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Texas Mayors and County Leaders to Recognize AmeriCorps and Senior Corps in Local Communities

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                 
CONTACT: Elizabeth Darling, 512-287-2062, liz@onestarfoundation.org
DATE: March 31, 2015                                                                                                                                    

Texas Mayors and County Leaders to Recognize AmeriCorps and Senior Corps in Local Communities

AUSTIN, TX — April 7, more than 200 mayors and county leaders across the State of Texas will be among 2,228 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 third annual Mayors Day and first annual County 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 Mayors Day and County Day of Recognition for National Service is a perfect opportunity to recognize their great work.”

This 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.

Participating 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 – Mayor Paul Harpole will present a Proclamation and participate in a service project on April 7th at 9:00am at the Wesley Community Center Garden (1615 S. Roberts).  Alongside the Mayor will be Senior Corps RSVP, VISTA members from Panhandle Community Service and Amarillo Independent School District AmeriCorps members.  The group will then head to Wildcat Bluff Nature Center to participate in a trail cleanup (2301 North Soncy). 
  • Austin – Mayor Steve Adler and Chief Service Officer Sly Majid will host a ceremony at City Hall on April 7th at 1:00pm for a celebration of national service. The event will be held in the Council Chambers (301 W. 2nd Street). Validated parking is available in the city hall garage. Attendees must arrive by 12:30pm and bring a picture ID.
  • Corpus Christi – Mayor Nelda Martinez will present a Proclamation at city hall with national service members on March 31st at 11:15am.  Mayor Martinez will be spending the afternoon serving as a Senior Companion.
  • Denton – County Judge Mary Horn will deliver the Oath accompanied by the city of Denton Mayor Watts.  T-shirts with logos will be given out that say “I SWEAR” on the front and “TO SERVE MY COMMUNITY” on the back.  This event will wrap up with a Flash Mob to Uptown Funk using Michelle Obama Dance/fitness routine.
  • El Paso – Mayor Oscar Leeser will present a Proclamation recognizing national service volunteers (streaming online) at the April 7th City Council Meeting (300 N. Campbell, Main Conference Room, 2nd floor) beginning at 8:00am.
  • Fort Worth – Mayor Betsy Price will attend a recognition event from 4:00 – 5:30pm on April 7th at Cornerstone Assistance Network (3500 Noble Avenue).
  • Houston – Mayor Annise Parker will host a Proclamation presentation at City Hall on April 7th in the Council Chambers (901 Bagby). Attendees must arrive by 1:15pm and bring a picture ID.

In addition to the Texas cities and counties that will be hosting events, many other Texas municipalities will be celebrating April 7th or throughout the month of April with a Proclamation or in other ways. A full list of participating Texas mayors and municipal leaders 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.”

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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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