CPTV Premieres The Power of Giving: Stories of Volunteerism With Accompanying Volunteer-a-thon

Release Date: 06/19/2009

The very fabric of society depends on the efforts of citizens to reach out voluntarily to those in need and lend a helping hand. Connecticut Public Television (CPTV) examines why these efforts are so important in a new documentary entitled The Power of Giving: Stories of Volunteerism, premiering on Thursday, June 25 at 8 p.m.

This new documentary features eight inspirational stories of individuals who have committed themselves to ongoing volunteer projects in their communities. The volunteers profiled include an 82-year-old doctor who cares for patients in a free health clinic; a 46-year-old business analyst who tutors children in a homeless shelter; and a 16-year-old high school sophomore who helps care for hospice residents. Each of these stories demonstrates the incredible positive benefits that volunteer actions bring, not only to the lives of those being served, but to those performing the volunteer service.

Best of all, The Power of Giving: Stories of Volunteerism will provide viewers with the opportunity to pledge their own time and talents to making a difference. Each volunteer profile segment in the documentary will lead into a live 15-minute “pledge” break in the CPTV Studio. During these breaks, representatives and volunteers from 16 nonprofit organizations will be in the studio to answer pledge phones and take part in interviews about their respective organizations. Viewers will learn about various nonprofit organizations in Connecticut and the current volunteer opportunities that are available.

Viewers are encouraged to call to ask questions and provide their name to the organization(s) to which they would consider donating their time and skills. In the days following the broadcast, participating organizations will follow up with callers to match their needs with the skills and availability of the potential volunteer. During the program, viewers can call 1-877-962-JOIN (1-877-962-5646). After the program airs, viewers can dial 2-1-1.

This program is presented as part of the Power of Giving campaign, a year-long Connecting Our Communities initiative launched by the Connecticut Public Broadcasting Network (CPBN). The initiative is dedicated to promoting awareness of volunteerism, philanthropy and community service.

The Power of Giving: Stories of Volunteerism is made possible by CPBN’s founding partner, the Knights of Columbus. Additional support is provided by Newman’s Own Foundation, with in-kind support from Connecticut’s local United Ways. The local United Ways participating in this event include:

-United Way 2-1-1

-United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut

-United Way of Coastal Fairfield County

-United Way of Meriden & Wallingford

-Middlesex United Way

-United Way of Milford

-United Way of Greater New Haven

-United Way of Greater Waterbury

-United Way of Greenwich

-United Way of Naugatuck & Beacon Falls

-United Way of Southeastern Connecticut

-Valley United Way

-United Way of West Central Connecticut

-United Way of Western Connecticut

-United Way of Southington

“Connecticut’s United Ways have been leaders over the years in promoting volunteering and civic involvement,” says Richard J. Porth, president and CEO of United Way of Connecticut (UWC). “We applaud CPBN for launching The Power of Giving: Stories of Volunteerism. It reminds us all that volunteerism is a crucial ingredient in the life of our communities. United Way is proud to be CPBN’s Power of Giving Community Partner and the ‘go-to’ local resource for volunteer opportunities in the communities we serve.”

Supreme Knight Carl Anderson of the Knights of Columbus states: “During the Great Depression, people would often hear a passerby ask, ‘Buddy, can you spare a dime?’ Today, my question to the millions of Americans who want to help, but may feel financially unable to do so is, ‘Can you spare a few hours?’ As America’s charitable organizations face a serious new challenge to fundraising, volunteerism will be especially important. We need to say ‘Volunteer with us,’ and give the American people that opportunity to do so in new ways, in new places. That is why the Knights of Columbus is proud to be the founding sponsor of CPBN's Power of Giving initiative.”

To find volunteer opportunities in your community, visit www.volunteerconnecticut.org.
For more information on this program, visit www.CPTV.org, KEYWORD: volunteer. 

About United Way 2-1-1
United Way 2-1-1 is an integrated system of help via the telephone – a single source for information about community services, referrals to human services, and crisis intervention. United Way 2-1-1 is accessed toll-free from anywhere in Connecticut by simply dialing 2-1-1. It operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Multilingual call specialists and TDD access is available.

Connecticut residents dial 2-1-1 for many different types of help. Professional call specialists help callers with such complex issues as substance abuse, gambling, domestic violence programs, suicide prevention, financial problems, mortgage foreclosure assistance and much more. Other callers may simply be looking for volunteer opportunities. By dialing 2-1-1, a caller is connected with a 2-1-1 call specialist who helps callers assess their situation and find the community services in their area that can assist them. Resources also may be accessed via the Internet at www.211ct.org.

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