PRESS RELEASE from 2008 Democratic National Convention    see also July 16, 2008 release

August 20, 2008   
Jenni Engebretsen
Damon Jones
Natalie Wyeth


Metro Volunteers, Democrats Work, Volunteers of America to Coordinate Dozens of Projects
Covering Wide Range of Community Needs

DNCC Teams Up with Service Nation to Promote National Service 

DENVER – Building on its ongoing commitment to service and active participation in the community, the Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) announced today that more than one thousand Convention delegates from across the country will volunteer at dozens of community service sites in and around Denver on Delegate Service Day, Wednesday, August 27.

Projects ranging from serving meals for the homeless and park cleanup, to reading to children and aiding military families are being coordinated by Metro Volunteers, Democrats Work and Volunteers of America. Through this effort, and in conjunction with ServiceNation, a national campaign to increase community and national service opportunities and promote service as a core ideal of civic engagement, the DNCC aims to inspire hundreds of thousands of Americans in a renewed commitment to service.

Michelle Obama and Colorado First Lady Jeannie Ritter are co-chairing Delegate Service Day, the capstone to a year-long DNCC community service effort, in which leadership and staff have contributed more than 850 hours to a variety of local projects. Both Michelle Obama and Ritter will participate in Delegate Service Day activities with their children.

“Delegate Service Day grew out of a desire to give back to the Denver community in a meaningful way and to highlight an issue that’s important to our Party – national service,” said Leah D. Daughtry, CEO of the DNCC. “The response we’ve received has been impressive, and I’m confident delegates, who are strong leaders in their own right, will return home to their communities and help to inspire millions of Americans to lives of service.”

ServiceNation, a national campaign that has brought together more than 100 organizations, representing millions of Americans, will use Delegate Service Day to celebrate the power and potential of citizen service as it calls on the next President and Congress to enact a new era of service and citizenship in America.

Former President Jimmy Carter, U.S. Senator Ken Salazar (CO), U.S. Representative Diana DeGette (CO), Atlanta Mayor and Convention Co-chair Shirley Franklin, Texas State Senator and Convention Co-chair Leticia Van de Putte and Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper are among the many local, state and national elected officials who will participate in activities across the Denver metro area, including:

"I am so pleased that not only Denver is hosting the 2008 Democratic National Convention, but am thrilled that we are holding the first-ever Delegate Service Day," said U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette (D-CO), the Congressional representative for Denver. "Denver and the West has a wonderful commitment to service and we hope that people from across the country will continue this commitment in their own home towns after the convention."

The DNCC has also extended this service initiative statewide through its “Convention Captains” program, which has invited local activists in all 64 Colorado counties to engage residents in their communities through Convention watch parties and service projects.  In Boulder County, volunteers will build a new trail near El Dorado Springs in conjunction with the City of Boulder Open Space. Volunteers in the Clear Creek County town of Downieville, Colo., will remove weeds and debris along a main thoroughfare. And in Pueblo County, volunteers will knock on doors soliciting canned goods and non-perishable donations for the Pueblo soup kitchen.

Since arriving in Denver, DNCC leadership and staff have participated in monthly service projects, called “DNCC Service Days,” focused on three areas of importance to the Denver community: youth, environmental projects and the combined issues of homelessness and hunger. To date, projects have included facilitating a soccer camp for local middle school students, constructing a home for a wounded Iraq war veteran and planting more than 400 trees in a Northwest Denver neighborhood in recognition of Earth Day. In December, the DNCC joined First Lady Jeannie Ritter in preparing a special holiday breakfast for homeless and runaway youth.

A full list of Delegate Service Day sites and participating delegations follows.  

Site/Project Organization Description Project Description Delegations
Graffiti Removal (Stapleton) Denver Solid Waste provides waste management service to Denver residents Graffiti /litter removal AL, GA, ND, SD
Front Range Earth Force Nonprofit organization promoting respect for the environment among youth Restoring Confluence Park CA, NY
Denver Rescue Mission Provides shelter & other necessities to Denver residents in need Preparing and serving a meal to clients. CO
Urban Peak Provides a safe haven, respect, essential services and support to homeless youth Participating in a neighborhood block party IL, VI, WI
Trinity U.M.C. An active church dedicated to serving the needs of parishioners and the community Serving meals IL, VI, WI
Graffiti Removal (Downtown) Denver Solid Waste provides waste management service to Denver residents Graffiti /litter removal MO
Homes for Our Troops Move-in/ Key Ceremony Builds specially-adapted homes for severely-wounded Iraq war veterans. The DNCC is supporting a house in Golden, Colo. for Staff Sergeant Travis Strong & family Volunteers to put finishing touches on home and present keys to family Local elected officials, labor leaders, CUNA
Aurora Parks – Bicentennial Park Parks and Open Space Department engages citizens in maintaining local environments Revitalize and restore Bicentennial Park DA, MD, MA, MT, AL, GA, ND, SD, FL
Curtis Park Park in historic Curtis Park neighborhood, bordering downtown Denver Park clean-up and tree-planting, block party with local residents CT, PA, TN, NH, CO, KY, WY, ME
Family Tree's House of Hope Shelter and self-sufficiency program for women and children Participating in activities with children at site. AK, MN, PR, RI, AS
Force Elementary Elementary school in northeast Denver Helping to build a playground CA, NY
YouthBiz Advances the social and economic empowerment of youth Assisting in move to a new facility. WV
CASA Supports and advocates for abused and neglected children in the Denver metro area Participating in a joint learning session with youth DC, NM, VA
Cole Elementary Denver Public School that is reopeningx after shutting its doors four years ago Joining students for reading/ other activities IL, VI, WI
Hope Communities Non-profit home health agency that provides home care, hospice service and community wellness programs. Making fleece blankets for patients in hospice care IL, VI, WI
Warren Village Motivates low-income, single parents to move from public assistance to self-sufficiency Playing and interacting with children IL, VI, WI
Project CURE Humanitarian relief organization that collects medical supplies and equipment and donates it to developing countries. Sorting/packing medical supplies to ship overseas to communities in need. KS, NC
Women's Bean Project Teaches job readiness and life skills for entry-level jobs Working alongside women at the site KY, ME
Brent's Place Home away from home for cancer patients and their families. Helping to clean and maintain the grounds. UT
Cherry Creek State Park (VOC) Outdoor Colorado enables citizens to be active stewards of Colorado's public lands. Revitalize and restore areas of Cherry Creek State Park. AR, DE, HI, TX, MS
DenUM Provides resources for persons in crisis and creates opportunities for growth and service. Sorting/packing emergency food boxes OK
Incredible Kids National, annual letter-writing campaign urging adults to write letters of support to children in their lives. Write letters to incredible kids in their lives and in their delegations. CA, NY
Manual H.S. Community Connect Provides high school students with opportunities to become engaged citizens in their community. Joint learning activities with students and/or a school assembly CA, NY
VOA-Mission Sort Serves the basic needs of the most vulnerable individuals and families Sorting food and clothing to give to local families DC, NM, VA
Blair Caldwell African American Research Library Serves as educational and cultural resource, focusing on history, literature, art, music, religion, and politics of African Americans. Hosting a reading event for children at the library and passing out school supplies. DC, NM, VA
VOA Sunset Towers-Bingo Senior living facility that offers a variety of services. Playing Bingo and games with residents. IA, NV
VOA Sunset Park Senior Center-Bingo/Meal Provides a variety of programs and noon meals to senior residents. Playing bingo and other games and serving lunch OH, IA, NV
Meals on Wheels
(Stapleton: Doubletree)
Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers meals to home-bound elderly citizens Sorting and packing food AL, GA, ND, SD, LA, SC
Meals on Wheels On-Site (DTC: Sheraton) Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers meals to home-bound elderly citizens Sorting and packing food GU, ID, IN, AZ, OR, WA, NJ, KS, NC
Meals on Wheels (Hampden & 1-25: Four Points) Meals on Wheels prepares and delivers meals to home-bound elderly citizens Sorting and packing food AK, MN, PR, RI, AS, MO, NE, OK, KS, NC, NJ, AZ, WA, OR
VOA Serves the basic needs of the most vulnerable individuals and families Sorting food and clothing to give to local families MI