26 July 2005
The conference, the largest gathering of volunteer leaders in the nation, comes at a time of increasing rates of volunteering and growing recognition of the value of the country’s volunteers. Last year 64.5 million Americans volunteered - an increase of nearly five million since 2002 - and they provided an estimated US$272 billion in services.
The theme of the three-day event, convened by the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network and the Corporation for National and Community Service, is, "Serve Communities. Solve Problems. Strengthen America."
"When people volunteer, good things happen - those who receive the services are helped, those who provide the services are bettered, and our communities are enriched," said Robert K. Goodwin, president and CEO of the Points of Light Foundation. "Volunteering is an essential complement to services provided by our government and large private organizations."
Attendees include leaders from Volunteer Centers, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America programs; businesses, non-profits, and governor-appointed state service commissions. The nation's capital offers a unique backdrop for the conference, a reminder that while volunteering operates largely on the community level, it contributes to the national agenda and goals of service, civic engagement, and citizenship.
In conjunction with the conference, more than 400 volunteers from the D.C. metropolitan area and Surgeon General Richard Carmona will participate in a variety of service projects focused on healthy lifestyles and good nutrition and benefiting organizations within the Shaw community, the neighborhood surrounding the Washington Convention Center.
The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network, a Non-profit organization, supports and organizes the vital work of community volunteers who help solve the country’s social problems by bringing people and resources together.
The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and countries through three programs -- Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America.