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 Home > News & Policies > August 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
August 29, 2008

White House Compassion in Action Roundtable Highlights Successful State Service Strategies

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI) today convened a Compassion in Action policy roundtable titled, "Advancing Compassion and Service Strategies at the State Level." Hosted by outgoing OFBCI Director Jay Hein on his last day leading the Initiative, the Roundtable focused on innovative and effective state-level efforts to partner volunteer outreach and support with their Faith-Based and Community Initiative activities to expand partnerships with frontline nonprofits and address community challenges.

"The future of the President's Faith-Based and Community Initiative is secure and hopeful as measured by the bottom-up style innovation that we heard about today. Driven by state-level leaders, we see all 50 states delivering service-led results by their efforts to rally compassionate community healers to lift up the lives of their hurting neighbors and make America a better place," said OFBCI Director Jay Hein.

Today's event brought together government and private-sector leaders to advance a dialogue on growing the strength of American compassion at the grassroots level. Several states have recognized the value of leveraging their FBCI with their state commission on volunteerism. State Service Commission Directors from Texas, Florida and Alabama shared. These and other state commissions are designed to engage and support volunteers in national and community service projects and partnerships.

Since President Bush launched the OFBCI in 2001, the Initiative has taken root in each State and countless communities across the Nation as a pragmatic way of addressing society's toughest human service needs. State- and city-led strategies have included efforts to strengthen the network of government and nonprofit organizations to improve the welfare of citizens, build the capacity of faith-based and community organizations, and address specific challenges.

Over the past seven years, the Corporation for National and Community Service has expanded its efforts to engage nonprofit, faith-based, and other community-based organizations more fully in each of their major programs like AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. The outcomes of this effort have been notable at the state level where governors have actively sought to leverage the resources of the Corporation with their own efforts to more fully engage small faith-based and community organizations to meet the needs of citizens and communities.

President Bush's Faith-Based and Community Initiative (FBCI) is built from the conviction that the most effective way to address our communities' great needs is to draw upon the unique strengths of every willing community and faith-based partner. He launched the FBCI upon taking office in January 2001, to strengthen America's nonprofit sector and extend its work in partnership with government. Since January 2007, the OFBCI has convened monthly Compassion in Action policy roundtables to discuss issues of interest faith- and community-based organizations and highlight honor the successes of dedicated Americans helping their neighbors in need.

For more information on the OFBCI and the President's compassion agenda, visit: /government/fbci/.