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Gov. Perry Stresses Importance of Volunteerism at Leadership Conference

Location: Dallas, TX

Gov. Perry Stresses Importance of Volunteerism at Leadership Conference

Gives Thanks to Texans Who Give Their Time and Resources to Help Others

Gov. Rick Perry today emphasized the increasing importance of volunteerism in Texas at the 2005 Governor's Volunteer Leadership Conference in Dallas and thanked all those who have given of themselves to help others.

"The promise of America has always been a second chance, a shot at redemption for all who ask, regardless of where they come from or the trials of yesterday," Perry said. "That is the greatest gift any human being can give to another and that is exactly the gift offered by volunteers to every life they touch. To the volunteers and volunteer leaders all across Texas, I offer my deepest appreciation for all you do."

Perry noted that the world had seen the compassion of Texas and Texans during the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. "While government, industry and many other sectors of society each played an important role in the recent hurricane relief efforts, the ones most deserving of our praise are the volunteer organizations and charitable groups who provided the needy with much more than food and clothing and shelter, but also a renewed hope for tomorrow, and the strength to rebuild their lives."

In 2003 Perry created the OneStar Foundation to provide individuals and charitable organizations with the information and resources necessary to build partnerships with the state to assist those in need, and encourage Texans to volunteer in their communities. Perry said the concept of OneStar is not to supersede or compete with the work done by existing volunteer and charitable organizations, but to direct more volunteers to these causes.

"I believe when government views volunteer and charitable organizations as a partner, far more can be accomplished than through government action alone," Perry said. "Government can offer cash assistance, fund many worthy programs, but it cannot instill hope or impart values that can last a citizen a lifetime."

Perry said OneStar has helped a variety of volunteer groups make better use of financial resources, provided invaluable training for volunteer workers across Texas and inspired a new generation of Texans to pursue causes greater than self. And perhaps most importantly, OneStar is helping to build capacity in the non-profit sector so that more Texans have a place to turn to in a time of need.

"For every addict who finds help to overcome a chemical dependency, every at-risk child who finds a caring mentor, every high school dropout who finds assistance in earning a GED there are others who wait in the shadows of opportunity for someone to bring the light of hope," Perry said. "The only way we will ever be able to reach every Texan in need is by building a non-profit sector that has the capacity to fully harness the compassion of our people."
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