CMT Helps Give Back

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CMT has signed up 700,000 community volunteers for its partner charities as part of its “CMT One Country” pro-social initiative.

The channel hopes to gain even more participation in the initiative this year, drawing attention to the campaign with spokesperson Diana DeGarmo, a former American Idol contestant and host of CMT’s Gone Country.

Launched in the fall of 2005, CMT One Country promotes civic participation and local volunteerism. The channel partners with America’s Second Harvest, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Habitat for Humanity, Hands On Network and the United Service Organizations (USO).

MATCHES ON WEB

The campaign’s Web site, CMTOneCountry.com, serves as a resource portal for viewers across the U.S. Registered users are matched with volunteer opportunities near where they live.

As of 2007, their volunteerism has an extra benefit: CMT has added a rewards program to incent participants to donate their time more than once. This year, participants who earn rewards will get a chance to win red-carpet seats at this year’s CMT Music Awards, set for April 14 in Nashville, Tenn., said Lucia Folk, director of public affairs at the MTV Networks-owned outlet.

The awards and the red-carpet seating area are always sold out, so volunteerism is the only way now to gain tickets, she said.

Repeat volunteers also have a shot in an auction for VIP ticket packages for the awards, which will be hosted by Billy Ray and Miley Cyrus.

In phase two of the auction, artists participating in the awards show will sign and donate items to be put up for bid. Winners of the viewer-voted CMT Music Awards will also receive $2,500, to be donated to their designated charity, Folk said.

COUNTRY FANS GIVE

“We’re really excited by the level of engagement” generated by the pro-social campaign, Folk said, “but we’re not really surprised.” Country music fans are giving by nature, she said.

DeGarmo will help promote Global Youth Service Days with the activists from Youth Service America. That organization touts the importance of volunteerism among all age groups.

From April 25 to 27, local chapters will host meetings involving young people, parents and mentors to plan service projects that address such issues as climate change, literacy, poverty and human rights.

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