Mayor launches volunteerism program

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Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today launched a volunteerism initiative that he predicted will lead to "an even more livable city."

Mr. Ravenstahl said the goal of ServePGH is to put volunteers to work on neighborhood revitalization and youth engagement projects.

He also introduced the city's first chief service officer, Rebecca Kottler-Wein.

ServePGH is funded with a $200,000 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation and Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Major projects include linking volunteers with senior citizens in need of help removing snow from their walks and driveways; cleaning up 20 blocks citywide each year; expanding the mayor's Civic Leadership Academy to include high school students; and giving city employees two hours of paid administrative leave per week to serve as mentors to sixth-graders.

"I'm going to do this myself," Mr. Ravenstahl said. "I'm going to be a sixth-grade mentor."

More details in tomorrow's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.


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