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Nationwide Effort To Recognize Impact Of National Service
Mayor Brown again joins more than 1,000 mayors across the country for the second annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, a nationwide bipartisan effort to highlight the impact of national service in tackling city problems. Mayor Brown hosted a rally at the Montante Cultural Center, recognizing the over 1,500 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers who actively engaged in service in the city of Buffalo.
“National service is a vital resource for our city,” said Mayor Brown. “AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps participants have a positive and long lasting impact, improving the quality of life for many of our residents in communities throughout Buffalo. As Mayor, I am grateful for the dedication and hard work and efforts of these citizens and I am honored to acknowledge those who are helping make our great city stronger and healthier.”
Linda Cohen, the newly appointed Executive Director for New York State Commission on National and Community Service, made her first visit to Buffalo to attend today’s rally. "Western New York has a long and proud history of citizen involvement in civic life and in helping one another in times of need," said Cohen. "Buffalo has been a stalwart supporter of national service programs throughout its history, and we thank Mayor Brown for continuing that tradition today."
In addition to recognizing all service members, Mayor Brown awarded the following individuals with Certificates of Appreciation; Carleen Wigfall, Antoine Jennings, Hannah Spalding, Jenn Heavener, Carlene Coleman, Marjory Hardy, Valetta Barlow, Morris Brown, Charles Banks, Julissa Montanez, Ed White, Margaret Hilligas, Michael Petrinec, Richard Gehring, Kathleen Majchrzak, and Geraldine Kohlbrenner. As well as non-profit organizations who have demonstrated a commitment to national service including; Health Sciences Charter School, Highpoint Nursing Home, Schiller Park Community Center, Health Care Center for Children at ECMC, The Buffalo Dream Center, Charles Drew School, Gerard Place, The Buffalo Zoo, DAV Van Transportation Network, Meals on Wheels for WNY
Given the many social needs facing communities – and the fiscal constraints facing government at all levels - mayors are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to meet city needs. More than 1500 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers serve in Buffalo, providing vital support by addressing community needs in several focus areas. In 2013, 1035 service members committed their efforts to a total of 711,693 hours. This is an estimated value of $15,756,883.00 through support toward education, economic opportunity, environmental stewardship, veterans and military families and healthy futures.
“I am proud to be working with Mayor Brown as we continue to strengthen communities through national service,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Mayors are leaders who get things done. They know firsthand the value of national service in tackling city problems. I commend Mayor Brown for working with us to improve lives and strengthen communities through national service.”
As the federal agency for service and volunteering, CNCS annually engages more than five million citizens in service at more than 60,000 locations in 8,500 cities across the country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs. National service participants address the most pressing challenges facing our cities and nation.
Across the country, mayors are participating in a variety of activities, including visiting national service programs, hosting roundtables at City Hall, issuing proclamations, and communicating about national service through social media. By honoring the national service members who have shown an outstanding commitment to service, Mayor Brown hopes to inspire more residents to become involved in their neighborhoods and communities by volunteering with local non-profit and community organizations.
“National service shows the best of the Buffalonian spirit – people turning toward problems instead of away, working together to find community solutions,” said Oswaldo Mestre, Director, Division of Citizen Services. “As we thank national service members for their commitment, we should all pledge to do our part to strengthen our city through service and volunteering.”
For more information on the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, including background and a list of participating mayors, visit www.nationalservice.gov/mayorsforservice.
For more information on this event and more in the City of Buffalo, “Like” Mayor Brown’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MayorByronBrown.
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Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios