Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Make A Difference This Sunday

WASHINGTON - Families across America are building healthier communities by volunteering to help others on National Family Volunteer Day, Saturday, November 19. Sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network, National Family Volunteer Day is designed to demonstrate the power of families who volunteer.

Since its inception in 1999, more than 250,000 volunteers have participated in this National Day of Service. Celebrated the weekend before Thanksgiving, National Family Volunteer Day kicks off the season of giving and encourages families to work together and give back to their community. Families will coordinate holiday food and clothing drives, visit residents in nursing homes, coordinate fund raisers and revitalize area parks and schools.

"There are myriad benefits of family volunteering. It strengthens family communication and increases shared time among family members while addressing key issues in local communities," said Robert K. Goodwin, president and CEO of the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network. "It helps create a culture of caring that connects families, communities, businesses and nonprofit organizations."

In addition to individual families, Volunteer Centers, nonprofit agencies, corporations and businesses around the globe, spearhead projects. In groups as small as four and as large as 500, families are gathering to celebrate National Family Volunteer Day.

To support families and organizations in the development of National Family Volunteer Day activities, Family Cares, a program of the Foundation, offers an on-line resource, http://www.familycares.org/ designed for families interested in strengthening their local communities through family volunteering. Familycares.org features hands-on project ideas, resources and games. Many of the project ideas can be adapted for National Family Volunteer Day.

The Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network also honors family volunteering through the National Family Volunteer Award. The award recognizes significant family volunteering activities that have taken place over the previous year by families, Volunteer Center, nonprofit agencies and businesses.

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