As the big game between the Baltimore Ravens and San Francisco 49ers approaches this Sunday, the mayors from those cities are taking a different approach to the traditional, friendly wager. This year, the focus will be on volunteering and community service.
San Francisco Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake have agreed that the winning mayor would host the mayor from the opposing team for a day of volunteer service with AmeriCorps members. This service project will be done in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps. (Click here to watch a video announcing the challenge on the "Today Show.")
The mayors' friendly wager further elevates the role of community service within the Super Bowl's activities. As part of the official events, the Super Bowl Host Committee will also host a community service effort, Super Saturday of Service, in which local volunteers will revitalize five New Orleans playgrounds. AmeriCorps members serving with Habitat for Humanity New Orleans and Habitat for Humanity Baton Rouge will participate. AmeriCorps members will also take part in service activities organized by Rebuilding Together.
Mayors Lee and Rawlings-Blake join more than 100 U.S. Mayors in their focus on service. Both have signed on to participate in the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, an initiative launched last month at the U.S. Conference of Mayors winter meeting. Mayors across the country will participate in a national day of recognition this April 9 to highlight the impact of national service in their cities and thank individuals who serve.
“Mayors are leaders who get things done, responding every day to needs in their cities,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. “With this friendly wager, Mayors Lee and Rawlings-Blake highlight the impact and power of national service and volunteering. No matter which team wins the game, both cities—and all football fans— can celebrate the Service Bowl.”
Americans looking to participate in their own Super Saturday of Service can find a volunteer service project in their area using the search engine at http://www.serve.gov/. To join the conversation on social media about this event, use the #ServiceBowl hashtag.