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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, September 11, 2002

 

   

Message from Leslie Lenkowsky

 

CEO, Corporation for National and Community Service


Wednesday, September 11, 2002

On this anniversary of last September’s tragedy, we are being asked to remember many things: the innocent lives lost; the heroic efforts of our police, firefighters, and soldiers; the pressing need to rid the world of terrorism. But we should also be sure to acknowledge the important role that volunteers—many through the Corporation’s own programs—played then and continue to play.

While smoke was still rising from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Americans stepped forward in record numbers to give blood, make donations, even travel long distances to help the searchers and console the survivors. Members of our AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs shuttled relief workers to Ground Zero, processed requests for aid, and helped out with the little things that truly made a difference in people’s lives. As one AmeriCorps member put it in an e-mail: “The hours are long, the cases are stressful, the food is fattening, but all in all we wouldn’t want to be anywhere else right now.”

Spurred in part by President Bush’s creation of USA Freedom Corps and his Call to Service, a growing number of American volunteers are getting directly involved in the war effort. Every state, for example, is developing a Citizens Corps program focusing on homeland security, and tens of thousands of volunteers continue to provide support to trained public safety workers-the “first responders”-allowing them to focus more of their efforts on critical activities. Moreover, thousands of other citizens are helping out in countless other ways, taking to heart the President’s exhortation to “fight evil by doing good.”

No one who knows our country’s history should be surprised. We Americans have long been known for our willingness to give and volunteer, especially in the face of local and national emergencies. As the French observer Alexis de Tocqueville noted during his visit here in the mid-19th century, the strength of our democracy rests on the willingness of Americans to join together in voluntary association to take responsibility for the health and well-being of our communities. Indeed, an active citizenry is perhaps our country’s greatest strength in time of both war and peace.

In this time of war, maintaining the spirit of September 11 is vital. Let us use this day to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental principles upon which our nation was founded. As we recall what happened last September, let us keep in mind that our country’s ideals are not only worth defending; they are also worth serving.

 

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