by Jack Russi, Vice Chairman and Regional Managing Partner, Deloitte & Touche USA at the 2007 National Ceremonies
The Jefferson Awards are a prestigious national recognition system honoring community and public service in America. The Jefferson Awards are presented on two levels: national and local. They began in 1972 to create a Nobel Prize for public service. Today, their primary purpose is to serve as a "Call to Action for Volunteers" in local communities. The Jefferson Awards believe that everyone benefits from a renewed level of civic engagement. The Champions are dedicated to optimizing the potential among people employed in a community.The Jefferson Awards Champions were established in 2006 to encourage and assist organizations as they set up and administer employee volunteer programs. A goal of the Jefferson Awards has always been to promote civic engagement at the local level.
The Champions program recognizes that corporations, academic institutions, and governmental organizations are in a unique position to make a difference in local communities by encouraging employees and their retirees to become involved.Each Champion honors their outstanding employee volunteers monthly and recognizes them with a Jefferson Award. One outstanding volunteer is selected to represent each organization at the Jefferson Awards National Ceremonies. Corporations have reported that by encouraging employees to be involved in the community, they create a more positive work environment. This helps in both recruiting and retaining employees. The same is true at colleges, universities and local governments.
Source: volunteerism, t. T., & community., b. a. (n.d.). Award Recipients . Jefferson Awards Champions.org. Retrieved October 12, 2012