77th Annual Meeting

ENCOURAGING VOLUNTEERISM

WHEREAS, volunteers make an invaluable difference in cities across the country by helping to solve problems, strengthen communities, improve lives, connect others, and transform their own lives; and

WHEREAS, cities and metropolitan areas can play a critical role in the national movement to increase community service and civic engagement; and

WHEREAS, over 60 million Americans already donate over 8 billion hours of service each year; and

WHEREAS, volunteering provides numerous personal benefits to those who serve, such as a sense of pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment; and

WHEREAS, research indicates that volunteering also provides health benefits to those who serve, such as lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression; and

WHEREAS, the call for volunteers is greater than ever before even as our nation's economic crisis forces charities and non-profit organizations to cut back; and

WHEREAS, city employees already contribute through combined charity campaigns; and

WHEREAS, Mayors around the country are already taking actions to increase volunteerism among their employees and community; and

WHEREAS, Mayors have a unique role to play in highlighting the importance of volunteerism to the health and well-being of the greater community; and

WHEREAS, numerous volunteer opportunities are available around the community, whether through non-profit or city- sponsored events; and

WHEREAS, on April 21, 2009, President Obama signed into law the Edward Kennedy Serve America Act, renewing our nation's commitment to encouraging service among all age groups; and

WHEREAS, volunteers can play an integral role in community efforts in a number of areas, including helping the poor, improving education, encouraging energy efficiency, strengthening access to health care; and assisting veterans;

WHEREAS, that residents eager to volunteer in cities all over the country should be able to find meaningful opportunities to give back to their community,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors encourages and supports the efforts of volunteers throughout the country who strive to improve their communities in small and large ways every day; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors congratulates Senator Kennedy on the passage of the Serve America Act; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that The U.S. Conference of Mayors urges local elected officials to encourage volunteerism among their employees and promote volunteer opportunities in their community.