Category Archives: Volunteers

Dec 27 2012
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National Prevention Strategy Series: Corporation for National and Community Service

Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Wendy Spencer on the value of volunteering

As the year draws to a close, the most recent installment of the NewPublicHealth series on the National Prevention Strategy is especially appropriate. We spoke with Wendy Spencer, the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in volunteer community service. The mission of CNCS is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.

 Guiding principles of CNCS that help promote the National Prevention Strategy include:

  • Put the needs of local communities first
  • Strengthen public-private partnerships
  • Use programs to build stronger, more efficient, and more sustainable community networks capable of mobilizing volunteers to address local needs, including disaster preparedness and response
  • Build collaborations wherever possible across programs and with other federal programs
  • Help rural and economically distressed communities obtain access to public and private resources
  • Support diverse organizations, including faith-based and other community organizations

During Hurricane Sandy, which struck the East Coast in late October, close to 900 national service members were deployed to states affected by the storm, and nearly 900 more were on standby. National service members assisted with shelter operations, call centers, debris removal, and mass care. “Before the recovery is complete,” said Wendy Spencer, “we expect thousands of national service members from AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs to help families and local and state officials rebuild these communities.”

For its Hurricane Sandy response effort, CNCS coordinated with the Federal Management Agency (FEMA), National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the American Red Cross and state and local authorities.

NewPublicHealth recently spoke with Wendy Spencer, the CEO of CNCS, Asim Mishra, the agency’s chief of staff and Erwin Tan, MD, the CNCS designee on the National Prevention Council and Director of Senior Corps and Strategic Advisor for Veterans and Military Families.

NewPublicHealth: What is the mission of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)?

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