2008.12.06: December 6, 2008: Headlines: Figures: Staff: COS - Ethiopia: Country Directors - Ethiopia: Great Falls Tribune: Harris Wofford writes: Americans should heed the call to serve

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Ethiopia: Special Report: Ethiopia Country Director and Senator Harris Wofford: February 9, 2005: Index: PCOL Exclusive: Staffer Harris Wofford : 2008.12.06: December 6, 2008: Headlines: Figures: Staff: COS - Ethiopia: Country Directors - Ethiopia: Great Falls Tribune: Harris Wofford writes: Americans should heed the call to serve

By Admin1 (admin) (151.196.12.195) on Saturday, December 13, 2008 - 11:50 am: Edit Post

Harris Wofford writes: Americans should heed the call to serve

Harris Wofford writes: Americans should heed the call to serve

"As the government seeks to deal with the economic crisis and relieve the distress felt by millions of families, we should not overlook the great American tradition of service. More than 60 million citizens every year are providing service to their neighbors and their communities. Lawmakers who will soon consider a financial stimulus package should also consider a "service stimulus." Repairing the roads and bridges of our physical infrastructure is urgently needed, but we also need to expand our civic infrastructure dramatically. President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to make service a central cause of his presidency. In his call to service outlining plans for a large expansion of citizen service, he said he would reach out to Republicans, Democrats and independents alike, young and old, and ask all of us for our service and active citizenship. "We need your service, right now," he said." Former Senator Harris Wofford of Pennsylvania, was the Country Director of Ethiopia.

Harris Wofford writes: Americans should heed the call to serve

Americans should heed the call to serve

By STEVE GOLDSMITH And HARRIS WOFFORD

December 5, 2008

The start of the holiday season brings anguish for many families across the country. More Americans are struggling to make ends meet. They will be in need of support and services just at the time when the nonprofits who can help meet those needs are facing precipitous drops in giving.
Advertisement

Food banks' supplies are set to reach new lows. Yet this year we will see millions of citizens reach out in record numbers to assist those in need offering food, special care and compassion.

As the government seeks to deal with the economic crisis and relieve the distress felt by millions of families, we should not overlook the great American tradition of service. More than 60 million citizens every year are providing service to their neighbors and their communities.

Lawmakers who will soon consider a financial stimulus package should also consider a "service stimulus."

Repairing the roads and bridges of our physical infrastructure is urgently needed, but we also need to expand our civic infrastructure dramatically.

President-elect Barack Obama has vowed to make service a central cause of his presidency. In his call to service outlining plans for a large expansion of citizen service, he said he would reach out to Republicans, Democrats and independents alike, young and old, and ask all of us for our service and active citizenship. "We need your service, right now," he said.

Here are a few examples of what "We the People" can do right now and in the year ahead:

# We can help children in danger of dropping out of school by volunteering as tutors and mentors.

# Skilled professionals (lawyers, accountants, et al.) can go door to door in distressed communities to assist families facing mortgage foreclosure.

# Volunteers can support displaced families and children by helping them transition from homeless shelters to more permanent housing.

# Since financial stress and unemployment can lead to substance abuse, psychological despair and homelessness, community assistance centers and shelters will need many new volunteers and basic supplies.

As two who support national and community service from different sides of the political aisle, we look to President Obama and Congress to shore up the civic infrastructure in order to help meet some of the most pressing human needs, build common cause, and strengthen the union's civic purpose.

In each area of need, the limiting factor is not American goodwill but the ways and means of recruiting, training and deploying people who want to play a part in meeting critical community needs.

More than a million new mentors and tutors are needed to help young people succeed in school, gain admission to college, and find work.

Our new president demonstrated that millions of volunteers can be actively engaged in a political campaign.

Now is the time to show that a call to service from the president, using powerful new Internet means of communication, can engage millions Americans as active-duty citizens working together to meet the urgent needs of our communities.

This citizen service stimulus finds much common ground in the campaign pledges of Obama and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and most recently in the Serve America Act, introduced by Sens. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., and Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, that greatly increases the numbers of AmeriCorps members.

However any such new government resources should be viewed not as a jobs program but as assets and agents necessary to manage and train millions of volunteers. These new forces can be rapidly assigned to existing nonprofits to recruit and organize unpaid, shorter-term volunteers.

Last year 75,000 AmeriCorps members recruited more than 1.7 million local volunteers. One of the best examples of this is AmeriCorps' relationship with Habitat for Humanity, where members don't just build homes, but most of all recruit, train and manage the community volunteers on whom Habitat relies. AmeriCorps members serving with Habitat for Humanity helped mobilize 200,000 community volunteers to build 1,700 homes.

Of course federal efforts to build civic infrastructure need not only come from new federal funding. Our new president can take other significant steps, including requiring other federal grant programs to incorporate ways that volunteers could assist in accomplishing the grant's purpose.

In the can-docivic spirit that is the true strength of America, let's not wait for the Congress and the new president to strengthen our civic infrastructure.

In this holiday season, let's begin a new era by offering service on a scale not seen since World War II. And on Jan. 19, the day before the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States, let's honor Martin Luther King's day as Congress in 1994 directed us to do not as a day off, but as a day-on for citizen service.

Goldsmith is the chairman of the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps and other national service programs. From 1992 to 1999 he served as the Republican mayor of Indianapolis. Harris Wofford, D-Pa., was U.S. senator from 1991 to 1995; he was CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service from 1995 to 2001.




Links to Related Topics (Tags):

Headlines: December, 2008; Staff Member Harris Wofford; Figures; Staff; Peace Corps Ethiopia; Directory of Ethiopia RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Ethiopia RPCVs; Country Directors - Ethiopia





When this story was posted in December 2008, this was on the front page of PCOL:




Peace Corps Online The Independent News Forum serving Returned Peace Corps Volunteers RSS Feed

 Site Index Search PCOL with Google Contact PCOL Recent Posts Bulletin Board Open Discussion RPCV Directory Register


Director Ron Tschetter:  The PCOL Interview Date: December 9 2008 No: 1296 Director Ron Tschetter: The PCOL Interview
Peace Corps Director Ron Tschetter sat down for an in-depth interview to discuss the evacuation from Bolivia, political appointees at Peace Corps headquarters, the five year rule, the Peace Corps Foundation, the internet and the Peace Corps, how the transition is going, and what the prospects are for doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011. Read the interview and you are sure to learn something new about the Peace Corps. PCOL previously did an interview with Director Gaddi Vasquez.

PCOL's Candidate for Peace Corps Director Date: December 2 2008 No: 1288 PCOL's Candidate for Peace Corps Director
Honduras RPCV Jon Carson, 33, presided over thousands of workers as national field director for the Obama campaign and said the biggest challenge -- and surprise -- was the volume of volunteer help, including more than 15,000 "super volunteers," who were a big part of what made Obama's campaign so successful. PCOL endorses Jon Carson as the man who can revitalize the Peace Corps, bring it into the internet age, and meet Obama's goal of doubling the size of the Peace Corps by 2011.

November 5, 2008: This Month's Top Stories  Date: November 5 2008 No: 1282 November 5, 2008: This Month's Top Stories
World Welcomes Obama Win 5 Nov
Shays Loses Congressional Seat in Connecticut 5 Nov
Steve Driehaus wins Congressional Seat in Ohio 5 Nov
Bill Josephson to speak at UMBC on Nov 13 30 Oct
Peace Corps to Resume Work in Liberia 23 Oct
Tschetter proposes PC Foundation to Further Third Goal 23 Oct
George Packer writes: Roof is falling in on Conservatism 23 Oct
O'Hanlon writes: How to finish the job in Iraq 22 Oct
Mike Paquette writes: Bolivia situation is very troubling 20 Oct
McPherson says bureaucracy delays development initiatives 20 Oct
Philip Razem writes: Reveling in the spirit of politics 19 Oct
Amy Zulman writes: Improving America's Reputation 15 Oct
RPCVs film "Once in Afghanistan" 14 Oct
Some PCVS angry at Peace Corps Bolivia pullout 11 Oct
Hill proposes compromise in Korea talks 11 Oct
Mark Schneider proposes mandatory public service 10 Oct
Ambassador Stephens Visits School after 33 Years Ago 9 Oct
RPCVs promote organic farming with "magic bus" 7 Oct
Obama talks about Doubling the Peace Corps 7 Oct
Conference on Moritz Thomsen held in Quito 5 Oct

New: More Stories from September 2008 and October

Some PCVs return to Bolivia on their own Date: October 23 2008 No: 1279 Some PCVs return to Bolivia on their own
Peace Corps has withdrawn all volunteers from Bolivia because of "growing instability" and the expulsion of US Ambassador Philip Goldberg after Bolivian President Evo Morales accused the American government of inciting violence in the country. This is not the first controversy surrounding Goldberg's tenure as US ambassador to Bolivia. Latest: Some volunteers have returned to Bolivia on their own to complete their projects.

PCVs Evacuated from Georgia Date: August 19 2008 No: 1254 PCVs Evacuated from Georgia
The Peace Corps has announced that all Volunteers and trainees serving in the Republic of Georgia are safe and they have been temporarily relocated to neighboring Armenia. Read the analysis by one RPCV on how Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili believed that he could launch a lightning assault on South Ossetia and reclaim the republic without substantial grief from Moscow and that Saakashvili's statements once the war began demonstrated that he expected real Western help in confronting Russia.



Read the stories and leave your comments.








Some postings on Peace Corps Online are provided to the individual members of this group without permission of the copyright owner for the non-profit purposes of criticism, comment, education, scholarship, and research under the "Fair Use" provisions of U.S. Government copyright laws and they may not be distributed further without permission of the copyright owner. Peace Corps Online does not vouch for the accuracy of the content of the postings, which is the sole responsibility of the copyright holder.

Story Source: Great Falls Tribune

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; Figures; Staff; COS - Ethiopia; Country Directors - Ethiopia

PCOL42517
37


Add a Message


This is a public posting area. Enter your username and password if you have an account. Otherwise, enter your full name as your username and leave the password blank. Your e-mail address is optional.
Username:  
Password:
E-mail: