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Philadelphia, September 27—Today, the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service and Greater Philadelphia Cares co-hosted a rally at the National Constitution Center to celebrate Philadelphians who ‘go the extra mile’ in service to their communities.  The event followed the official launch of SERVE Philadelphia, the City’s comprehensive plan to dramatically increase service and volunteerism targeted at some of Philadelphia’s most pressing local challenges.

Shawn Anderson, Founder and Executive Director of the Extra Mile America Foundation, was on hand to share inspiring stories from his two year journey across the country celebrating everyday Americans who go the extra mile in overcoming loss, serving their neighbors and believing in themselves and their mission.  Mayor Nutter has joined other leaders from across the country in proclaiming November 1st, 2010 “Extra Mile Day,” a time for Philadelphians to recognize their fellow citizens for going above and beyond in service to their families and communities.  

Anderson was joined by a number of local citizens who paid tribute to individuals who embody the ‘extra mile’ ethos here in Philadelphia.  Recognition was given to many local organizations currently going the extra mile in Philadelphia, including:  Breaking Barriers, Greater Philadelphia Cares, the Ray of Hope Project, the Village of Arts and Humanities and YNOT/Dollar Boyz, along with AmeriCorps national service organizations such as City Year Greater Philadelphia, Communities in Schools of Philadelphia and YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. The rally began with a string trio and drum-line performance by Musicopia.  

“I am fortunate to have been introduced to many great people and organizations who are doing extraordinary things for the city of Philadelphia,” said Ellen Firestone, Chief Operating Officer of Greater Philadelphia Cares. “I am happy that Mayor Nutter has proclaimed November 1st Extra Mile Day, a day set aside to recognize all the extraordinary people in our city who are going the extra mile in service to their communities.”

“I was honored to co-host such an inspiring event,” said Catie C. Wolfgang, Chief Service Officer.  “It is critically important that we create ongoing opportunities to recognize Philadelphians who answer the call to service outlined in SERVE Philadelphia.”

“There are so many ways to serve, whether you are an AmeriCorps national service participant who has committed to full-time service or a citizen who is going the extra mile in some other way,” said Karen Kaskey, the Executive Director of PennSERVE.  “We are so proud to have a Mayor who understands and appreciates the value of service, and who has a vision to amplify and expand all these diverse efforts and make Philadelphia a national leader.”

The Extra Mile Honors Rally was the first in a series of volunteer recognition events to be hosted over the next year by the Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Volunteer Service.

About the Extra Mile America Foundation
Extra Mile America strives to empower individuals and organizations to take up the “extra mile” mantle in both philosophy and action.  

Our work is inspired by the belief that ‘going the extra mile’ opens doors to new possibilities.  ‘Going the extra mile’ improves the results we find in life, both professionally and personally.  ‘Going the extra mile’ allows us to make a difference in our community and our world.

Through speaking engagements, teleconferences, and social networks, the Extra Mile America Foundation empowers people to apply the extra-mile principle, reach their goals, and live a more self-directed life.

About Greater Philadelphia Cares
Greater Philadelphia Cares supports the creation of vibrant communities by motivating people to volunteer their time, talents and resources.  We provide a clear path to service for all, enhancing the impact of non-profit agencies throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.
We invite you to come serve with us in whatever capacity most inspires you, be it a one-time annual event like Philadelphia Cares Day which will be held this year on October 16th or on an ongoing basis with our Neighbors in Action, Human Rights or Reading STARS programs.  Contact us at or 215.564.4544 to learn more.

About SERVE Philadelphia

SERVE Philadelphia, is the City’s comprehensive plan to dramatically increase service and volunteerism targeted at some of Philadelphia’s most pressing local challenges. Philadelphia is a member of the Cities of Service coalition and is one of 10 cities across the country launching citywide service plans this September.

SERVE Philadelphia is the product of an eight-month assessment and consultation process coordinated by Deputy Chief of Staff Jordan Schwartz and Chief Service Officer Catie C. Wolfgang.  The process engaged a diverse group of service experts, non-pro?t organizations, schools, colleges, private sector partners, public agencies and every day citizens.  

SERVE Philadelphia has three main goals:
        Create or elevate volunteer opportunities that impact educational outcomes and contribute to community vitality;
        Make it easier for citizens of every age to volunteer; and
        Support both public and private sector efforts to engage more volunteers in ways that have the greatest impact.

SERVE Philadelphia includes five impact initiatives designed to promote community vitality and engage citizens in supporting the Mayor’s top education goals.  The plan also includes five cross cutting initiatives designed to increase the City’s overall capacity to engage more volunteers in ways that have the greatest impact.  

SERVE Philadelphia outlines a plan for developing a one-stop-shop for Philadelphians interested in connecting with both one-time and ongoing volunteer opportunities.  The website,, will specifically promote service initiatives outlined in SERVE Philadelphia while also enabling citizens to review a wider range of volunteer opportunities designed to have a positive impact on the city.  Additionally, the site will highlight opportunities to complete a full-time year of service and encourage individuals and community groups to develop self-directed service projects.

SERVE Philadelphia can be found at


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