforce training available to help them enter the workforce and transition to civilian life.

The new initiative will also establish nine regional full time teams that will assist veterans in securing services including employment and job training as well as mental and physical health care.

To help support these newly formed teams, the initiative will establish the CalVet Corps, a volunteer network that will help reinforce the work being done by the full time regional teams.

For more information or to register as a volunteer please visit the CDVA Web site.

Recent Storms

Get Ready! Create Your Family Disaster Plan Today. Personalize a Free Book for Your Child. The recent storms in Southern California are a reminder that disasters can strike at any time. With more inclement weather predicted for most of California it is important to have a plan in place. Below are a few tips to help you prepare for future weather related disasters.

Flood
  1. Visit CaliforniaVolunteers.org to create your family disaster plan.
  2. If you come upon flood waters, stop, turn around, and go another way. Climb to higher ground.
  3. Never play around high water, storm drains, ditches or ravines. It is very easy to be swept away by fast moving water.
  4. Learn about your area's flood risk and elevation above flood stage.
  5. Talk to your insurance agent. Homeowners' policies do not cover flooding. Ask about the flood insurance.
  6. Know the difference between a National Weather Service Watch (conditions are right for hazardous weather) vs. Warning (hazardous event is about to occur).
  7. Use a portable, battery powered radio for updated emergency information.
Land Slide/Mud Slide
  1. Visit CaliforniaVolunteers.org to create your family disaster plan.
  2. Steep slopes and areas burned by wildfires are vulnerable to landslides and debris flows. Know your risk.
  3. Contact local authorities about emergency and evacuation plans for your local area and develop your own family disaster plan.
  4. Listen for any unusual sounds that might indicate moving debris, such as trees cracking or boulders knocking together. Be prepared to move quickly.
  5. Listen to a radio for warnings of intense rainfall. Intense short bursts of rain may be particularly dangerous, especially after longer periods of heavy rainfall.
Through the WE Prepare initiative, CaliforniaVolunteers educates Californians about the need to prepare for disasters that may strike our state. Whether they are natural - floods, fires and earthquakes - or man-made disasters, we all must have a disaster plan that includes our family, friends and neighbors.

Haiti

Earthquake in Haiti - How you can help The Haitian people are suffering through the aftermath of a devastating earthquake that claimed thousands of lives and left many more injured or homeless. People throughout the US have been incredibly generous, but the situation in Haiti is still dire and your continued support is crucial to the recovery efforts.

To find more information or to make a donation please visit the White House Web site.

This tragedy is also a critical reminder that earthquakes can strike our state at any time. Please visit CaliforniaVolunteers.org and create your own “WE Prepare” family disaster plan.

Assembly Bill 127 (Jeffries)

Photo of United States Capitol Building AB 127 (Jeffries) - Volunteer service: Office of CaliforniaVolunteers and CaliforniaVolunteers Commission. This bill would establish the Office of CaliforniaVolunteers within the office of the Governor and require that the office be led by the Secretary of Service and Volunteering.

The bill passed the Assembly Business and Professions Committee with an 11-0 vote on January 10. On January 21, the bill passed through the Assembly Appropriations Committee and on January 25, AB 127 passed the full Assembly by a vote of 57-0.

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