June 7, 2010

CARES Volunteers Eligible for Presidential Service Awards

written by Linda Swefel

Amazon Community Animal Rescue, Education and Safety (Amazon CARES) has teamed with the White House to become a Certifying Organization for the President's Volunteer Service Award, a national program recognizing Americans who have demonstrated a sustained commitment to volunteer service. Established in 2003, the Award was created by President George W. Bush to give Presidential recognition to individuals, families and groups who meet requirements for volunteer service, measured by the number of service hours performed over 12-months.

Amazon CARES is one of thousands of organizations that have joined forces to deliver the President's Volunteer Service Award and honor the volunteers who strengthen our Nation. As a Certifying Organization for the Award, Amazon CARES is responsible for verifying service hours, nominating potential recipients and delivering the Award.

“We are extremely proud to recognize our most outstanding volunteers with the President's Volunteer Service Award ,” said Molly Mednikow, Amazon CARES Executive Director. “Our volunteers are role models in our community, donating their time, energy and talent to bring us closer together as neighbors and a world. The Award is our way of thanking these volunteers and inspiring everyone to make volunteering a central part of their lives.”

“Even if you’ve never volunteered before, the President's Volunteer Service Award is within your reach,” Mednikow said. “There are so many ways to contribute, and every volunteer hour makes a difference in improving the quality of life for others. We encourage everyone to get involved. Together, we can strengthen our world – one hour at a time.”

The Award is issued by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, a group convened by President George W. Bush to help foster and encourage a culture of volunteer service and civic participation among Americans. Children, adults, families and groups can receive the Award and, given their ongoing service activity, many of our volunteers may already meet the requirements (see below). To qualify for the President's Volunteer Service Award , volunteers simply submit a record of their service hours to AmazonCARES, and the Award will be delivered upon verification with the certifying organization.

Volunteer service hours are not limited to those performed on behalf of Amazon CARES. In fact, service hours can be accumulated through work on a variety of projects throughout the year. The only requirement is that the necessary hours be completed within 12 months; recipients can qualify for a new Award each year.

“Our volunteers should strive to earn the President's Volunteer Service Award every year,” said Mednikow. “Even if you’ve never volunteered before, the Award is within your reach. In fact, the strength and success of us all depends on every one of us taking an active role in the world community. You can further help our cause by asking your friends, families and neighbors to join you in helping -- most people say ‘yes’ if asked to volunteer – all it takes is a personal request.”

For more information about volunteering for Amazon CARES, please visit its website at http://www.amazoncares.org; visit www.PresidentialServiceAwards.gov or call 1-866-545-5307 to learn about how to qualify for the President’s Volunteer Service Award and about additional volunteer opportunities.

To be eligible to receive the President’s Volunteer Service Award, applicants’ service hours must be confirmed by a registered Certifying Organization. There are three levels of the AWARD varying by hours of service completed within a 12-month period:

Kids - 14 and younger
Bronze Award 50 - 74 hours
Silver Award 75 - 99 hours
Gold Award 100 or more hours

Young Adults - Ages 15 - 25
Bronze Award 100 - 174 hours
Silver Award 175 - 249 hours
Gold Award 250 or more hours

Adults - Ages 26 and up
Bronze Award 100 - 249 hours
Silver Award 250 - 499 hours
Gold Award 500 or more hours

Families and Groups (two or more people)*
Bronze Award 200 - 499 hours
Silver Award 500 - 999 hours
Gold Award 1,000 or more hours
*Each member contributing at least 25 hours towards the total

PRESIDENT’S CALL TO SERVICE AWARD
Individuals who have completed 4,000 or more volunteer service hours over the course of their lifetime are eligible to receive the PRESIDENT’S CALL TO SERVICE AWARD.

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