2024 marks an extraordinary year for OneStar as we celebrate several significant milestones that illustrate our enduring legacy of engaging Texans to take action in local communities.
I have served with OneStar since 2006 and have witnessed the organization evolve and adapt to address our state’s most pressing social needs—from responding to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey to mobilizing for COVID-19 recovery. I cherish the opportunity to reflect on our past achievements—not to pat ourselves on the back, but rather to remember the incredible friends and collaborators who have shaped our journey and to inspire us all to reach farther and dream bigger. Woven within our history is a roadmap comprised of best practices and valuable lessons learned through lived experience. I am grateful for this time to reflect on our legacy and acknowledge the vision and resources invested by our amazing partners to reach where we are today.
In the weeks ahead, we will be counting the years of making it count. Among the milestones we are celebrating this year are:
- 50 years of state-supported service and volunteerism. In 1974, Governor Dolph Briscoe established the Texas Center for Volunteer Action, acknowledging the importance of volunteer service in Texas communities. This set a vital precedent of the state supporting service initiatives, which continues to this day through OneStar.
- 40 years of Governor’s Volunteer Awards. Established by Governor Mark White in the 1980s, the Governor’s Volunteer Awards shine a statewide spotlight on inspiring stories of how volunteers can transform local communities. The prestigious awards, now administered by OneStar, garner bipartisan support and have been hosted annually by every Texas governor for the last 40 years.
- 30 years of AmeriCorps. In 1994, President Bill Clinton launched AmeriCorps as a service-driven solution to our nation’s most pressing social challenges, with more than 20,000 Americans taking the first AmeriCorps pledge at the White House and in states across the country. Today, as the state-appointed national service commission, OneStar is a champion and conduit for the power of AmeriCorps to reach Texas communities.
- 20 years of OneStar. OneStar was established in 2004 as a united home merging diverse initiatives across Texas centered on furthering volunteerism and community service. When designating OneStar, Governor Rick Perry cited the power of volunteering to “transform our communities, our families and the lives of individual Texans, and enrich the life of the volunteer.”
But it does not end there. These accomplishments of the past are still very much with us today and build a foundation that creates exciting possibilities for the future. This year, we are also launching a forward-thinking strategic plan, which builds on our incredible legacy. As you join us in celebrating these milestones in our history, I hope you will gain a deeper appreciation for the journey ahead and be inspired to take action in the unfolding story of Texans uniting in service to foster more united, resilient, and thriving communities.
To get involved in our celebration, follow OneStar on social media and subscribe to our email updates. As we reminisce about memorable moments from decades past, I invite you to imagine how we can evolve and build on these achievements and create modern solutions for further advancing civic and community engagement in Texas. I look forward to partnering alongside you in our next chapter!
President & CEO