Category Archives: Volunteerism

The First Lady, The President, The Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden Serve on 9/11

Posted by: Audiegrl
Written by Kori Schulman

On September 11, 2010, the First Lady, the President, the Vice President and Dr. Jill Biden engaged in service activities to support our veterans, troops and military families, following remarks. Watch a video that takes you to service projects in McLean, VA, Washington, DC and New York City on the National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The National Day of Service and Remembrance was developed by 9/11 families and established into law by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which President Obama signed in April 2009. Visit Serve.gov to find volunteer opportunities in your community.

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First Lady Michelle Obama To Receive Honorary Degree and Speak at George Washington University

Posted by: Audiegrl

GW Community Completes More Than 100,000 Hours of Service Ahead of May 1 Deadline

First Lady Michelle Obama will be the keynote speaker at George Washington University Commencement on Sunday, May 16 on the National Mall. The University community matched Mrs. Obama’s 100,000 service hour challenge set forth at the beginning of this year.

A. James Clark, a business executive for one of the United States’ largest construction companies and Dave Brubeck, a renowned pianist and composer, will join First Lady Michelle Obama in receiving honorary degrees this spring during Commencement Weekend, a University spokeswoman said Wednesday. University President Steven Knapp said he believes each of the recipients will inspire graduates.

“All three of these distinguished individuals exemplify the University’s ideals of achievement, leadership and service,” Knapp said in a news release.

“Congratulations to The George Washington University on meeting the 100,000-hour service challenge,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “GW has demonstrated an amazing and ongoing commitment to public service. I look forward to addressing graduates on May 16. You’ve earned it!”

Michelle Obama will be the third First Lady in the history of the University to speak at GW’s Commencement and will address a crowd of approximately 25,000.

Over the last seven months, more than 3,800 GW students, faculty, staff and members of the Board of Trustees have tracked their time as they have helped many individuals through various community service projects throughout the Washington, D.C. area and beyond.

“When we received the challenge from the First Lady, we knew there was no question that George Washington University students, faculty and staff would rise to that very exciting opportunity. But we had no idea we would reach the goal so far in advance of the May 1st deadline,” said GW President Steven Knapp. “Thanks to Mrs. Obama, service became the focus of school spirit for the entire academic year, pulling together the entire university community in a unique way.”

Students, faculty and staff completed a variety of service projects, including painting Habitat for Humanity homes with the First Lady in September; giving a make-over to a Washington, D.C. high school on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; and spent winter and spring breaks to rebuild homes in New Orleans, comfort the sick in Ecuador, and provide educational assistance to Sudanese refugees in Nashville, just to name a few. Other students and members of faculty, staff and Board of Trustees donated their time on such activities as tackling rural and urban poverty, working with a local Brownie Troop and organizing a walk-a-thon to raise funds for the homeless.

“I am extremely proud of our student body and the rest of the GW community for their contributions towards meeting Mrs. Obama’s service challenge,” said GW Student Association President Julie Bindelglass. “As a representative of GW students, I know that many of us have committed ourselves to making public service part of our daily lives. We are thrilled to host the First Lady at our Commencement!”

While the GW community has completed the challenge, students, staff and faculty will continue participating in various service activities. Community service hours will be collected until the official service challenge deadline, May 1, 2010. The total hours achieved during the service challenge will be announced at the commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16.

(Photos: GW senior Shakir Cannon-Moye and Student Association president Julie Bindelglass joined Mrs. Obama at a Habitat for Humanity
community service project on September 11, 2009)

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Delivering Change

This is the story of Becca and Karima, two OFA volunteers who joined David Plouffe in hand-delivering signatures of the more than 1.1 million people who co-signed health care reform directly to President Obama.

But it’s also the story of the millions of Americans, young and old, who knocked on doors, and called their neighbors, and made history together.

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Bon Jovi Takes United We Serve on Tour

Posted by: TheLCster

President Obama’s United We Serve initiative is about to go on tour alongside Bon Jovi on the band’s “The Circle World Tour.” In collaboration with the Corporation for National and Community Service, rocker Jon Bon Jovi will be the first person to engage mass audiences in the President’s call to service at concert venues. The United We Serve initiative encourages Americans to get involved in community service to help the nation move forward.

Bon Jovi, a longtime service advocate and philanthropist, calls on Americans in the concert video and PSA to use their energy and passion to help tackle our nation’s challenges. As an individual who focuses his efforts on issues surrounding homelessness, Bon Jovi highlights what he calls the “power of we.”

President Obama has made service a central cause of his administration. Since calling on Americans to serve in his inaugural address, the momentum for service has soared and support for the Corporation for National and Community Service programs have skyrocketed. More than five million Americans volunteered with the Corporation in 2009, a 25 percent increase over the previous year. The United We Serve initiative challenges all Americans to help lay a new foundation for growth by engaging in sustained, meaningful community service to help meet our national priorities. The initiative has successfully bolstered civic engagement nationwide, helped to better our communities in priority issue areas, and leveraged partnerships with non-profits, U.S. corporations, and celebrities to foster a greater sense of purpose among Americans through service.

Watch Bon Jovi explain the importance of civic engagement, and find out what you can do to get involved and make a difference at Serve.gov.

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British Boy, Charlie Simpson Age 7, Raises $240,000 for Haiti Relief

Posted by: BuellBoy

Charlie Simpson

Simpson's efforts have been described as 'bold' and 'innovative' by Unicef's UK executive director.

He’s no Wyclef Jean or George Clooney, but that hasn’t stopped seven-year-old Charlie Simpson from raising more than $240,000 (£150,000) for the Haiti earthquake. Simpson from Fulham, west London had hoped to raise just £500 for UNICEF’s earthquake appeal by cycling eight kilometers (five miles)around a local park.

Charlie Simpson

Charlie Simpson

My name is Charlie Simpson. I want to do a sponsored bike ride for Haiti because there was a big earthquake and loads of people have lost their lives,” said Simpson on his JustGiving page, a fundraising site which launched his efforts.

I want to make some money to buy food, water and tents for everyone in Haiti,” he said.

Donate to Charlie Simpson’s Haiti fundraising page

And with that simple call, messages of support flooded the site.

Charlie's helpful little sister

Charlie's helpful little sister

Such a big heart for a young boy, you’re a little star!” wrote one supporter. “Well done Charlie. A real celebrity,” said another. More donations began pouring in after the story caught the attention of the British media — with many cheering Simpson past the £100,000 mark.

Even British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is spreading the message. His “Downing Street” Twitter alias said: “Amazed by response to the great fundraising efforts of 7 yr old Charlie Simpson for the people of Haiti.”

David Bull, UNICEF’s UK executive director described Simpson’s efforts as “very bold and innovative.” “It shows he connects with and not only understands what children his own age must be going through in Haiti,” Bull said in a press statement.

The Simpson family

The Simpson family

The little seed — his idea — that he has planted has grown rapidly and his is a place well deserved in the humanitarian world. On behalf of the many children in Haiti, I thank Charlie for his effort.”

Money raised by Simpson will go towards UNICEF’s Haiti Earthquake Children’s Appeal which will provide water, sanitation, education, nutrition as well as support child protection.

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Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” Video highlights

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a night of great music and a show of support for the people of Haiti

Posted by: Audiegrl

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President Obama Signs Legislation

President Obama Signs Legislation Providing Immediate Tax Deductions for Haiti Charitable Contributions January 22, 2010.

President Obama Is Making It Easier for Americans to Support Haiti
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In the days since the earthquake in Haiti, Americans have shown their generosity with millions of dollars in donations. Tonight, President Obama signed a bill into law that makes it easier to give. This legislation will allow taxpayers to receive the tax benefit from donations made to the Haiti effort in this tax season, rather than having to wait until they file their 2010 tax returns next year. Specifically, cash donations to charities for the Haitian relief effort given after January 11 and before March 1 of this year may be treated as if the contribution was made on December 31 of last year so that the contribution can be deducted from 2009 income. This measure applies to monetary donations, not goods or services.


Clinton Bush Haiti Relief FundUNICEFAmerican Red Cross

WFP:  World Food ProgrammePartners In Health Oxfam America
Yéle Haiti

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Update of Performers and Participants in the Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief Telethon

Posted by: Audiegrl

click here for video highlights from the show: 44-D

Friday’s multi-network “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” telethon will feature Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Clint Eastwood, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jon Stewart, Matt Damon, Morgan Freeman, Nicole Kidman, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hanks, Robert Pattinson, Will Smith, Julia Roberts, Meryl Streep, Muhammad Ali, former President Bill Clinton and more than 100 of the biggest names in film, television and music.

The telethon, will air commercial-free across MTV, VH1, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, CNN, BET, the CW, HBO, CMT, PBS, TNT, Showtime, Comedy Central, Bravo, E! Entertainment Network, National Geographic Channel, Oxygen, G4, Centric, Current TV, Fuse, MLB Network, Epix, Palladia, SoapNet, Style, Discovery Health and Planet Green. Canada’s CTV, CBC Television, Global Television and MuchMusic also will air “Hope for Haiti,” as will BET International, CNN International, National Geographic and MTV Networks International, making the event available in 640 million homes worldwide. ‘Hope for Haiti Now‘ will be the first U.S.-based telethon airing on MTV in China. The event will also be live streamed online across sites including YouTube, Hulu, MySpace, Fancast, AOL, MSN.com, Yahoo, Bing.com, BET.com, CNN.com, MTV.com,VH1.com, and Rhapsody and on mobile via Alltel, AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and FloTV. Facebook and Twitter are the official social-media partners for the telethon.

All donations will benefit Oxfam America, Partners in Health, Red Cross, UNICEF and Wyclef’s Yele Haiti foundation. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and United Nations World Food Programme will also benefit from the telethon’s efforts, as aid will be split evenly among each organization’s relief programs for the ravaged island.


Clinton Bush Haiti Relief FundUNICEFAmerican Red Cross

WFP:  World Food ProgrammePartners In Health Oxfam America
Yéle Haiti

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A statement released Thursday detailed which musical artists would be featured from each location:

New York City, NY

  • Wyclef Jean, hosting
  • Madonna
  • Sting
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Jennifer Hudson
  • Shakira

Los Angeles, CA

  • George Clooney, hosting
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Alicia Keys
  • Dave Matthews
  • John Legend
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Taylor Swift
  • Emeline Michel
  • Group performance by Keith Urban, Kid Rock and Sheryl Crow

London, England

  • Beyoncé
  • Coldplay
  • Group performance by Bono, The Edge, Jay-Z and Rihanna

Port au Prince, Haiti

  • Anderson Cooper, hosting

People can start donating even before the start of the 8 p.m. EST concert via phone and text.

The two-hour telethon will be shown on all the major networks and a host of other channels. It will be broadcast from New York, London, Los Angeles and Haiti.

Hope for Haiti Now” will begin accepting donations at 12:00 p.m. ET/9:00 a.m. PT on Friday, January 22 via the following methods:

Online: www.hopeforhaitinow.org
Phone: 877-99-HAITI
Text: Text “GIVE” to 50555
Mail: Hope For Haiti Now Fund, Entertainment Industry Foundation, 1201 West 5th Street, Suite T-700, Los Angeles, CA 90017

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President Obama and Secretary Duncan Meet 6th Graders

Posted by: Audiegrl

Speeding Up the Race to the Top

President Barack Obama and Sec. of Education Arne Duncan, right, take questions during a group discussion with 6th grade students at Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, VA. January 19, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Obama announces a proposed $1.3 billion investment in Race to the Top, a program to encourage innovation and excellence in education through competitive grants, at an event at Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, VA. January 19, 2010.

This morning the President and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan paid a visit to Graham Road Elementary School in Falls Church, Virginia where they had a chat with about 30 6th grade students. The conversation put a face to the people they were trying to help with the President’s latest investment of more than a billion dollars in next year’s budget to amp up the President’s “Race to the Top” program – a competition to incentivize success that has already generated an overwhelming response from states, with over 30 states expected to compete for first-round funding.

You can learn more about Graham Road in the White House background release, but the school made a mark on its community by implementing a comprehensive strategy to turn around student achievement, adopting rigorous and high-quality student assessments, teacher evaluation and professional development, along with innovative and effective use of data systems to track student performance. As a result, in 2008 all of the school’s sixth-graders met Virginia’s reading standards, and 96 percent met math standards, despite being one of the lowest income schools in the county. The expansion of Race to the Top comes with a plan to encourage precisely this kind of visionary change in schools that apply for the challenge.

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In his remarks after the meeting with students, the President explained how it all works, and the logic behind “Race to the Top“:

Last year, we set aside more than $4 billion to improve our schools — one of the largest investments in reform in our nation’s history. But we didn’t just hand this money out to states that wanted it; we challenged them to compete for it. And it’s the competitive nature of this initiative that we believe helps make it so effective. We laid out a few key criteria and said if you meet these tests, we’ll reward you by helping you reform your schools.

First, we encouraged states to adopt more challenging standards that will actually prepare our kids for college and their careers. We also encouraged schools to adopt better assessments — not just one-size-fits-all approaches — to measure what our kids know and what they’re able to do.

Second, we urged schools and school districts to make sure we have excellent principals leading our schools and great teachers leading our classes by promoting rigorous plans to develop and evaluate teachers and principals and by rewarding their success.

Third, we urged states to use cutting-edge data systems to track a child’s progress throughout their academic career, and to link that child’s progress to their teachers so we know what’s working and what’s not working in the classroom. Fourth, we encouraged states to show a stronger commitment to turning around some of their lowest-performing schools.

And even before states have received a single dime of taxpayer money, many of them have committed to instituting important reforms to better position themselves for a Race to the Top grant. Forty-eight states have now joined a nationwide partnership to develop a common set of rigorous, career-ready standards in reading and math. Wisconsin has enacted legislation permitting schools to link student achievement to the performance of teachers and principals. In Illinois, Louisiana, Tennessee, California, we’ve seen changes in laws or policies to let public charter schools expand and succeed. These are public schools with more independence that are formed by teachers, parents, and community members.

So by rewarding some of these states submitting applications today, by extending the Race to the Top for states, by launching a Race to the Top among school districts, and by applying the principles of Race to the Top to other federal programs, we’ll build on this success. We’re going to raise the bar for all our students and take bigger steps towards closing the achievement gap that denies so many students, especially black and Latino students, a fair shot at their dreams.

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George Lopez Throws Benefit Concert For Disaster Relief: “Help Haiti with George Lopez and Friends”

Posted by: Audiegrl


A Personal Message from George…

The people of Haiti need our help. On Thursday, February 4th I am throwing a benefit concert, called “Help Haiti with George Lopez and Friends” at The Nokia Center, here in Los Angeles. The best musicians, comedians and athletes will be there for the cause, including my friends Andy Garcia, Slash and Samuel Jackson.

100% of the proceeds will go to directly to Haiti to help the victims and their families. Click here for more information on how to purchase tickets for “Help Haiti with George Lopez and Friends.”

Lopez Tonight Help Haiti DonationIf you can’t make it to the concert, you can still help. Lopez Tonight has teamed up with “CARE” to raise money. Click on the “CARE” logo to donate directly to relief efforts that will help the people of Haiti. And we will match the first 25,000 dollars that come from you.

Americans are the most generous people in the world. Your gift will help save lives. Let’s show Haiti how much we care.

Guests Include: Slash, Samuel L. Jackson, Andy Garcia, Kobe Bryant, Ray Romano, Larry David, Vanessa Hudgens, Cheech & Chong, Margaret Cho, Cedric the Entertainer, Cypress Hill, Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson, Eva Langoria-Parker, Amber Veletta, Don Cheadle, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Cheech and Chong, Cypress Hill, Los Lobos, and many more!

Tonight you can check out “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief”, LIVE Streamed and Blogged at 44-D’s tonight…January 22nd at 8PM EST. Join in and help out the people of Haiti.


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President Obama’s Newsweek Haiti Essay: ‘Why Haiti Matters’

Posted by: Audiegrl

In the tragic aftermath of Haiti’s 7.0 earthquake, images of the disaster break our hearts and remind us of the fragility of life. What America must do now—and why

By President Barack Obama in
In the last week, we have been deeply moved by the heartbreaking images of the devastation in Haiti: parents searching through rubble for sons and daughters; children, frightened and alone, looking for their mothers and fathers. At this moment, entire parts of Port-au-Prince are in ruins, as families seek shelter in makeshift camps. It is a horrific scene of shattered lives in a poor nation that has already suffered so much.

In response, I have ordered a swift, coordinated, and aggressive effort to save lives in Haiti. We have launched one of the largest relief efforts in recent history. I have instructed the leaders of all agencies to make our response a top priority across the federal government. We are mobilizing every element of our national capacity: the resources of development agencies, the strength of our armed forces, and most important, the compassion of the American people. And we are working closely with the Haitian government, the United Nations, and the many international partners who are also aiding in this extraordinary effort.

We act for the sake of the thousands of American citizens who are in Haiti, and for their families back home; for the sake of the Haitian people who have been stricken with a tragic history, even as they have shown great resilience; and we act because of the close ties that we have with a neighbor that is only a few hundred miles to the south.

But above all, we act for a very simple reason: in times of tragedy, the United States of America steps forward and helps. That is who we are. That is what we do. For decades, America’s leadership has been founded in part on the fact that we do not use our power to subjugate others, we use it to lift them up—whether it was rebuilding our former adversaries after World War II, dropping food and water to the people of Berlin, or helping the people of Bosnia and Kosovo rebuild their lives and their nations.

At no time is that more true than in moments of great peril and human suffering. It is why we have acted to help people combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS in Africa, or to recover from a catastrophic tsunami in Asia. When we show not just our power, but also our compassion, the world looks to us with a mixture of awe and admiration. That advances our leadership. That shows the character of our country. And it is why every American can look at this relief effort with the pride of knowing that America is acting on behalf of our common humanity.

Right now, our search-and-rescue teams are on the ground, pulling people from the rubble. Americans from Virginia and California and Florida have worked round the clock to save people whom they’ve never met. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen quickly deployed to the scene. Hand in hand with our civilians, they’re laboring day and night to facilitate a massive logistical enterprise; to deliver and distribute food, water, and medicine to save lives; and to prevent an even larger humanitarian catastrophe.

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Help for Haiti~Learn What You Can Do

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