The New Mexico Commission for Community Volunteerism held a town hall meeting Thursday at Eastern New Mexico University-Roswell, inviting residents to share local needs and help create the 2013-2015 New Mexico State Service Plan. NMCCV uses the plan to coordinate local, state and federal resources that support volunteerism, and awards up to $1.2 million in AmeriCorps formula grants to community organizations.
Those participating in Thursday’s meeting included area representatives from the American Red Cross, Wings for L.I.F.E., The Salvation Army, Roswell Refuge and Roswell Literacy Council.
Commissioner Elaine Graff said NMCCV aims to assess needs across the state, and that the face-to-face contact at town hall meetings serves to connect people who might benefit from collaborative efforts.
“It’s an incredible value. With these federal monies available to us, we want to be able to reach out, especially to rural communities that might not get reached by other programs,” Graff said. “… At the town hall meetings, which are kind of a new thing for us, we’re looking for input. … So (participants) create the new service plan.”
NMCCV’s stated mission is “to engage New Mexico citizens of all ages and backgrounds in community-based volunteer service that addresses local needs.” The commission’s primary duty is to promote and preserve funding priorities set forth by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than 5 million Americans in service through programs like AmeriCorps.
Current priorities identified by sitting commissioners include disaster relief, economic opportunity, education, environmental stewardship, healthy futures and services to veterans and military families.
NMCCV formed in 1999, and is administratively attached to the Children, Youth & Families Department. NMCCV is a volunteer group of citizens appointed by the governor to serve as commissioners, who by federal law must be comprised equally of both major political parties, and represent specific areas.
“I think what we’re trying to do is make sure that everybody is represented. And not just focusing on one side or the other,” Graff said. “Our governor has been tremendous in appointing people who are of all kinds of gifts and skills, and ensuring that both parties are represented. It’s her wish that we make this commission work in a positive way for the state.”
In addition to Roswell, NMCCV has held town hall meetings in Farmington, Espanola, Raton and Santa Rosa. The Commission will hold its next three meetings in Truth or Consequences on June 11, Vado on June 12 and Hobbs on June 13.
For more information, contact NMCCV Director Romaine E. Serna at 505-841-4841, or visit newmex serve.org