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Northeast Times | August 12, 2022

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Fort Worth wins Cities of Service national competition

Fort Worth wins Cities of Service national competition

Fort Worth was announced as a winner of the Cities of Service Experience Matters competition. With support from AARP, Cities of Service will work with Fort Worth and five other cities to develop volunteering initiatives that address public problems related to the drivers of poverty.

Each city will receive $25,000, technical assistance and two full-time AmeriCorps VISTA members who will build capacity and raise awareness for the initiatives. They will focus on engaging residents 50 and older in program implementation.

In Fort Worth, resident volunteers will provide education to low-income families on topics including financial health, managing credit and debt, and the dangers of predatory financial services.

“AARP Texas is delighted to work with the City of Fort Worth to help achieve the goals laid out in the Cities of Service Experience Matters program,” said Melodia Gutierrez, associate state director for AARP Texas. “We know how much experience, expertise and commitment 50-and-over volunteers bring to the table, and this program offers them a chance to make an impact here in Fort Worth.”

In addition to funding and technical assistance throughout the duration of the program, Cities of Service and AARP will provide support in recruitment and selection of AmeriCorps VISTA members, preprogram training to ensure fidelity to Cities of Service’s proven citizen engagement model, project design assistance customized to each city, expert and peer learning opportunities through site visits and meetings, and promotion of projects to encourage replication of best practices.

The other winning cities are Albuquerque, New Mexico; Birmingham, Alabama; Columbia, South Carolina; Saint Paul, Minnesota; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Cities of Service is a nonprofit organization that helps mayors build stronger cities by changing the way local government and residents work together. Coalition cities tap into resident insights, skills and service to identify and solve critical public problems. Founded in 2009 by New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Cities of Service supports a coalition of more than 260 cities, representing more than 73 million people across the Americas and Europe.