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January 2008 Themes for Community Outreach

January 1, 2008: New Year's Day

The beginning of the New Year is a time for resolutions, refreshed thinking and creating better habits. Take advantage of these shared attitudes by encouraging community members to implement basic preparedness and safety measures for their family. And be sure to include the youth audience -- consider contacting the editors of your local high school newspapers and encourage them to profile Citizen Corps preparedness and safety practices to start the New Year off on the right foot!

National Volunteer Blood Donor Month

According to the American Association of Blood Banks, blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, is a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations. A reduction in turnout can put our nation's blood inventory at a critical low. Coordinate with area hospitals, health and fitness centers, places of worship, community centers, the American Red Cross and your nearest Blood Center to host a local blood drive. Make sure that you have Citizen Corps materials on hand and trained volunteers available to answer questions about the organization, recruit new volunteers and discuss the importance of maintaining ample blood supplies for emergencies of all types. Campaign materials and answers to frequently asked questions are available on the website.

National Mentoring Month

January is National Mentoring Month, which gives an emphasis to the importance of mentoring others and thanking those who mentored you along the way. Use National Mentoring Month to have mentors focus on safety and helping their mentee's family be better safer and better prepared. MENTOR lists available mentoring opportunities in a searchable database and provides information on National Mentoring Month. Other websites, such as Who Mentored You?, provide additional information about mentoring, as well as celebrity testimonials about who mentored them. The 2006 Presidential Proclamation is available on The White House website.

January 21, 2008: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

To honor Dr. King's legacy of tolerance, peace, and equality, the Martin Luther King Jr. federal holiday has been dedicated as a Day of Service. Volunteers around the country participate in community service projects and give their time to help others. To learn more, see project examples, download marketing materials, and register your organization or service project, visit

Winter Storm Preparation

Some of the most severe snowstorms occur in January. With this in mind, consider approaching your local grocery store, hardware store or relevant retailer and suggest holding a winter storm preparation event. The event could include a live, onsite feed from an area radio station with helpful preparedness giveaway items – such as snow shovels, salt, or winter clothing – as well as an interview with Citizen Corps Council members or volunteers who can provide tips for keeping warm and staying safe during the cold weather season. And be sure to feature volunteers who assist homebound, elderly, or disabled neighbors with snow shoveling, food delivery, or preparedness efforts!

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