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AARP New Mexico, City of Santa Fe to Begin Cities of Service Project

AARP New Mexico and the city of Santa Fe will be joining forces to implement a new Cities of Service initiative designed to address a real need within the city as well as encourage residents to give back to their communities through volunteer work.
As part of the effort, AARP’s Office of volunteer and Civic Engagement will provide the city with $5,000 to get the project up and running. At the local level, AARP New Mexico will help the city establish a Chief Service Officer, a volunteer position charged with determining and managing the project with the city’s input and guidance.

“We are very excited to be joining forces with the city of Santa Fe on this project,” said Stan Cooper, AARP New Mexico State Director. “It really provides a unique opportunity to not only get something very worthwhile and needed done within the city but it will be the city’s own citizens doing the work to make something better for their neighbors and their future.”

Santa Fe RSVP Program Director Kristin Slater-Huff, said, “Volunteers can make almost anything happen and I am delighted that the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has been invited to support the volunteers who will implement this project.”

The next step in the process is finding the person that will serve as the volunteer Chief Service Officer.

“We’re looking for a person over the age of 50, who can volunteer a significant amount of time to this project, who has some experience in program or business design, is flexible enough to meet multiple and unpredictable demands, has strong team building and communications skills,” said Beth Velasquez, AARP New Mexico Associate State Director for Communications, who will be leading the initiative for AARP New Mexico.

“Once that is complete, a small advisory committee determined by the mayor will determine what project or area to focus on. While the Chief Service Officer will only serve for a year, the hope is that the project will become self-sustaining over time and through volunteer efforts,” Velasquez said.

Founded in New Your City on September 10, 2009 by 17 mayors from cities around the nation, Cities of Service is a non-partisan coalition of mayors who have committed to work together to engage citizens in a multi-year effort to address pressing city needs through impact volunteerism. Santa Fe was one of the first cities to join the coalition, which now consists of over 100 cities.

This effort dovetails with AARP’s Create the Good network which encourages people to give back to their community whether its 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days. AARP has supported the growth of Cities of Service since its inception.

Find more information on the Cities of Service project or get updates on Santa Fe’s project from AARP New Mexico.

For more information on the Chief Service Officer position call Velasquez at 505-946-3605. Applications for the position will be accepted until Sept. 9th.

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