NYC Expands "Give Your Blank" Volunteer Campaign

By iParticipate on Wed, Dec 16 2009, 16:26:11
iParticipate: NYC Expands "Give Your Blank" Volunteer Campaign

Ads Featuring Local Volunteers Were Produced by NYC & Company and Air Time Donated by Local TV and Cable Media PartnersNew Volunteer Programs for Urban Beautification and Obesity Prevention Introduced Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced the launch of a new NYC Service television ad campaign to promote volunteer service in New York City. Involving more New Yorkers in service is a key goal of NYC Service, Mayor Bloomberg's comprehensive blueprint to increase civic engagement. The 30-second public service announcements are a component of the "Give Your BLANK" campaign, which is built on the concept that everyone has something to give: their time, their skills, their passion – their “blank.” The campaign asks New Yorkers who want to give back to come forward and use their “blank” in volunteer service. The advertisements feature regular New Yorkers giving their “blank” to improve New York City communities and are expected to run on at least six television stations and on cable television.

“Everyone’s got a ‘blank’,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Whether it’s a special talent, free time, know-how, or simply a willingness to pitch in – every New Yorker has something to offer. In the midst of this national recession, the City needs your ‘blank’ now more than ever. Visit or call 311 to find an opportunity to volunteer in your neighborhood and help us address some of our City’s most pressing challenges through volunteer service.”

The Mayor also announced the start of two new NYC Service volunteer initiatives: Love Your (NYC) Block and Shape Up New York. The Love Your (NYC) Block program will help volunteer-led community groups, block associations and civic groups revitalize and transform their neighborhood blocks by linking them with services provided by City agencies and providing $500 grants to cover other project costs.

Shape Up New York will further help to prevent obesity by using volunteers with expertise in fitness to expand the number of free fitness classes available in parks, community centers and other locations across the city. Approximately 100 new volunteer fitness instructors will be recruited to teach Shape Up New York classes, expanding the number of free classes offered to allow 500 more New Yorkers access to free fitness education and training. The new instructors will also diversify class offerings, bringing new fitness disciplines, from Pilates and dance to martial arts and yoga, to Shape Up New York sites. The program is a partnership of NYC Service, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

“Whatever your strengths, Shape Up New York can help you break a sweat without breaking the bank,” said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “With locations around the City, and with a variety of programs to choose from, ranging from yoga to dance, entire families can get fit for the holiday season and throughout the year. We are grateful to all the New Yorkers who, through NYC Service, are using their ‘blank’ to help expand this program.”

Debra Myers, a volunteer participating in the Love Your (NYC) Block program and Dr. Howard Sichel, a volunteer participating in the Shape Up New York program spoke about the reason they chose to give their “blank.” Yvonne Short and Christopher Banks, the volunteers featured in the two television ads unveiled today, also joined the Mayor at the announcement.

Media partners that have generously donated air time to run the ad campaign at no cost to the City include: WCBS-TV; WNBC-TV; WNYW-TV; WABC-TV; WPIX-TV; WNJU-TV; Time Warner Cable – New York City Region; and Cablevision. The ads are expected to appear this month and will run through the first quarter of 2010.

The “Give Your BLANK” campaign was launched in April with donated advertising on bus shelters, telephone kiosks, street banners, taxi passenger information monitors and in print and radio advertising. The advertising space donated to date is valued at $5.4 million.

To participate in the Love Your (NYC) Block program, the Shape Up New York program or any other NYC Service program go to

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