Change Notes: American Express Engages Volunteers to Help Preserve New York City

May 16, 2012

Change Notes


American Express, a Points of Light Leadership Partner, is engaging volunteers in a whole new way this summer – to help preserve New York City’s historic landmarks.

The company and the National Trust for Historic Preservation have chosen New York City as the 2012 location for Partners in Preservation, their community-based initiative to raise awareness of the importance of historic places. The program will infuse $3 million in grants to preserve the city’s historic buildings, icons and landmarks. As New York City’s first-ever, citywide grassroots preservation effort, the call-to-action program will enlist the aid of all New Yorkers, and anyone who loves New York, to vote online for the preservation project most important to them.

The participation of volunteers is critical to the program’s success. American Express is partnering with New York Cares, a HandsOn Network Action Center of Points of Light, to engage volunteers. Most recently, New York Cares volunteers prepared for and hosted an Open House Weekend, which brought thousands of people to the sites to learn more about their place in New York City history.

“New York City’s historic places across all five boroughs – both the familiar and the lesser-known – are part of the city’s fabric and make it one of the most exciting places in the world,” said Timothy J. McClimon, president of the American Express Foundation. “Partners in Preservation aims to raise awareness about historic places in New York and mobilize support for their preservation, a linchpin in neighborhood development and a key to expanding economic vitality and growth.”

 American Express has also provided a grant to Reel Works, a school-based program that uses the art of filmmaking as a means to self-empowerment and skills development for at-risk youth. With the guidance of volunteer filmmaker mentors the students in the program created films showcasing 17 of the 40 historic places participating in Partners in Preservation. The films are viewable on YouTube.

Join American Express in supporting New York City’s treasures. From April 26 to May 21, anyone 13 years of age or older, can vote from anywhere in the world – either from their web-enabled mobile device, online or on Facebook – for one of the 40 historic New York City places. Click here for voting terms.

American Express is a Points of Light Leadership Partner, recognized for its commitments to developing next generation leaders, preserving and sustaining historic places and encouraging service in communities where its employees and customers live and work. In 2011, American Express was the lead national contributor to the I WILL campaign, promoting volunteerism as part of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance. The company engaged more than 1,000 employees in volunteer service as part of its 9/11 commitment, and launched the first-of-its-kind Facebook I WILL Volunteer app to make it easy for people to search, register and share volunteer opportunities. Over the past three years, Points of Light and American Express have engaged thousands of students, employees, teachers and community members through Travel with Your Mind, a HandsOn Schools program designed to help revitalize deserving schools through a series of travel-themed, transformational projects and multicultural initiatives across several U.S. cities. American Express also brings its acclaimed American Express Leadership Academy to the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, providing in-depth leadership development opportunities to 24 emerging leaders each year.

Points of Light’s Leadership Partner Program recognizes and engages companies and business leaders whose social responsibility investments have resulted in significant advancement of its mission to inspire, equip and mobilize people to take action that changes the world. One partner organization will be highlighted each month.

 In service,

Michelle Nunn Signature

Michelle Nunn

CEO. Points of Light

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