For Immediate Release
WASHINGTON D.C. - Amplifying the White House's efforts to kick off a summer of service, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Administrator Alonzo Fulgham joined local officials and community leaders in Baltimore for the inauguration of President Obama's "United We Serve" Initiative. United We Serve is a call to volunteer and be a part of building a new foundation for growth, one community at a time. During his two-hour visit to Baltimore, Fulgham volunteered with two local service projects - the Esperanza Center, and a mobile immunization clinic. (See link to high-resolution photos below.)
Fulgham's morning visit to Baltimore - some 45 minutes from USAID's headquarters in downtown Washington - included an immunization drive organized by the Baltimore City Health Department, at both the Esperanza Center - a health center that provides bilingual adult, pediatric and well-woman care, and the Baltimore City Women, Infant and Children program. More than 30 children listened intently as Fulgham read several stories to entertain them as they awaited their appointments. After the "story time" Fulgham passed out backpacks filled with books to help encourage the children to continue reading at home.
After meeting with the children, Fulgham toured the Esperanza Center facilities and spoke with the staff. He also toured the Baltimore City Health Department's "TIKE Van," a mobile immunization clinic, whose acronym stands for "To Immunize Kids Everywhere."
"Volunteering is a great way to help create meaningful change in our communities," said Fulgham. "By investing time in something that is meaningful to ourselves and to our communities, we can help build a new foundation for America."
Fulgham and Baltimore City Health Department Interim Commissioner Olivia D. Farrow discussed ideas for getting more young people to volunteer in public health programs while touring the department's Women, Infant and Children Program and the Family Planning Clinic.
"Some of our most dedicated employees started as volunteers. Volunteering can open many windows of opportunity and provide a young person with a new sense of direction," said Interim Commissioner Farrow.
USAID is the principal U.S. government agency that extends American assistance to countries recovering from disaster, trying to escape poverty, and engaging in democratic reforms. USAID employees have previously volunteered their expertise to the City of Baltimore by providing technical assistance to the City's Health Department immunization efforts based on best practices learned abroad. One of the planning and evaluation tools used by the Health Department to improve performance was developed by USAID in its work overseas. This event highlighted the shared common challenges of - and solutions to - health care, education, and poverty in America and around the world.
In addition to Baltimore City Health Department officials, representatives from Senator Benjamin Cardin and Senator Barbara Mikulski's offices were also in attendance. To find service opportunities in your local community visit www.serve.gov.
Last updated: May 24, 2012