WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers prepare to face off in Sunday's Super Bowl, the mayors from the two cities have come up with a friendly wager that focuses on the importance of volunteering and community service.
Mayor Edwin M. Lee of San Francisco and Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake of Baltimore agreed that the winning mayor would host the mayor from the opposing team for a day of volunteer service with AmeriCorps members. This service project will be done in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps and Senior Corps.
"Mayors are leaders who get things done, responding every day to needs in their cities," said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. "With this friendly wager, Mayors Lee and Rawlings-Blake highlight the impact and power of national service and volunteering. No matter which team wins the game, both cities-and all football fans- can celebrate the Service Bowl."
The mayors' friendly wager further elevates the role of community service within the Super Bowl's activities. As part of the official events, the Super Bowl Host Committee will also host a community service effort, Super Saturday of Service, in which local volunteers will revitalize five New Orleans playgrounds. AmeriCorps members serving with Habitat for Humanity New Orleans and Habitat for Humanity Baton Rouge will participate. AmeriCorps members will also take part in service activities organized by Rebuilding Together.
Mayors Lee and Rawlings-Blake join more than 100 U.S. Mayors in their focus on service. Both have signed on to participate in the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, an initiative launched last month at the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting. Mayors across the country will participate in a national day of recognition this April 9 to highlight the impact of national service in their cities and thank individuals who serve.
As the federal agency for service and volunteering, CNCS annually engages more than four million citizens in service at more than 70,000 sites across the country through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other programs. A significant portion of this investment is focused on cities. Last year, CNCS leveraged more than $1 billion in investments for organizations operating or based in more than 500 cities with a population of 300,000 or more.
The San Francisco Area ranks eighth among large cities for volunteering and service, and in 2011, 1.12 million volunteers served a total of 90.6 million hours, an economic value of $2.5 billion. CNCS provides more than $11 million in funding, including support for 1,492 AmeriCorps members and 747 Senior Corps volunteers.
In Baltimore, 575,000 volunteers gave a total of 88.6 million hours, an estimated value of $2 billion. The city receives $12.6 million in funding from CNCS, which also supports 1,498 AmeriCorps members and 722 Senior Corps volunteers serving in the area.
Americans looking to participate in their own Super Saturday of Service can find a volunteer service project in their area using the search engine at www.serve.gov.
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