August 31, 2004: Headlines: USA Freedom Corps: Marion Chronicle Tribune: Erik Hotmire is communications director for the USA Freedom Corps

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Erik Hotmire is communications director for the USA Freedom Corps

Erik Hotmire is  communications director for the USA Freedom Corps

Erik Hotmire is communications director for the USA Freedom Corps

Taylor grad on staff at White House

For the Chronicle-Tribune

Regardless of the amount of time, whether it's for a few hours a week or even a month, everyone can do something.

That message is at the heart of Erik Hotmire's work. A 1995 Taylor University graduate, Hotmire is special assistant to President George W. Bush and communications director for the USA Freedom Corps, a White House-based council that matches Americans' interests and talents with service opportunities.

"My job is to encourage Americans to volunteer," Hotmire said.

His responsibilities include promoting the president's call to service with public service announcements, ad campaigns and interviews; traveling throughout the United States and selected international stops; and group Oval Office briefings with the president.

"God has really blessed me to be able to serve in government over the past few years (and) at the age of 32 to be sworn in at the White House as a commissioned officer of the president," Hotmire said. "It has been an honor to serve the president, to get to know him a little bit."

During his Taylor years, Hotmire worked at the campus radio station while studying communications and political science. After he graduated, he continued in radio before joining the communications staff of former Indiana Sen. Dan Coats in 1995. He later worked for Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback before joining the USA Freedom Corps last year. Today he lives in Annandale, Va., with his wife, Erica, and daughter, Jaida.

The USA Freedom Corps was born in the days after Sept. 11, 2001, and works to expand and strengthen federal service programs like the Peace Corps, Citizen Corps, AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. Chaired by Bush, the USA Freedom Corps staff, including Hotmire, works from offices in the White House.

Hotmire said his one of his organization's accomplishments was a first for the federal government -- the systematic tracking of the number of Americans involved in some sort of community service. Last December's survey concluded 63.8 million Americans gave of themselves at some level during the 2003 calendar year, a number that rose nearly four million from 2002 levels.

"A large number of Americans list their faith as a reason for service," Hotmire said. "That sort of service is counted in what we encourage Americans to do. Boy Scouts, prison ministries, food banks, all that is volunteering, all that is something that the president and USA Freedom Corps encourages people to do.

"I am so encouraged by what I see across the country and by meeting so many people who are dedicated to helping people in their time of need. I think that being a Taylor student and learning about the importance of servant leadership as a student leaves an indelible mark. We are all called to make a difference in our world. That is something I took away from my time at Taylor."

Jim Garringer is the director of News Services for Taylor University.

When this story was prepared, here was the front page of PCOL magazine:

This Month's Issue: August 2004 This Month's Issue: August 2004
Teresa Heinz Kerry celebrates the Peace Corps Volunteer as one of the best faces America has ever projected in a speech to the Democratic Convention. The National Review disagreed and said that Heinz's celebration of the PCV was "truly offensive." What's your opinion and who can come up with the funniest caption for our Current Events Funny?

Exclusive: Director Vasquez speaks out in an op-ed published exclusively on the web by Peace Corps Online saying the Dayton Daily News' portrayal of Peace Corps "doesn't jibe with facts."

In other news, the NPCA makes the case for improving governance and explains the challenges facing the organization, RPCV Bob Shaconis says Peace Corps has been a "sacred cow", RPCV Shaun McNally picks up support for his Aug 10 primary and has a plan to win in Connecticut, and the movie "Open Water" based on the negligent deaths of two RPCVs in Australia opens August 6. Op-ed's by RPCVs: Cops of the World is not a good goal and Peace Corps must emphasize community development.

Read the stories and leave your comments.

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Story Source: Marion Chronicle Tribune

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; USA Freedom Corps



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