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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
Thursday, January 31, 2002

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

   

President Bush Highlights Senior Corps and AmeriCorps in Travels to Promote USA Freedom Corps

 

(WASHINGTON D.C) — As part of his national campaign to recruit volunteers for the USA Freedom Corps, President Bush highlighted programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service on Thursday, and reiterated his plans to increase Senior Corps by 100,000 and AmeriCorps by 25,000.

Appearing at stops in Florida and Georgia with Stephen Goldsmith, Chairman of the Board of the Corporation, and Leslie Lenkowsky, its CEO, the President praised both Senior Corps and AmeriCorps as important and valuable ways for American to serve their country

“I’m fully aware of the importance of Senior Corps for the future of the country,” the President said at the Volusia County Fire Services Training Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. “That’s why I’m here – to herald successful programs within the Senior Corps fabric.”

As examples, the President cited Volusia County’s Citizen Observer Program (COP) and and Community Emergency Response Volunteers (CERV), two local programs that engage Senior Corps volunteers in working with police and emergency officials to help ensure the public’s safety. Volunteers with Citizen Observer Program monitor neighborhoods in search of suspicious activity and lost children, while volunteers with CERV instruct county residents on how to prepare for emergencies and back up the efforts of local emergency and medical staff.

Those kinds of programs, the President noted, will be increasingly important as America steps up its war against terror and increases its efforts to make the nation’s communities safer and more secure. The President reiterated his goal of recruiting 100,000 more senior volunteers to help meet community needs, noting that older Americans represent a pool of talent and skills that is too often neglected by our national and community leaders. “There are numerous seniors who have got a lot to offer – people who might be retired, but their brains haven’t retire, and their experience hasn’t been retired,” the President said. “So let’s figure out how to get them involved in the community.”

The President stressed another quality of seniors that needs to be tapped – their love and compassion. “There is an important role for seniors, people who understand the importance of love. And so, there’s a Foster Grandparent Program here, as part of Senior Corps. It’s a program that says, if you care for children – and most foster grandparents obviously have had a little experience with raising children – please, we want your help. We want you to serve as a mentor. We want you to provide a part of a hopeful future for a child.”

From Daytona Beach, the President flew to Atlanta, Ga., where the he spoke to a gathering of students and others at Booker T. Washington High School. The school is home to several teachers connected with Teach for America, an AmeriCorps program dedicated to encouraging college graduates to teach in the public schools in underserved communities (download their press release – 83KB PDF). Approximately 1,600 AmeriCorps members serve through Teach for America nationwide. More information is at http://www.teachforamerica.org. “There are ways to fight terror other than wearing a uniform,” the President said. “A teacher fights terror every day by walking into a classroom and teaching children how to read and write and add and subtract.”

& The President will propose an additional 25,000 AmeriCorps members next year, a 50 percent addition to the 50,000 AmeriCorps members now serving with community and faith-based organizations to meet critical needs in education, public safety, public health, the environment and disaster relief. The additional AmeriCorps members are expected to help enlist at least another 75,000 Americans in serving their communities part-time. The President will submit a reauthorization bill to Congress next month that aims to strengthen national service programs in a variety of ways including making AmeriCorps more accountable and responsive to local needs.

Senior Corps and AmeriCorps join the Peace Corps and the newly formed Citizen Corps as components of USA Freedom Corps, which the President announced during his State of the Union address January 29. In that address, he asked every American to devote at least two years of their lives to volunteerism and service. If they do, America will be able “to lead the world toward a more compassionate, more decent, more free tomorrow,” the President said.

Created in 1993, the Corporation for National and Community Service engages more than 1.5 million Americans annually in improving their communities through three programs: AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. For more information, visit www.nationalservice.gov.

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