February 27, 2004 - The Morning Call: Bush backs up call for volunteerism with historic AmeriCorps funding increase

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: February 2004 Peace Corps Headlines: February 27, 2004 - The Morning Call: Bush backs up call for volunteerism with historic AmeriCorps funding increase

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-151-196-188-54.balt.east.verizon.net - 151.196.188.54) on Sunday, February 29, 2004 - 7:09 pm: Edit Post

Bush backs up call for volunteerism with historic AmeriCorps funding increase



Bush backs up call for volunteerism with historic AmeriCorps funding increase

Bush backs up call for volunteerism with historic AmeriCorps funding increase

When AmeriCorps was founded a decade ago, the domestic equivalent of the Peace Corps met with some resistance. The idea of government-sponsored volunteerism didn't sit well with some, particularly conservative lawmakers. But AmeriCorps has since proved its worth, especially as it relates to homeland security. So, President Bush is to be commended for recognizing the program's importance with an historic funding increase.

The President's signature last month on the 2004 Omnibus Appropriations Bill an increase of $167 million for AmeriCorps over the 2003 enacted level makes possible the support of a record 75,000 AmeriCorps members. All told, the umbrella organization, the Corporation for National and Community Service, received an appropriation of $935 million, almost 20 percent more than the previous year.

AmeriCorps members help nonprofit organizations carry out their missions, including education, the environment, public safety and homeland security. In return for a full year of service, AmeriCorps members generally receive a $9,300 stipend plus $4,725 to be used for college or graduate school or to pay off student loans.

Following the 9-11 attacks, President Bush called for more volunteerism, and AmeriCorps is a significant model of how volunteerism can benefit homeland security. AmeriCorps launched its homeland security grant program in July 2002. Now, with additional funding in hand, the Corporation for National and Community Service announced last week the renewal of 13 AmeriCorps homeland security grants to support 362 AmeriCorps members serving in public safety, public health, and disaster relief and preparedness projects.

Among the examples of the volunteers' work in homeland security are these: Develop disaster response plans, teach disaster preparedness to students, assist firefighting and police operations, train people in first aid and CPR, and develop partnerships with other organizations involved in security such as neighborhood watch programs. After all, homeland security, to be truly effective, must be taken seriously at the most local level. With sufficient funding, AmeriCorps can play an important role in making that happen in our communities.

Copyright © 2004, The Morning Call




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Story Source: The Morning Call

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Presidents - Bush; Election2004 - Bush; Americorps

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