Tags: Interest | Volunteering | Booms

Interest in Volunteering Booms

Friday, 22 February 2002 12:00 AM

The Peace Corps, which aims to double its numbers to about 15,000 over the next five years, said visits to its Web site from Jan. 29 to Feb. 19 numbered 125,939, a 300 percent increase. Requests for information and applications via mail, phone and Internet have jumped 39 percent since the Jan. 29 State of the Union address, and the number of completed online applications for service abroad with the agency, founded by President John Kennedy, has hit 477.

A little less than half of the applicants are eventually accepted for service and posted to one of the more than 70 countries in which the Peace Corps operates.

"We've had a great response," said Peace Corps Communications Director Ellen Field. "And in the spring and summer, we have a very active recruitment program planned for college campuses, seniors' groups and other community organizations."

In his appeal for volunteerism, Bush noted it would enable the American people to contribute to the war against terrorism, aid in homeland security and tackle social problems.

The Peace Corps, he said, would not only return to Afghanistan in the near future after an absence of more than a decade, but it would seek new opportunities in Muslim countries to tackle poverty, ill health and illiteracy, and in the process convey American values by example.

"The greatness of the country is in the values we believe in: freedom and hope and opportunity. We're a nation founded on some just, valuable principles, and that the power of the idea cannot and will not be stopped at our borders."

In his address, Bush said Americans could become involved domestically through USA Freedom Corps, a newly created entity that would act as an umbrella for established volunteer services and new programs such as Citizen Corps, which would work with state and local agencies for emergency response and homeland security.

Linday Cosberg, spokeswoman for USA Freedom Corps, said public response has been "outstanding across the board." More than 5 million hits on its Web site have so far been recorded.

"When the president of the United States stands up and calls for people to volunteer their time, it's serious," and the people have taken it that way, she said.

Cosberg said one of the elements already in place but that will be expanded is the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Civilian Emergency Response Teams for disasters and others such as Neighborhood Watch.

A Medical Reserve Corps is to be created as part of Citizen Corps councils to recruit and train retired health-care professionals to augment health care authorities in time of emergency. Volunteers in Police Program, in which civilians are used to free officers from administrative tasks, will be expanded.

A publicity and information campaign on crime prevention and what to do in an emergency will also be launched.

Bush has proposed more than $230 million for the programs in the fiscal 2003 budget.

AmeriCorps, founded in 1984, and Senior Corps also will have a contributing role.

AmeriCorps and Senior Corps are under the auspices of Corporation for National Community Service. AmeriCorps volunteers are sent to relief and aid agencies to help with health, education and other tasks, including relief efforts during disasters.

In return, the volunteers are paid a stipend of up to $800 a month, and after a year of service can receive more than $4,000 for paying student loans or for financing further education.

"What we're finding is that people really want to serve in this, our national moment," Siobhan Dugan, spokeswoman for the CNCS, said. "Sept. 11 was really an impetus."

Dugan said interest in AmeriCorps was up 53 percent since the president's appeal. Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

All rights reserved.

© 2019 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Pre-2008
The Peace Corps, which aims to double its numbers to about 15,000 over the next five years, said visits to its Web site from Jan. 29 to Feb. 19 numbered 125,939, a 300 percent increase. Requests for information and applications via mail, phone and Internet have jumped 39...
Interest,Volunteering,Booms
616
2002-00-22
Friday, 22 February 2002 12:00 AM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved