Newsletter: Oregon Volunteers can, and you can, too!

by Sharon Gavin

In this 3/11/2010 Oregon Volunteers newsletter:

  • Celebrate the Life and Work of Cesar Chavez

  • Nominate for the Governor's Volunteer Awards

  • 2010 Census

  • Tax Deductions for Volunteers

  • Apply for an AmeriCorps Program or Planning Grant

Si Se Puede!

Yes We Can!

Celebrate the Life and Work of Cesar Chavez

A true American hero, Cesar Chavez was a civil rights, Latino, farm worker, and labor leader; a community servant and social entrepreneur; a crusader for nonviolent social change; and an environmentalist and consumer advocate.

The significance and impact of Chavez’s life transcends any one cause or struggle. He influenced and inspired millions of Americans to seek social justice and civil rights for the poor and disenfranchised in our society.

On March 31, Chavez’s birthday, we celebrate this great American with a day of service and learning. You can learn more about Chavez’s life and work on Oregon Volunteers’ website – materials include a Learning Guide that features quotes, prompts for reflection, and additional resources; and the curriculum for “Non-Violence is Our Strength.”

Nominate Individuals, Groups, and Businesses for Governor’s Volunteer Awards

Oregonians have always shown their concern and compassion for their neighbors by volunteering in local communities across the state. This proud tradition of volunteerism and community service is recognized by the Office of the Governor through the Governor’s Volunteer Awards.

The Awards honor the true spirit of volunteerism by recognizing individuals, groups and businesses that make a significant contribution to their community through volunteer service. Any person, group, or business from the public, non-profit and private sector may be nominated for an award.

Oregon Volunteers is now accepting nominations for the 2010 Governor’s Volunteer Awards. Nomination forms and additional information are available here](/events/gva/).

The Future of Your Community Starts with the 2010 Census

In March of 2010, census forms will be delivered to every residence in the United States and Puerto Rico. When you receive yours, just answer the 10 short questions and then mail the form back in the postage-paid envelope provided.

When you fill out the census form, you’re making a statement about what resources your community needs going forward.

Accurate data reflecting changes in your community are crucial in apportioning seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and deciding how more than $400 billion per year is allocated for projects like new hospitals and schools.

That's more than $4 trillion over a 10-year period for things like new roads and schools, and services like job training centers. And people from many walks of life use census data to advocate for causes, rescue disaster victims, prevent diseases, locate pools of skilled workers, and more. The questions on the 2010 Census form are easy to answer. They cover basic topics such as name, age, sex, race, Hispanic origin and home ownership.

Have questions about the Census?
Many of them may already be answered on the Census website.

Tax Deductions for Volunteers

If you itemize on your tax return, the tax code allows volunteers to deduct some of the cost incurred while volunteering as charitable contributions. Our friends at Hands On Greater Portland have an excellent document about some of the possible tax deductions that volunteers can take in exchange for their good will.

Interested in applying for an AmeriCorps Program Grant or a Planning Grant?

Technical assistance calls, which cover the steps of the application process, budgets, etc., are recommended for all those applying for AmeriCorps Program Grants and Planning Grants.

Oregon Volunteers is accepting Concept Papers that address the availability of funding for the operation of a full AmeriCorps program (the equivalent of 10 or more full time positions), or a Planning Grant.

If you are thinking about applying for one of these grants, Oregon Volunteers is hosting technical assistance calls to help you navigate the process. Calls will be held on:

March 15, from 1:00-2:30; and

March 22, from 3:00-4:30

You must make a reservation 3 days in advance to participate in one of these calls.

To make a reservation to participate in a technical assistance call, please email [Patricia Bollin])mailto:[email protected]) at [email protected] or call (503) 725-8334.

More information about the Notification of Funding Availability can be found here.

Posted on March 31, 2010 in Volunteering, Events, AmeriCorps, Civic Engagement.