18 April 2005
The National Volunteer Week started yesterday, kicking off a week of service projects and recognition events to honor and thank America's 64 million volunteers for their vital contribution to the nation.
"Volunteers are the lifeblood of our nation. They improve people's lives, unite our communities, and strengthen our democracy," said David Eisner, CEO of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and Learn and Serve America. "As we honor our nation's volunteers, this is also the perfect time for every American to ask, “What can I do to help my neighbor and my nation?'”
Volunteer service in America is rising. This past year, 64.5 million Americans volunteered with formal organizations -- an increase of nearly five million from the similar period in September 2001 and 2002, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report issued in December, 2004.
"Inspire by Example" is this year’s theme, sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation. National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. Since then, every U.S. President has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week. In addition, governors, mayors and other elected officials make public statements and sign proclamations in support of National Volunteer Week.
The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through three programmes: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America.
From: US Newswire