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Strength in Service - Omaha Serves

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Case-Penrod oversees the implementation of Omaha Serves. It is a new program designed to mobilize and channel Omaha’s rich history of volunteerism and service, explains Case-Penrod. In September of 2009, mayors from 17 cities across the country founded a bi-partisan coalition to expand volunteerism in their communities. The Cities of Service Coalition was in part a response to President Obama’s Serve American Act.

It also seeks to address the rising needs of health and human service organizations within communities. There is an ever-expanding gulf between citizenry needs and community agencies’ ability to meet these needs. The Cities of Service Coalition advocates grass roots initiatives to call citizens to share their talents and time to bridge this gap. To date, over 100 mayors, including Mayor Jim Suttle, have joined the coalition.

Participating cities within the coalition decide what their particular priorities are. Mayor Suttle’s focus is three-fold: employment, education, and enforcement. During Omaha Serve’s development, it became evident that two areas- neighborhoods and youth- were so intertwined with these three goals, that addressing them would in turn help perpetuate employment, education, and enforcement.


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