The Islamic Post Blog

Obama Administration, Congress, Launch New Era of Service, Americans Respond by Khalida
May 21, 2009, 5:41 am
Filed under: Front Page News, May Volume I - 2009, National

President Barack Hussein Obama signed the landmark Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act at a Washington DC elementary school, joined by Vice President Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, Dr. Jill Biden, Members of Congress, former President Clinton, former First Lady Rosalyn Carter, and an audience of nonprofit leaders and national service volunteers.
“The broad bipartisan support for this legislation, and its remarkably swift journey through Congress, reflect the growing national consensus that service is a powerful response to the economic and social challenges facing America today,” said Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) Board Chair, Alan Solomont.
The Serve America Act reauthorizes and expands national service programs administered by the CNCS, a federal agency created in 1993. The Corporation engages four million Americans in result-driven service each year, including 75,000 AmeriCorps members, which the new bill plans to increase to 250,000 positions over the next eight years.
The legislation comes at a time of growing social need caused by the economic downturn and a corresponding “compassion surge” of Americans wanting to help those left vulnerable by its impact. The Corporation reported that AmeriCorps received 17,038 online applications this spring, nearly triple the 6,770 received last year this time. In the past five months, the agency received 48,520 online applications. Many volunteer centers and nonprofit groups are also reporting a recent increase in volunteers.


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