Hartford Foundation and Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford Join with More Perfect to Seed National Project to Expand Youth Community Service Opportunities
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, and a group of local philanthropists led by Gerry and Karen Goldberg are partnering with More Perfect to enhance service opportunities for young adults across the United States. The institutions and private donors have committed more than $200,000 to seed a national strategy to double the number of civilian national service opportunities for young adults from 125,000 to 250,000 by 2026.
More Perfect is an alliance of 14 Presidential Centers, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Karsh Institute for Democracy at the University of Virginia, and more than 100 organizations that are uniting around the advancement of five Democracy Goals, which include national service and volunteering.
Through a new national plan, More Perfect aims to create a more efficient and effective way to expand paid service opportunities for young people of all backgrounds in communities nationwide. The effort will leverage the expertise and experience of community service programs such as City Year, YouthBuild and The Corps Network.
“The Hartford Foundation has supported many youth employment efforts, including employment at nonprofit organizations, to provide youth real-world job experience and the opportunity to contribute to their communities,” said Hartford Foundation President and CEO Jay Williams. “We are excited to be working with the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford, local philanthropists and More Perfect to explore new opportunities for our future leaders to build job skills, work with people different from themselves, and learn how they can effect real change in their communities.”
“Jewish philanthropists traditionally support initiatives that strengthen the communities in which we live and fund projects that contribute to tikkun olam, Hebrew for repairing the world,” said Jacob Schreiber, President and CEO of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Hartford. “The seed funding to More Perfect from our Foundation, the Hartford Foundation and visionary donors could catalyze the significant expansion of opportunities for young adults to engage in community service nationally, and in Greater Hartford, placing them at the frontline of bolstering civil discourse and American democracy.”
“National service provides young people a rite of passage as they come of age to learn to solve public problems and build skills that are relevant to the workforce,” said John Bridgeland, CEO and Executive Chairman of More Perfect. “Service also helps to heal a divided nation by bringing people of different politics, backgrounds and geographies together in common purpose and cultivating the leaders of the future.”
More Perfect has identified Greater Hartford as an ideal region to host a pilot of an enhanced youth community service initiative based on the size of its population, rich diversity, and its institutional and geographic assets. In many ways, Hartford is a model of the challenges and opportunities that face countless communities across the United States.
“The opportunity to connect More Perfect with our community and to leverage their collective thought leadership to build bridges and expand community service opportunities is very exciting to Karen and me,” said Gerry Goldberg. “Change happens locally and it takes persistence and initiative from community volunteers to move the needle.”
More Perfect is working with the group of Hartford area funders to share this story of impact with local and state government leaders as a potential model for improving the accessibility of community service activities and their impact on individuals and communities.
More Perfect’s sustainable democracy goals are inspired by evidence-based reports developed over many years, including the recommendations of the 2020 report, Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century, produced by the Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. More Perfect has assembled the Service Year Alliance, Voices for National Service, The Corps Network, Youth Build, America’s Service Commissions, Co Generate, the National Peace Corps Association, Convergence and Listen First Project into a powerful consortium of national service and bridge-building organizations that are working to implement clear goals, targets and plans to meet them. For more information, visit https://www.joinmoreperfect.us/goals.