>State of Service event draws big crowd to build up community service in the Bay State


courtesy of MassINC.org

Making connections was the theme of the day as approximately 100 people gathered this morning at the sold out MassINC Associate Board and AmeriCorps Alums Boston event, “State of Service: Massachusetts Leading the Nation’s Call to Serve” at the UMass Club.

The event, the first in a series about improving service programming in Massachusetts, brought together key service organizations to build on the state’s active and deep-rooted service community. Organizers hope to leverage this event series to create a blueprint of best-practices and turn Massachusetts into a model of service for the nation. MassINC Director of Finance and Operations and founder of the Associate Board, Aimee Ward, said today’s discussion was an excellent start.

“We had a room full of energetic stakeholders generating new ideas and sharing their successes today. We hope this discussion and our upcoming State of Service events will guide developing leaders in the local and national service community,” said Ward.

The breakfast event was kicked off with a keynote address by Joseph Porcelli, Chief Executive Neighbor of Neighbors for Neighbors, and was followed by discussion among participants with topics ranging from best practices for volunteer recruitment to what can be done to improve collaboration among organizations and individuals.

The use of technology to facilitate collaboration among organizations was a recurring point as attendees shared their thoughts with event moderators. In particular, improved online networks and a web portal that includes all sectors and organizations were cited as lacking in Massachusetts.

Known nationally as a hotbed for service enlistment and innovation, with examples such as City Year and Citizen Schools, Massachusetts has much to offer other states hoping to step up their service efforts. With the landmark Edward M Kennedy Serve America Act fueling new organizations around the country, event organizers said now is the time to turn discussion into action.

“Ultimately, this is about improving the communities in which we live. These discussions are a great way to establish the connections that provide these individuals and organizations the resources they need to make a difference,” said Ward.

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