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One America - MillenniuM Service Project

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One America

Program: MillenniuM Service Project, St. Paul, MN
Contact(s): Ms. Maren Fustgaard, Special Assistant to the President of Global Volunteers: (612) 482-0295
Purpose: To promote interracial understanding by dramatically expanding volunteer service in racially diverse, impoverished communities nationwide

Background Program Operations Outcomes


Begun in the Mississippi Delta in 1990, the USA Program developed by Global Volunteers, a private, nonprofit international development organization, galvanizes volunteers to eradicate poverty, unemployment, poor health care, crime and racial discrimination through a wide variety of projects, including education and health care services. When President Clinton called for increased citizen and corporate involvement in community service at the President's Summit for America's Future in April 1997, Global Volunteers offered the MillenniuM Service Project as a launching pad that would take the work of the USA Program into 125 impoverished communities throughout the country. The MillenniuM Service Project begins this expansion of the USA Program with a week-long program from December 26, 1999 and January 1, 2000. MillenniuM is designed to bring people of different cultures and ethnic backgrounds together in an act of service, with a focus on promoting greater interracial understanding.

Program Operations

Global Volunteers only works at the invitation of the local people, and all of the work projects are identified and directed by local leaders and include projects such as after-school tutoring programs, building a community center or providing public health services. The MillenniuM Service Project will include many activities used in the USA Program, where volunteers build, paint and repair homes, expand preschool tutoring programs, construct new playgrounds and homes, landscape open spaces and provide prenatal and other health care services. More than 100 teams of up to 15 volunteers each will unite in service with residents of local communities in a week-long nationwide celebration of service. The communities served will be primarily rural, ethnically diverse communities with high levels of economic poverty. MillenniuM Service Project volunteers will work and live in the community, sharing meals and recreational activities and often staying in the homes of local residents. As a result, old stereotypes, often based on incomplete or inaccurate information, are replaced by more healthy, first-hand understanding. The work of the MillenniuM Service Project will shift into the USA Program as two teams of volunteers will continue to visit each of the 125 communities once a year.

Outcomes and Significant Accomplishments

The MillenniuM Service Project is a recognized partner of the Points of Light Foundation, Connect America Program and of America's Promise, the Alliance for Youth. It will yield at least $75,000 of added value and resources and affect several hundred residents in each host community.

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