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Mayor Richard M. Daley today announced the launch of “One Good Deed Chicago,” a campaign to promote volunteerism in the City that initially will focus on supporting not-for-profit organizations engaged in developing out-of-school time programs for young people and helping residents most affected by the recession get back on the path to economic recovery.
The initiative is supported by a two-year, $200,000 “Cities of Service Leadership Grant” from the Rockefeller Foundation.
“Chicago has a long, rich history of community service and volunteerism.
Over the past century, many initiatives helped lay the foundation for a commitment to service and a spirit of working together that continues as a way of life for Chicagoans today,” Daley said in a news conference held at Libby Elementary School, 5300 S. Loomis Blvd.
Under the terms of the grant, the City has appointed its first Chief Service Officer to develop and implement “One Good Deed Chicago” with the goals of increasing civic engagement by residents and better aligning volunteers with not-for-profit organizations. The Chief Service Officer is Jenne Myers, former Executive Director of Working in the Schools, a Chicago organization involving community members and businesses in tutoring and mentoring young people.
Daley said that the program will focus on developing out-of-school programs and economic recovery using an approach called “VolunTEAM,” which matches college students with not-for-profits in need of help. The college student will help do volunteer recruitment, management, retention and capacity building – so the not-for-profit can then recruit more “every day” residents to help their efforts.
This month, the program will begin training the first 10 -12 students along with ten not-for-profit partners who will participate in the first phase of the initiative. The students’ training will be pointed toward areas identified as ones in which the organizations need help.
Upon completion of the training, students will spend five months working with a not-for-profit on a part-time basis, helping the group expand its own efforts to attract and manage volunteers.
One Good Deed Chicago will work to develop and manage a one-stop-shop for Chicagoans interested in connecting with both one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities. The website, www.OneGoodDeedChicago.org
, will promote service initiatives outlined in the Blueprint for Service and enable residents to review a wider range of volunteer opportunities designed to have a positive impact on the city.
The first phase of the website is live as of today, a simple version of the plan offering a PDF version of the Blueprint for Service and the ability to sign up for further information as it becomes available. An expanded version of the site will launch in January with increased functionality, including a capability for posting and searching volunteer opportunities.
Residents without access to a computer can learn about volunteer opportunities through the city’s existing 311 phone line.
Chicago is home to many organizations that provide youth with academic and social support in addition to meaningful recreational and educational opportunities. However, these organizations lack adequate levels of service during the weekday hours of 5:00-7:00 p.m. – hours that generally coincide with peaks in youth violence.
To address this challenge, One Good Deed Chicago has established the Working in Non-profit Development for Youth (WINDY) initiative which – through its partnership with Chicago’s Out-Of-School Time Project – seeks to engage at-risk youth in positive, productive program opportunities during critical out-of-school hours.
To start, the program will work with five organizations involved in developing out-of-school programs: the Better Boys Foundation, Casa Central, Metropolitan Family Services, the Uhlich Children’s Advantage Network and the YMCA.
To support Chicago families still affected by the recession, One Good Deed Chicago has established the Money Smarts initiative to increase access to job readiness and financial empowerment programs.
It will work with five organizations helping people get deal with the effects of the recession: the Center for Economic Progress, The Enterprising Kitchen, Goodwill, the Howard Brown Broadway Youth Center and the Heartland Alliance.
“Our idea is that our college students will not only help not-for-profits operate more effectively and expand their volunteer base, but they’ll also bring idealism, enthusiasm and energy to a challenging job,” Daley said.
In addition, “One Good Deed Chicago” will organize free, citywide seminars for non-profits to further help them focus on building their capacity and using their volunteers effectively.
Daley said “One Good Deed Chicago” will engage the private sector by reaching out to potential pro bono consulting partners that can provide strategic expertise to not-for profits. He said that ultimately, it is hoped that partners in both the private and public sectors will support a fund to cover the ongoing expenses of the project.
“Much of the progress our city has made over the years has been made possible because so many people have pride in our city and are fully engaged in our goal of improving the quality of life for every resident of Chicago,” the mayor said.
“By focusing our initiative on our City’s young people and those that need our help the most, we are helping to secure a stronger Chicago for future generations,” he said.
About Cities of Service
Founded in New York City on September 10, 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Mayor Daley, and 15 other member cities, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors who have answered the historic Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act’s call to action. All coalition members have signed a “Declaration of Service,” committing to work together to lead a multi-year effort to expand community service and volunteerism by:
About Cities of Service Leadership Grants
The first round of Cities of Service Leadership Grants, funded by the Rockefeller Foundation, were awarded in January 2010. The selected cities were Chicago, IL; Detroit, MI; Los Angeles, CA; Nashville, TN; Newark, NJ; Omaha, NE; Philadelphia, PA; Sacramento, CA; Savannah, GA; and Seattle, WA. The grants are used to hire Chief Service Officers, senior city officials who develop and implement citywide plans to increase volunteerism and target volunteers to address their city's greatest needs. All ten cities are launching comprehensive service plans this month to address problems of critical need in their communities.
The second round of Cities of Service Leadership Grants, funded jointly by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, were awarded in June 2010 to Austin, TX; Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Baton Rouge, LA; Chula Vista, CA; Houston, TX; Little Rock, AR; Orlando, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; and Richmond, VA.
More information about the coalition can be found at www.citiesofservice.org.
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