City Position to Increase Volunteerism
Grant makes new position possible
Austin is one of 10 cities selected to receive a $200,000 grant to hire a chief service officer – a new senior city position for someone who will develop a comprehensive citywide program to increase volunteerism and match volunteers to the greatest local needs. The grant comes thanks to Mayor Lee Leffingwell's participation in Cities of Service, a national coalition of mayors that promotes community service. (The grant terms require the chief service officer to report to the mayor's office.) Jointly funded by the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies, the grant will cover the position for two years. Leffingwell hopes the city can obtain more grant money to keep it going. "With a full-time position devoted to planning for and promoting community service efforts, Austin can only benefit," said City Manager Marc Ott, who will hire the chief service officer. Ott expects it to "not only bring out the best in Austin as a whole, but also to maximize the volunteerism of our city employees." (Ott himself recently received an award from Austin Partners in Education for his work volunteering as a mentor to a student.) Council is expected to officially accept the grant July 29; the chief service officer must start by Sept. 10.
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