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May 2008 Themes for Community Outreach

National Older Americans Month

Older Americans in your community are in a unique position to help with Citizen Corps training and activities. With more time on their hands, and an interest in promoting safety, recent retirees are likely to become engaged in volunteer efforts. Provide Citizen Corps speakers at area assisted living facilities and senior centers, and encourage seniors to take an active role in promoting community safety. And be sure to partner with senior volunteer programs such as Senior Corps and RSVP. The Administration on Aging has information and materials for download to help you promote information on aging well and health and safety issues for older Americans.

May 6-12, 2008: National Nurses Week

National Nurses Week is devoted to highlighting the diverse ways in which registered nurses, the largest health care profession, are working to improve health care. From bedside nursing in hospitals and long-term care facilities to the halls of research institutions, state legislatures, and Congress, and disaster response, the depth and breadth of the nursing profession is meeting the expanding health care needs of American society. Use this as an opportunity to highlight your Medical Reserve Corps and recruit additional members. Host outreach efforts on public health issues in your community so that community members meet nurses in your community and have the chance to thank them for their contributions to the wellness of the community. Have the media spotlight a nursing team or individual nurse in your community. More information is posted at NursingWorld.

May 10, 2008: National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day

While our pets hold a special place in our hearts, unfortunately they often don't hold a place in our disaster preparedness plans. Encourage members of your community to consider their pets when preparing for the approaching hurricane, tornado, and wildfire seasons and other disasters. And work with shelters in your area to identify pet friendly shelters for pet owners. Provide veterinarians and kennels with tips on disaster preparedness to share with pet owners. Additionally, consider partnering with a local pet store to hold an event offering "pet disaster kit shopping lists" and giveaways such as I.D tags. DHS has a brochure on pet preparedness (PDF file) and a website for kids on preparing pets. The United Animals Nations website also has additional information.

May 11-16, 2008: National Police Week

May 15 has been National Peace Officers Memorial Day, and the week containing May 15 has been National Police Week, since President John F. Kennedy signed this observance into law on October 1, 1962. President Clinton later signed a law stipulating that the flag of the United States on all Government buildings be displayed at half-staff on May 15, National Peace Officers' Memorial Day.

Use this week to highlight the work of law enforcements officers in your community and your Volunteers in Police Service (VIPS) program. Host outreach efforts on crime prevention and home protective measures so that community members meet law enforcement officers informally and have the chance to thank them for their contributions to the safety of the community. Have the media spotlight a law enforcement team, individual officer, or VIPS volunteer in your community.

May 18-24, 2008: National EMS Week

Take the opportunity during National EMS Week to honor first responders – nurses, police and emergency medical service personnel – in your area this month. Set up a round of assemblies at area schools, churches, and community centers during these weeks to honor first responders and better educate all residents about the critical services they provide. Consider inviting local reporters to cover these hometown "roundtables" and include testimonials of citizens who volunteer to support first responders in your community. Include recruitment efforts for your Citizen Corps volunteer programs.

May 18-24, 2008: National Public Works Week

National Public Works Week (NPWW) is a celebration of the tens of thousands of men and women in North America who provide and maintain the infrastructure and services collectively known as public works. Instituted as a public education campaign by the American Public Works Association (APWA) in 1960, NPWW calls attention to the importance of public works in community life. The week seeks to enhance the prestige of the often unsung heroes of our society – the professionals who serve the public good every day with quiet dedication.

The American Public Works Association (APWA) encourages public works agencies and professionals to take the opportunity to make their stories known in their communities. Over the years the observances have taken many forms, including parades, displays of public works equipment, high school essay contests, open houses, programs for civic organizations and media events. More information, including a How-To Guide, is available online.

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