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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 4, 2002
USA Freedom Corps Makes Great Strides in First Month
Launched during the President's State of the Union address, the USA Freedom Corps is working to encourage all Americans to respond to President George Bush's call to service and to offer them expanded service opportunities through community-based organizations like the Citizen Corps; the AmeriCorps; Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America programs at the Corporation for National and Community Service; and the Peace Corps.
USA Freedom Corps
Since President Bush issued his call for all Americans to dedicate at least two years - the equivalent of 4,000 hours - of service to their communities, our country and the world, men and women of all ages and from all over the country have responded by contacting the USA Freedom Corps.
The new USA Freedom Corps web site www.usafreedomcorps.gov has been visited more than 6 million times, as potential volunteers look for information on the new initiative and the existing and new service programs being coordinated by the USA Freedom Corps office at the White House.
Most of the new service opportunities fall within the new Citizen Corps and share the common goal of helping communities prepare for and prevent crises and strengthen our homeland security.
Composed of existing and new programs under the direction of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Justice, Citizen Corps offers potential volunteers the opportunity to provide medical, emergency response and emergency planning services to their communities.
The Citizen Corps web site has been visited more than 1.2 million times since the State of the Union, and more than 18,719 volunteers have signed up to participate in Citizen Corps programs.
Strengthening the Peace Corps
When he launched the USA Freedom Corps initiative President Bush announced that through that initiative he wants strengthen the Peace Corps and double the number volunteers and expand the number of countries served by Peace Corps volunteers over the next five years.
More than 181,123 people have visited the Peace Corps web site since January 29?a more than 86 percent increase in web activity over last February.
Since January 29, more than 14,614 people have ordered applications - a 56 percent increase in applicant interest over last February.
Milestones for the Peace Corps
March 1 was the 41st anniversary of the founding of the Peace Corps and Peace Corps Day. This year, to mark Peace Corps Day, more than 5,000 Peace Corps volunteers around the country are visiting with K-12 students to talk about the Peace Corps and their volunteer experiences as part of an ongoing education outreach effort.
Important progress is being made at the Peace Corps in meeting President Bush's goals. An assessment team from the Peace Corps is leaving for Afghanistan and Pakistan under appropriate safety conditions to evaluate how Peace Corps volunteers can assist those countries.
The Peace Corps assessment team will return within two weeks with recommendations regarding opportunities for Crisis Corps volunteers to help in the rebuilding of Afghanistan and the possibility of sending Peace Corps volunteers to Pakistan for the first time since 1991.
Reforming and Enhancing CNCS Programs
President Bush has made reforming and enhancing the AmeriCorps, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America programs part of the USA Freedom Corps initiative, and interest in these domestic service programs at the Corporation for National and Community Service is also up and continues to be strong.
Since January 29 applications to the AmeriCorps program are up almost 50 percent, and traffic on the AmeriCorps web site is up 95 percent, with more than 4 million hits.
Interest in Senior Corps programs is also up. Visits to the Senior Corps web site have increased by 527 percent since January 29, and calls to the toll free number for the programs are up by 179 percent.
For information about any of the USA Freedom Corps programs and services, prospective volunteers can visit the USA Freedom Corps web site at www.usafreedomcorps.gov or call the USA Freedom Corps toll free number at 1-877-USA-Corps.