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National conference offers local lessons

Hawai‘i Commission for National and Community Services Commissioner Janice Bond attended the 2008 National Conference “The Urgency of NOW!” from May 31 to June 3 in Atlanta, Ga.

Accompanying the Kaua‘i resident were Commissioners Conchita Stewart and Marcie Wong of O‘ahu.

The conference, held at the Marriott and Hilton hotels, included America’s Service Commissions, the Corporation for National and Community Services, Points of Light and Hands On Network, Americorps volunteers, Senior Corps which includes RSVP and Foster Grandparents, Learn and Serve, the Peace Corps, plus many business corporations such as State Farm and volunteer entities.

Bond attended the American Association of State Service Commissions Annual Dinner and Meeting at which time a basket of Kaua‘i goodies from the Kaua‘i Visitors Bureau was raffled along with other states’ contributions.

She also took Kaua‘i orchids to share which decorated the reception tables and were handed out to attendees.

Highlights for Bond included attending two sessions with the ManaTeens, from Bradenton, Fla., who presented programs about teens working with disaster, the elderly, pets during disaster, the environment and many others through service learning.

Bond also attended Retired Senior Volunteer Programs which included the new program handbook and RSVP working with first responders and CERT and VOAD programs.

Exhibitors included more than 30 agencies and businesses as well as nonprofits and service organizations — many with Web-based systems.

Bond learned much by networking with others from different states in areas such as health care, education, Red Cross, Civil Defense, RSVP and the corporation.

She also attended award ceremonies to take in how businesses and volunteers combine to better their communities. Corporate companies such as Home Depot, Macy’s, KMart, Wal-Mart, UPS and The Coca-Cola Company have their companies include volunteering when interviewing prospective employees based on their company’s mission to give back.

The commissioners are planning a 2008 Governor’s Volunteer Recognition Award ceremony on Oct. 17.

Bond encouraged Kaua‘i’s organizations, businesses and individuals to fill out nomination forms to turn in to the commission for consideration.

Application deadline is July 7. Visit www.hawaii.edu/americorpshawaii or call the commission at 956-8145 for more information.

Award categories include: Youth, Young Adult, Adult, Senior, Organization and Business. Local information can be obtained from Bond.

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