AUSTIN AND HOUSTON RECEIVE CITIES OF SERVICE GRANTS
Cities of Service Coalition announced the winners of the second round of Cities of Service Leadership Grants. Austin and Houston were among ten cities that were selected to receive a $200,000 grant over two years, funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies. Austin and Houston are among eight cities in Texas that have committed to be a City of Service including: Arlington, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Grand Prairie and San Antonio.
The grants will allow cities to hire a Chief Service Officer – a senior city official who will develop and implement a citywide plan to increase volunteerism and target volunteers to address their city's greatest needs. Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of Mayors from across the country, representing more than 46 million Americans in 100 cities, dedicated to engaging more Americans in service and channeling volunteers towards each city's most pressing challenges.
OneStar Foundation will be hosting the Texas Cities of Service Summit in September 2010. The purpose of the Texas Cities of Service Summit is to create and support a statewide network of City of Service Coalition members in Texas that are committed to enhancing volunteer engagement. The summit is open to all cities willing to make the commitment to be a ‘City of Service’ and will provide each delegation with the knowledge, skills and resources needed to develop a comprehensive service plan and a coordinated strategy for volunteer generation in each of their communities. To learn more about the summit visit http://www.onestarfoundation.org/page/cos-summit.
“Texas nonprofits are some of the most innovative and effective in the country in using volunteers to create positive social impact," said Elizabeth M. Darling, President and CEO of OneStar Foundation. “Houston and Austin are among many city leaders in our state, recognizing the innovative potential of the Cities of Service movement. All participating Texas cities will ensure that service and volunteerism are integrated as viable strategies for addressing their cities most critical social needs.”
About the Cities of Service Leadership Grants: Cities selected to receive the second round of Cities of Service Leadership Grants are Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Chula Vista, CA; Houston, TX; Little Rock, AK; Orlando, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; and Richmond, VA.
· Austin – population: 757,688; Mayor Lee Leffingwell; priority need areas: strengthening hands-on educational opportunities, promoting civic engagement and cultural awareness.
· Houston – population: 2,242,193; Mayor Annise Parker; priority need areas: youth development and veteran affairs.
About OneStar Foundation: Texas has thousands of nonprofits, each with a different mission, but all working toward the goal of helping improve the lives of Texans. OneStar supports the nonprofit sector and its stakeholders through initiatives that increase civic engagement, research, rigorous evaluation and nonprofit organizational excellence. OneStar’s goal is to achieve sustainable social impact throughout the larger nonprofit infrastructure. The nonprofit sector is comprised of many groups, together they are stronger, more dynamic and more effective in achieving positive impact on the social challenges of Texas communities.
About Cities of Service: Cities of Service is a bi-partisan coalition of the mayors of large and small cities from across our country who will work together to engage citizens to address the great challenges of our time. Founded in New York City on September 10, the coalition and its member cities will respond to the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act's historic call to action by finding new and innovative ways to harness the power of volunteers to help solve pressing local challenges.