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Marking the End of National Volunteer Month, de Blasio Administration Celebrates New York City Volunteers

April 28, 2017

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NEW YORK—Marking the end of National Volunteer Month, First Lady Chirlane McCray and NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin celebrated the City’s top volunteers yesterday evening through the annual NYC Mayoral Service Recognition Program and released 2016 NYC Volunteers Count, the City’s third annual inventory of the outstanding contributions made by volunteers. 

“In both good and challenging times, we are a City that works together to help one another, uplift our neighborhoods, and protect our residents,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The volunteers who give their time to others embody our City’s identity and values, and we recognize you for your contributions and civic leadership. Our communities need all of us, so I also want to urge every New Yorker to visit and find your own personal way to get engaged through service.”

"I am proud to serve NYC as First Lady, where 500,000 New Yorkers have selflessly volunteered their time to help enrich the lives of others and uplift communities," said First Lady Chirlane McCray. "We will continue to carry a torch of leadership and altruism for years to come."  

“Volunteers are critical to our City’s ability to empower residents, continue building stronger communities, and in turn, a more resilient City,” said NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin. “We are proud to celebrate New Yorkers who are true leaders contributing a significant amount of their time, talent, and energy to serve others and we encourage all New Yorkers, now more than ever, to unite through service so we can ensure our communities always reflect our City’s strong values. At NYC Service, we like to say we are 8.5 Million New Yorkers. Together, Serving Each Other.”

This month, the City recognized and celebrated over 3,200 New Yorkers for their commitment to service through the NYC Mayoral Service Recognition Program. Collectively, these volunteers – including nonprofit board members – contributed over 797,000 hours of service to our City. New Yorkers were nominated by 90 nonprofit organizations and City agencies for volunteering 100 hours or more in 2016 and received a certificate of recognition from the City.

Yesterday evening's event with First Lady Chirlane McCray and NYC Chief Service Officer Paula Gavin especially honored 113 of those individuals who served 1,000+ hours of service in 2016 as well as 26 businesses that engaged at least 20 percent of their NYC-based employees in service in 2016 (full list of businesses available here).

The 2016 NYC Volunteers Count report released highlights the more than 500,000 residents who volunteered their time last year to help strengthen our communities and the 332 diverse nonprofits and City agencies that empowered them to do so. It also recognizes over 450,000 New York City public school students who participated in community service and service-learning during the 2015-2016 school year.
“Volunteers are central to fostering the support systems and deep sense of community we are trying to build for our clients,” said Eric Rosenbaum, CEO of Lantern Community Services. “Thanks to NYC Service and the NYC Civic Corps’ leadership and support, Lantern now has remarkable volunteers who support our diverse programming, including teaching jewelry classes; handing out fresh, locally-sourced vegetables at our popular Fresh Food Box; and tutoring clients taking the high school equivalency test.  Our volunteers help us fulfill our mission.”   

“Volunteering at Amber Hall makes me feel good inside,” said David Almodovar, Lantern Community Services Client and Volunteer. “I’m already going through a lot of stuff so this makes me feel good about myself, like I’m needed.”

“Musicians On Call is proud to deliver the healing power of music to the bedsides of patients in New York and across the nation,” said Pete Griffin, President of Musicians On Call. “New York City holds a special place in Musicians On Call’s history, as it's here where our organization and Bedside Performance Program first began in 1999. Since then, we've brought live music to the bedsides of over 279,000 patients, families, and caregivers in New York and over 600,000 nationwide. We couldn't have done this without the hundreds of dedicated NYC volunteers like Ken Voisin that support our work. Watching patients light up as Ken performs his extensive repertoire of cover songs from Frank Sinatra's “New York, New York” to Barry Manilow's “Copacobana” is quite magical. Ken exemplifies the generous, philanthropic spirit of all our volunteers and we congratulate him on this award.”

“Volunteerism is a valuable way to connect with others in a positive way,” said Ken Voisin, Musicians on Call Volunteer. “I'm one of seven children and my parents raised us to be civilized; to be considerate, to balance the needs of others with our own, and to give of ourselves. I do my best to honor their efforts.”

“Safe Passage is honored that the Mayor's Office has selected six Safe Passage Pro Bono attorneys to receive Mayoral Service Program recognition honors this year,” said Gui Stampur,    Deputy Director and Co-Founder of Safe Passage. “Volunteerism is more important now than ever and these remarkable Safe Passage attorneys have worked thousands of pro bono hours combined to ensure our most vulnerable residents - refugee children - are provided excellent legal representation and can seek the legal protection under United States Immigration Law they are eligible for.”

“I am very honored to have been recognized by the Mayor's office for my pro bono work with the immigrant community in New York,” said John Ryan, Safe Passage Volunteer. “I know that I have been blessed in so many ways through my involvement with Safe Passage in its mission to provide legal services to undocumented children as they navigate the very complicated immigration system in this country. My clients have inspired me and so has Safe Passage. The children I have represented, and those I now represent have risked everything for the hope of forging a new and meaningful life in this country. Their stories replicate those I read about in text books describing those who came to America with the hope of forging a new life and helped build a stronger nation.”

“Morgan Stanley is proud to be among the organizations recognized for their service and commitment to New York City,” said Joan Steinberg, Global Head of Philanthropy at the Morgan Stanley. “Giving back is rooted in the Firm’s culture and our employees are committed to making an impact in our home town by offering their expertise and time to over 60 partner organizations around the city.”

“We are honored to be recognized by Mayor de Blasio’s NYC Mayoral Service Recognition Program,” said Roland Guevara, Vice President of Community Relations at Brooklyn Sports & Entertainment. “Our employees dedicated their time on a range of projects with hundreds of schools and organizations throughout New York City in 2016. We anticipate making an even greater impact in 2017 in the community, directly influencing our ability to become stronger employees, a stronger company, and ultimately, a stronger city.”

“We're thrilled to have Nielsen's volunteers recognized for their impact in the New York City community,” said Crystal Barnes, Vice President of Global Responsibility & Sustainability at Nielsen. “About 75% of NYC associates participated in at least one volunteer activity during 2016, and they're a huge part of our goal to mobilize our associates to volunteer at least 300,000 hours by the end of 2020. We have a responsibility to mobilize Nielsen's data and expertise to make a difference in our communities, and our volunteers are on the ground making it happen.”

“At Oracle+NetSuite, we believe that our cloud services & people can do a tremendous amount of good in the world,” said David Geilhufe, Senior Director, Global Solution Excellence & General Manager at Oracle+NetSuite. “Our people are at the cornerstone of this effort, making a pro bono contribution of their unique skills to ensure every nonprofit across the globe can use our technology effectively. I know the hundreds of employees that participate in our programs are honored, energized and humbled by the Mayor's kind recognition.”

“At SoulCycle, we have always placed a strong emphasis on volunteerism and mentorship, which is why we are proud to be recognized by the Mayoral Service Recognition Program,” said Julie Koster, Senior Director of Culture & Service at SoulCycle. “Our employees are committed to giving back and contributing to communities across the city. We are thrilled to be a part of this incredible group of likeminded companies and look forward to continuing our efforts in the years to come.”

About NYC Service
NYC Service, a division of the Office of the Mayor, promotes volunteerism, engages New Yorkers in service and mobilizes the power of volunteers and national service members to impact New York City's greatest needs. To learn more about NYC Service and connect to volunteer opportunities across the five boroughs, visit

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