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America's Promise

If you find yourself inspired by General Colin Powell and you’d like to assist at-risk children, getting involved is simple. You can do it through America’s Promise, which actually works as a clearinghouse/cheerleader for government organizations, schools, and non-profit service groups that are looking for volunteers. America’s Promise routinely matches individuals and corporations with local, beneficent outfits that can use a helping hand.

If, as a small business owner, you would like to do this with the intention of offering assistance on a company wide basis, you can become a Commitment Maker and work with your employees to pony up time or money or merchandise toward fulfilling any or all of the five fundamental resources that Powell (and just about anybody else with a heart) believes that every kid, rich or poor, should have (they include mentoring, safe places and structured activities during non-school hours, a healthy start each day, access to marketable skills, and opportunities to give back to their communities). America’s Promise staff members will work with you to tailor your program so that it does the most good and fits your vision of what Commitment Making ought to be.

Signing up is a five-step process that requires you to do the following: Determine your organization’s areas of expertise and capabilities that can be employed for contributing to one or more of the five resources; define the outcome you expect to achieve; develop a plan for implementing the commitment, including a timetable and an estimate of how many young people you anticipate reaching; put your commitment including all of the above in writing on company letterhead and sign it; complete the Commitment Maker’s form (you can download it from America’s Promise Web site from the link at the bottom of this page or obtain it through the mail by calling 703-684-4500.

To get an idea of the sorts of commitments you might want to make, here are some suggestions directly from America’s Promise: Offer paid time-off for employees to volunteer in mentoring programs; support free meal programs for children in disadvantaged neighborhoods; contribute manpower and funds to the building of after-school centers; through job training, provide solid employment opportunities for children who come from under-served communities. While America’s Promise is built around the philosophy that many small donations of time and money will have a huge cumulative effect, many large corporations are active participants as well.

If you are interested in contributing to America’s Promise on an individual basis, there are opportunities to get directly involved with any of the many good-work organizations that reside under the America’s Promise umbrella.

To visit their site click here.
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