Today the Knights of Columbus and Fairfield University’s Center for Faith and Public Life will host a summit on the role of volunteers in the national recovery from the financial crisis.
The summit, titled “A Nation of Neighbors Helping Neighbors: A Summit on Volunteerism as a Response to the Economic Crisis,” will be held at the Marriot East Side in New York City. Lasting from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time, it will be webcast live at www.kofc.org
According to a press release from the Knights of Columbus, participating organizations include Habitat for Humanity, United Way, the Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, the National Fraternal Congress of America, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, General Electric, the Foodbank of Greater New Jersey, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network, Goldman Sachs and Volunteers of America.
Supreme Knight Carl A. Anderson called for the summit in a Jan. 23 speech. He reported that charitable giving was down 22 percent and called for an increase in volunteer activity.
“Government and charities must work together for the good of our country, and in difficult economic times, that means creating opportunities for Americans to give of their time and talent, as well as their treasure,” he said.
“If greed – one of the worst aspects of human nature – helped push us into this crisis, then one of the best aspects of our nature – generosity – will be necessary to help pull us out of it.”
New York Governor David Paterson has written a letter to the summit participants, applauding them for focusing on how to “harness the energy of this renewed commitment to service to fuel our great Nation’s turnaround.” The summit sponsors “remind us of the power of volunteerism to unify and to bring light and hope to so many.”
“The need for volunteer service is more urgent than ever,” the governor wrote.
The summit will feature three panel discussions with speakers from leading national and regional volunteer organizations and programs. All attendees will participate in roundtable discussions on the issues raised in the panel discussions.