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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 18, 2005

CONTACT: Sandy Scott
Phone: 202-606-6724
Email: [email protected]

   

National Service Chief Outlines Steps to Engage Baby Boomers in Meeting Critical Needs

 

David Eisner Urges White House Panel to View Aging Boomers as Resources, Not Costs

(WASHINGTON D.C) – Encouraging volunteering and other forms of civic engagement among baby boomers holds the key to addressing a wide range of looming social issues, David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, said today at a meeting of the Policy Committee for the White House Conference on Aging. But “making fullest use” of the unique qualities of the 77 million baby boomers will take a big commitment from nonprofit groups, business, and government, he added.

The White House Conference on Aging occurs once a decade. In advance of the 2005 conference, which is scheduled to take place December 11-14 in Washington, the Policy Committee is holding meetings, listening sessions, and public forums across the country to seek input on issues of concern to older Americans. From that input, the committee will develop a set of policy recommendations for the full White House Conference on Aging, and the policies ultimately adopted by the full conference will be submitted to the President and Congress.

Eisner oversees national service programs including Senior Corps, which engages more than 500,000 older Americans in community service through the Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and RSVP programs. Eisner noted that baby boomers have different skill sets and preferences than earlier generations of Americans. Consequently, he said, “We will need to create the kind of infrastructure that will support and sustain a new vision for volunteering for these adults.” To that end, Eisner asked the committee to recommend that the Conference on Aging support policies and initiatives that:

  • Encourage a significant cultural shift in the thinking of the nonprofit sector in how groups use volunteers, and help nonprofits create meaningful opportunities for service by the coming wave of older Americans;
     
  • Secure commitments from the business sector to expand volunteer programs, offer flexible work options to older employees, and enhance notions of good corporate citizenship;
     
  • Give an appropriate role to government, including charging the Corporation for National and Community Service with bringing baby boomers into prominence in America’s civic activities; and .
     
  • Promote an increase in volunteering, service, and civic engagement by baby boomers and other older adults, including through a public education campaign to promote the health benefits of volunteering by older Americans.

Eisner pointed to two critical community needs that would benefit greatly from increased volunteering among baby boomers: long-term care for older adults, and tutoring and mentoring disadvantaged young people. Baby boomers can be a central part of the response to these needs, noting the positive impact that Senior Corps’ three programs – RSVP, the Foster Grandparent Program, and the Senior Companion Program – have had in those areas over the past four decades.

“We at the Corporation have long viewed older Americans not as a social cost, but as an underused asset,” Eisner said, noting that Senior Corps is the largest network of senior volunteer opportunities in the country. Because of that experience, he said, the Corporation was ready and willing to play whatever role the committee and conference deemed appropriate. He added, “We need your support to help advance our challenge of engaging vast numbers of older adults in service to their communities.”

A copy of Eisner’s prepared remarks and policy recommendations can be found at www.nationalservice.gov.

The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

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