Grant Funds Provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies Will Support Two New “Impact Volunteering” Initiatives to Increase Recycling and Expand Emergency Meal Service
December 13, 2013– The City of Philadelphia announced that Cities of Service, a bipartisan coalition of cities finding new, innovative ways to harness the power of volunteers, has awarded $100,000 to Philadelphia to implement two service initiatives. The first initiative, Waste Watchers, is designed to increase multi-stream recycling at City-sponsored events and the second, Philadelphia Meals and More, will leverage volunteers to increase the number of congregant meals served on a weekly basis to Philadelphians in need. Philadelphia is one of 23 U.S. cities to win a Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund grant, which supports mayors who are implementing “impact volunteering” strategies that tackle pressing local challenges.
“Strategically wielding the power of volunteer service is critical as cities address challenges with limited resources,” said Mayor Michael A. Nutter. “I strongly believe that developing volunteerism within city governments helps mayors launch innovative initiatives, grow civic engagement and build resilient communities. This grant provides the City of Philadelphia increased capacity to work toward two of my priorities: becoming the greenest, most sustainable city in America and improving the health of Philadelphians by addressing the causes and effects of poverty.”
Philadelphia’s $100,000 grant will go toward the following:
· Over the next 18 months, the City will engage members of the Philadelphia Food Access Collaborative to expand meal service by 1,000 meals per week by recruiting and training a minimum of 250 volunteers to support 10 meal providers.
· Over the next year the City will expand its successful “Waste Watchers” initiative to divert 70% of event waste from local landfills by engaging a minimum of 1,000 volunteers in raising recycling rates at large-scale, city-wide events including the Philadelphia Marathon, the Broad Street Run and the Philadelphia Cycling Classic.
The Cities of Service model focuses on impact volunteering – volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices, and set clear, measurable outcomes to gauge progress. Dozens of cities across the nation have adopted the model since its introduction in 2009.
Last year, the City of Philadelphia received $100,000 in first round Impact Volunteer funding to support two volunteer initiatives, Tech Tutors and PhillyRisingCREATES.
· Tech Tutors, implemented through a strategic partnership with the Mayor’s Commission on Literacy, KeySpots and Drexel University, engages volunteers to help adult learners build their literacy skills using technology. Volunteers have been recruited, trained and matched with adult learners at five literacy organizations across the city.
· PhillyRisingCREATES draws on a partnership between Mural Arts and the City’s PhillyRising Collaborative to engage volunteers in revitalizing community spaces cross the city. More than 300 volunteers have installed three community murals and revitalized more than 76,000 square feet of community space.
Funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund is a multi-million dollar fund. Nearly $1 million was awarded through the first round of grants in October 2012, with an additional $1 million awarded through this second round. Grantee cities were selected based on the quality of initiative proposals, scale and potential for impact, and caliber of implementation plans, among other criteria. Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund initiatives address issues in the Cities of Service priority areas of education and youth, health, neighborhood revitalization, preparedness and safety, sustainability, and veterans.
About Cities of Service
Founded in September 2009 in New York City by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 16 other mayors from across the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of over 180 mayors committed to addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering. American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized strategy by municipal governments. By leveraging citizen service strategies, Cities of Service helps mayors address local needs and make government more effective. To find out more about Cities of Service, visit our website atwww.citiesofservice.org or follow us on Twitter @CitiesOfService.