After being saluted by actor Kevin Bacon and CBS correspondent Nancy Cordes, the 2012 Make A Difference Day national honorees were included in National Volunteer Week recognition by the White House.
As part of the week’s celebration, The White House convened a panel discussion on “Expanding Opportunity Through Volunteering.” CEO of Points of Light, Michelle Nunn, moderated the panel, which included mayors from Make A Difference Day City Award winners Salisbury, NC, and Jersey City, NJ. Mayors Paul Woodson of Salisbury and Jerramiah Healy of Jersey City, were joined on the panel by David Smith, Executive Director of the National Conference on Citizenship, and Carl Allegretti, Chairman and CEO of Deloitte Tax LLP. The mayors used their award-winning projects as examples of the necessity of citizens getting involved. “Strong neighbors make a strong community,” says Woodson.
The agenda included an announcement by Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis that her department was releasing a letter to state workforce agencies strongly encouraging states to both promote volunteerism in their communities and interpret state law to not disqualify individuals from receipt of Unemployment Compensation as a result of volunteer activities. Having the Department of Labor backing volunteer service energized Wendy Spencer, the newly appointed CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Spencer closed out the discussion by asking each Make A Difference Day honoree to stand and be recognized for their outstanding service.
Mayors Woodson and Healy and our honoree from Yardley, PA, Neha Gupta, each wrote a guest blog post for the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation:
You can read more about Expanding Opportunity Through Active Volunteering on The White House Blog.
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