NEWS RELEASE   10/17/2012

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Flint, Michigan — October 17, 2012— Cities of Service announced today that it has awarded the City Flint a $25,000 grant to implement a service initiative designed to address community engagement in public safety, with neighborhood organization involvement and blight elimination as top priorities. Flint is one of 18 u.s. cities to be awarded a grant to support mayors who are harnessing the power of volunteers in a strategic way to address priority problems in their communities. The grant funds are provided by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

“This new program is one part of the overall Cities of Service plan that promotes volunteerism to address public safety and community issues all across the city,’ stated Mayor Dayne Walling. “The program builds on the success of the Flint Police Department’s Blue Badge Volunteer Corps. This national award will provide additional funding so our volunteer efforts can have maximum impact.”

The Cities of Service model focuses on “impact volunteering” — volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices, and set clear outcomes and measures to gauge progress. Dozens of cities across the nation have adopted the model since its introduction in 2009. using this approach, New York City has coated more than 4 million square feet of rooftops to reduce carbon emissions by 745 metric tons, Nashville has upgraded more than 240 homes to increase energy efficiency and help the city recover from historic floods, and Pittsburgh has removed 20,000 pounds of litter to revitalize its

Flint’s $25,000 grant will go towards programs such as the Blue Badge Volunteer
Corps., Clean and Green, Community Tool Shed and a new Blight Elimination Service Teams (BEST) program. The funds will help pay for volunteer training, the procurement of dumpsters for neighborhood clean-up and materials such as plywood for boarding up abandoned and blighted houses. The first phase will focus on 20 or more city blocks to show the positive impact volunteers can have on their community through strong partnerships.

More than 60 mayors competed for this initial round of grants. Grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 will also support volunteer initiatives in Atlanta, GA; Austin, TX; Baltimore, MD; Birmingham, AL; Duluth, MN; Fall River, MA; Indianapolis, IN; Kalamazoo, Ml; Little Rock, AR; Nashville, TN; Orlando, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Pierre, SD; Pittsburgh, PA; Providence, RI; and Richmond, CA.

Backed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund is a $2 million fund. Nearly $1 million is being granted through this initial round, with an additional $1 million available for deployment in 2013. Grantee cities were selected based on the quality of their initiatives, potential for impact, and implementation plans, among other criteria.

About Cities of Service
American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them — including the time and energy of public-spirited residents — to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized or inefficiently utilized strategy by municipal governments. Founded in September 2009, Cities of Service supports mayors to leverage citizen service strategies, addressing local needs and making government more effective.

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