With the emphasis on volunteering, one may wonder if there is a national community services movement inspiring people to donate time to their local communities. Former and current presidents have all started initiatives to encourage people to volunteer in their communities, but these often do not last long beyond the president’s life time or administration. The answer is that there is not a single national push for volunteers, but several ongoing and unconnected ones.
National Pushes for Volunteer Movements
The Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and other community relief organizations that are not connected to the federal government have their own push for volunteers. The efforts are often coordinated at the national level, but volunteering for a non-profit agency usually involves as going to your local office. If, on the other hand, you are over 55 and looking for a little extra money, many states offer a program for workers over 55 who have retired. These short term programs usually hook an older worker up with a volunteer organization and provide a small short-term income.
National Community Services Movement
The Points of Light foundation was President Bush’s attempt at a national community services movement. President Obama tried to encourage national days of service to memorialize the original attack on September 11, although this effort did not meet with much success. Disney World and Disney Land supported the attempt at a national community services movement by offering a free admission day at their theme parks.
Although there has been nothing organized for a national community services movement, several organizations have launched national campaigns not connected to the federal government. The best thing to do is find an activity that interests you and see if they want help. After all, if you intend to give your time to help your local community, there is no need to wait for a federal program to encourage you to do so.