18 October 2008

Is it really October?

The last couple of months have included volunteering in New York City on September 11th, volunteering lots with AmeriCorps Alums, and volunteering on a TeamWorks team on cycling with Hands On Portland!

New York City on September 11th
I had the honor of participating in an event called the Service Nation Summit on September 11th-13th in New York City. The event included a forum on service with both Presidential candidates the evening of September 11th and then a day of summit-ing on both the 12th and 13th. At the summit I heard Queen Noor of Jordan, Jeffrey Sachs, Jon Bon Jovi, Senator Chris Dodd, First Lady Laura Bush, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Orrin Hatch, Mayor Bloomberg, Caroline Kennedy, Alicia Keyes, and lots of other leaders talk about the importance of service. It was very inspiring!

To watch the candidates...
McCain... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cdjO055AChs.
Obama... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1yPFwtF5M4

To learn more about Service Nation and sign your declaration of service.

As part of the summit Orrin Hatch announced a new national service bill that he and Senator Kennedy developed. It is thrilling to see national service on both candidate's agendas and to see such wonderful support from Congress for its expansion!

Hands On Portland Team Works
One great program that happens at many Hands On organizations is something called Team Works. It is an opportunity to link together a few different service projects all around one theme. I have been participating in a Team Works team all on cycling the last month. We have assembled safety kits for the Portland police to distribute to cyclists who don't have lights on their bikes, we have helped with a celebration for Bike to Work month, and tomorrow we will be at the Community Cycling Center, which is a great local biking organization. The great benefit of this format is that one can start to see how different organizations work together or how to address community needs with the new knowledge one gains from different approaches to the same need.

AmeriCorps Alums
Things are going well with Alums. Locally we hosted a great focus group on the future of Alums and mobilized to encourage Gordon Smith to co-sponsor the Kennedy Hatch Bill that I mentioned above. We now have a reputation with Smith's office as being "aggressive!" Ha! Nationally we have developed our three year strategic plan, chosen an amazing new group of Leadership Council members, and have our fall retreat in a little over a week.

TOTAL VOLUNTEER HOURS as of 10/18/08: 241.25 in 253 days. I am 12 hours behind my one hour per day goal... but I'll catch up!

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