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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, April 27, 2006

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

   

President Salutes Gulf Coast Volunteers, Takes Action to Spur More Service

 

Executive Order Signed to Bolster Federal Agency Support for Service

Washington D.C – As part of National Volunteer Week, President Bush today worked alongside volunteers in the Gulf Coast, thanked Americans for volunteering in their communities, and signed an Executive Order to promote greater volunteering by federal employees.

“This is National Volunteer Week, and there are people like the good folks standing behind me here who are volunteering all across the country, making a difference,” said the President after visiting a New Orleans home that’s being repaired by volunteers serving through Catholic Charities. “And for those of you who are volunteering, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for making our society a better place,” he continued.

The President then took hammer in hand at the Musician’s Village project in New Orleans, helping volunteers build Habitat for Humanity homes for displaced musicians. His final stop was in Biloxi, Miss., at the Hands On Gulf Coast Civic Action Center, which he dubbed a “compassion commune” where “people are here bound by a common desire to show compassion to their neighbors in need.”

This was the President’s 11th trip to the Gulf Coast since Katrina devastated the region at the end of August. The President’s visit is part of a week-long spotlight praising the contributions of America’s 65 million volunteers and urging more Americans to help their neighbors in need.

Before the President departed this morning, he signed an Executive Order calling on federal agencies to promote volunteer service. The Executive Order,  Responsibilities Of Federal Agencies With Respect To Volunteer Community Service, strengthens the culture of service within each executive agency by establishing a liaison for volunteer community service and directing agencies to do more to encourage and recognize volunteering by their employees.

The Executive Order is another step by the White House to increase volunteering by Americans. When he announced USA Freedom Corps in his 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush called on all Americans to serve a cause greater than themselves. To help Americans answer the call, the White House USA Freedom Corps office created an information clearinghouse allowing individuals, businesses, groups and families to connect with volunteer opportunities to help families in the Gulf Coast. USA Freedom Corps’ website, www.volunteer.gov, lists nearly 500,000 volunteer opportunities in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. To date, Americans have conducted over 330,000 searches for volunteer opportunities in the Gulf Coast.

David Eisner, who oversees the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America in his post as CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, joined the President on today’s Gulf Coast swing. A White House fact sheet released today highlighted the contributions of national service participants to Gulf Coast recovery. Under the headline “National Service Programs Are Leading The Way,” the fact sheet stated “More than 21,000 national service volunteers from AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and Learn and Serve America have contributed nearly one million hours to the hurricane relief and recovery efforts in the Gulf Coast and coordinated another 31,000 volunteers.”

“Volunteers are doing incredible work helping the people of the Gulf get back on their feet,” said Eisner. “These hurricanes showed nature at its worst, but the volunteer response showed America at its best. I’m proud that national service participants are leading the way, both through their direct service and other volunteers they supervise. We’ve been in the Gulf since the day Katrina hit, and we’ll be here for years to come, because there is lots of work to do.”

Eisner also announced a new grant of $1.1 million to support the activities of the National Association of Service and Conservation Corps in the Gulf Region. Funds will be used to support 27 crews of NASCC AmeriCorps members from all over the country who will spend four weeks each renovating and rehabilitating homes and other structures, removing debris, eradicating mold contamination, and mobilizing and organizing community volunteers throughout the Gulf. In addition to the grant funding, more than $200,000 in funds have been set aside for AmeriCorps Education Awards for the up to 216 members serving under this program. This new AmeriCorps grant is part of nearly $14 million in AmeriCorps funds that the Corporation has approved to support Gulf Coast hurricane recovery efforts by AmeriCorps programs.

Throughout the week, some 21 members of the President’s Cabinet and senior Administration officials will be participating in volunteer service activities across the country and recognized outstanding volunteers who have answered the President’s Call to Service.

In addition, members of the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation have made special appearances during the week at service projects and recognition events. The Council unveiled a new set of radio public service ads encouraging Americans to volunteer and directing them to the www.volunteer.gov website where they can search for volunteer opportunities by zip code and interest area. Council member and NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne discussed his volunteer commitment on today’s “Ask the White House” online chat.

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

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