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City of Mesa News Article
Mayor Smith celebrates Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service at Helen's Hope Chest
By: Melissa Randazzo
04/9/13 5:05 PM

Office of the Mayor

For Release: April 9, 2013
Contact: Melissa Randazzo   
Tel. 480-644-3219
melissa.randazzo@mesaaz.gov

Mesa, AZ – More than 830 mayors from all 50 states are standing together in support of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs by participating in the first-ever Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. Together, these mayors represent nearly 100 million citizens, or nearly one-third of Americans.

The Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service is being led by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), Cities of Service, the National League of Cities, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. CNCS is the federal agency for national service and volunteering that administers AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.

“It is a testament to the effectiveness of AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs that nearly one-third of Americans will have their mayor participating in this first-ever Day of Recognition,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “We’re proud to stand with this bipartisan group of mayors. These leaders are shining a bright light on the impact of AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers as they improve neighborhoods and transform lives across the country.”

CNCS annually engages more than five million citizens in service at more than 70,000 locations in 8,500 cities across the country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs.

“I can tell you that the most gratifying time I’ve had in office is seeing our residents help others because they care. They don’t do it for the headlines or the recognition. That is the beauty of service,” Mayor Scott Smith said.  “Today, we want to recognize AmeriCorps, VISTA and Senior Corps volunteers and say ‘thank you’ for caring and making our communities across the nation better places to live.”

Mayor Smith, CNCS Board Member Margurite Kondrake, VISTA Director Mary Strasser and Mesa United Way President and CEO Dan Wollam honored AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members today at Helen’s Hope Chest, a free store for foster children. Many children who are placed in foster care arrive at their temporary home with just the clothes on their backs or a small bag of belongings.  Helen’s Hope Chest is a place where they can start to rebuild with clothes, school supplies and toys. Foster children can visit Helen’s Hope Chest up to four times a year and with each visit they can bring home five outfits, one pair of shoes and other supplies like toiletries and books.

Helen’s Hope Chest is a service of Mesa United way and opened in 2009. AmeriCorps VISTA members at Mesa United Way started Helen’s Hope Chest and today AmeriCorps volunteers help run the store.

In 2012, Helen’s Hope Chest served more than 3,800 children with clothing and other essentials and an additional 1,717 with holiday gifts.

For more information about the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service go to www.nationalservice.gov and to learn more about Helen’s Hope Chest go to www.mesaunitedway.org.

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