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400+ City, County, Tribal Leaders to Recognize AmeriCorps and Senior Corps in Local Communities Across Texas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Elizabeth Darling, liz@onestarfoundation.org, (512) 287-2062

Mayor and County Recognition Day for National Service logo

AUSTIN, TX — On April 5, 2016, more than 400 city, county, and tribal leaders across the State of Texas will be among more than 3,000 mayors and county leaders nationally to join together in recognition of the impact national service participants in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs have made on their local communities. Given the many social needs facing communities – and the fiscal constraints facing government at all levels – cities and counties are increasingly turning to national service as a cost-effective strategy to meet local needs.

The fourth annual Day of Recognition for National Service is a nationwide bipartisan effort to recognize the positive impact of national service in cities, to thank those who serve, and to encourage citizens to give back to their communities.   The initiative is being led by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the National League of Cities, Cities of Service, and National Association of Counties (NACo).

In Texas, the initiative is being coordinated by CNCS’s Texas State Office in partnership with OneStar Foundation, which serves as Texas’ National Service Commission.

“We are proud to be part of the national service family and grateful for the AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members who are getting things done for Texas,” said Elizabeth Darling, President/CEO of OneStar Foundation, which administers $13 million in AmeriCorps State grants to nonprofits each year.  “Our AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members have made a significant impact on Texas’ ability to meet so many local needs, and the Day of Recognition for National Service is a perfect opportunity to recognize their great work.”

Each year, more than 23,000 national service members of all ages and backgrounds are helping to meet local needs, strengthen communities, and increase civic engagement in Texas through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps (Texas National Service Profile, 2014-15). Serving at more than 2,500 locations throughout the state, these citizens tutor and mentor children, assist the elderly, support veterans and military families, provide health services, restore the environment, respond to disasters, increase economic opportunity, and recruit and manage volunteers.

Mayors Day compilation for web postParticipating mayors and county judges will do site visits, assist with service projects, present proclamations, and host celebrations. Highlights of the Mayors Day and County Day of Recognition for National Service in Texas include events in the following cities:

  • Amarillo – April 5, 2016 – 10:00am-12:00pm – Amarillo Mayor Paul Harpole will issue a Proclamation to highlight the impact of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps and to thank those who serve their communities at ACTS Community (located at 202 S. Louisiana). Afterward, Amarillo ISD AmeriCorps members and Pandhandle RSVP Senior Corps volunteers will serve at ACTS Community Center garden, a satellite project of High Plains Food Bank.
  • Austin – Mayor Steve Adler and Chief Service Officer Sly Majid will host a ceremony at City Hall (301 W. 2nd Street) on April 5th from 8-9am for a celebration of national service.
  • Bexar County (San Antonio) – Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff and County Commissioner Tommy Calvert will host a Commissioners Court Presentation by issuing and reading a proclamation honoring National Service. There will be a quick photo with the commissioners. The total presentation will be no longer than 5 minutes. The event will take place on April 5 from 10:00-10:45am at Bexar County Courthouse (100 Dolorosa, Suite 2.01, 78205 (2nd floor), San Antonio, Texas 78205).
  • Dallas & Dallas County – On April 5, Mayor Mike Rawlings & Judge Clay Jenkins will join together to highlight the impact that AmeriCorps members & Senior Corps volunteers have across the County and City of Dallas. The day will begin with a Recognition Breakfast at Scottish Rite Cathedral located at 500 S. Harwood St. Dallas, TX from 7:30 until 8:30am. The event will continue at Commissioners Court located at 411 Elm St. Dallas, TX for a Proclamation Presentation that begins promptly at 9:00am.
  • El Paso & El Paso County – Mayor Oscar Leeser & County Judge Veronica Escobar will both recognize the impact of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps in the El Paso community with a Proclamation. El Paso County will celebrate on Monday, April 4 at 9:30 a.m. (Report to the El Paso County Courthouse at 500 E. San Antonio, Third Floor, Room 303 by 9am. Visitor parking is behind the courthouse in Overland St. If possible park in the 3rd floor and take the skywalk.). The City of El Paso will honor national service on Tuesday, April 5 with a Proclamation read in City Council Chambers at 8:00 a.m. at City 1, which is located at 300 N. Campbell.
  • Houston – Mayor Sylvester Turner will present a proclamation recognizing National Service in Houston on April 5, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. in the Legacy Room of the Houston City Hall at 901 Bagby St, Houston, TX 77002. Attendees should arrive early and bring a picture ID.
  • Waco – Mayor Malcolm Duncan and the Waco City Council members will proclaim that National Service works in the City of Waco at 6:00pm on April 5 during the City Council meeting (City of Waco Operations Center, 1415 N. 4th Street, Waco). Special guests include Mikel Herrington, Director of the Office of Field Liaison for CNCS, Terry Gunnell, the Texas State Director for CNCS, and Liz Darling, the CEO of OneStar Foundation. Before the event, a gathering of national service volunteer programs will be held at the Communities In Schools-Heart of Texas offices (1001 Washington Ave., Waco, Texas 76701) from 4:00-5:30pm.
  • West – Leading up to the third anniversary of the West Fertilizer Plant Explosion of 2013, Mayor Tommy Muska will issue a Proclamation honoring national service volunteers and the role they played in helping the West community respond to and recover from the deadly explosion. Special guests will include Congressman Bill Flores, Senator Brian Birdwell, State Representative Kyle Kacal, McLennan County Commissioner Will Jones, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell MacNamara, Ross Mayor Jim Jaska, Director of the Office of Field Liaison for CNCS Mikel Herrington, CNCS Texas State Director Terry Gunnell, and President/CEO of OneStar Foundation, Liz Darling. The event will take place on April 5, 2016 from 1:00-2:00pm at the West Museum (112 East Oak St., West, TX 76691).

Many other Texas officials will participate throughout the month of April with Proclamations, presentations at local council and commission meetings, or visiting with local AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers.

A full list of participating Texas mayors and county leaders can be found here.

A list of event details for activities being held in Texas can be found here.

“We are proud to be working with city and county leaders across America as we continue to strengthen communities through national service,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.  “Local leaders get things done and they know firsthand the value of national service in tackling problems.  I commend the participating mayors and county leaders for working with us to improve lives and strengthen communities through national service.”

By shining the spotlight on the impact of service and thanking those who serve, local officials hope to inspire more residents to get involved in their communities.

“National service shows the best of the American spirit – people turning toward problems instead of away, working together to find community solutions,” said Terry Gunnell, Director of the CNCS Texas State Office based in Austin, who served as lead coordinator for the Day of Recognition in Texas. “Today, as we thank national service members for their commitment, let us all pledge to do our part to strengthen our country through service and volunteering.”

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OneStar Foundation is the Governor-designated National Service Commission in Texas and administers the AmeriCorps State grant program. The Governor-appointed Board members oversee the legal and policy governance of the AmeriCorps Texas program portfolio. OneStar Foundation connects partners and resources to build a stronger nonprofit sector in Texas. For more information, visit onestarfoundation.org.

The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages more than five million Americans in service through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and Volunteer Generation Fund programs, and leads President’s national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.

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