Today, President And Mrs. Bush Celebrated The Fifth Anniversary Of USA Freedom Corps. In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced the creation of USA Freedom Corps (USAFC) to build on the acts of service and generosity that followed the September 11 attacks. USAFC promotes and expands volunteer service in America by partnering with national service programs, working to strengthen the non-profit sector, recognizing volunteers, and helping to connect individuals with volunteer opportunities.
President And Mrs. Bush Participated In A Briefing On Volunteerism. President and Mrs. Bush met with representatives from the volunteer community and professors who study volunteerism to discuss ways to further support American volunteerism.
President Bush Will Visit The YMCA Anthony Bowen And Participate In A "Mini-Majig" Event Designed To Spark Interest In Science And Technology Among Youth. In 1853, the YMCA Anthony Bowen was founded as the first African-American YMCA in the United States. Today, the President will meet there with students and volunteers at a smaller version of YMCA's annual "Thingamajig," an event where mentors from technological professions work with youth to develop skills and offer exposure to career paths in science and technology.
Building A Culture Of Service, Citizenship, And Responsibility
Under President Bush's Leadership, The Corporation For National And Community Service Will Meet The President's 2002 State Of The Union Goal Of Supporting 75,000 AmeriCorps Members This Year. The President has also requested funding to support 75,000 members in 2008. In addition, under the President's leadership:
Senior Corps has supported more than 500,000 older volunteers annually.
Learn and Serve America has supported more than 1 million students in service each year.
The Peace Corps has reached a 30-year high in the number of volunteers in the field.
Nearly 2,000 communities in all 56 States and Territories have established Citizen Corps Councils to help inform and train citizens in emergency preparedness.
The Medical Reserve Corps supports nearly 600 units in 50 states.
Volunteers for Prosperity has helped mobilize 21,000 volunteers through 220 partner organizations.
In 2006, More Than 61 Million Americans Volunteered A Near 30-Year High. This number was slightly lower than in 2005, and today the President and Mrs. Bush discussed ways to further support volunteerism in America. Between the President's 2002 call to service and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina three years later, the number of Americans volunteering has risen from 59.5 million in 2002 to 65.4 million in 2005, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The USAFC Website Is Connecting Americans To Volunteer Opportunities. USAFC offers a website, www.volunteer.gov, and a toll-free number, 1-877-USA-CORPS, for Americans to find existing volunteer service opportunities in their area. The online clearinghouse includes more than 3 million volunteer opportunities from organizations across the country.
In 2003, President Bush Created The President's Council On Service And Civic Participation To Recognize The Important Contributions Americans Are Making Through Service And Civic Engagement. The Council brings together 25 leaders from the worlds of business, entertainment, sports, education, government, non-profits, and the media. Since 2003, the Council has recognized more than 517,000 Americans with the President's Volunteer Service Award.
USAFC Greeters Examples Of American Service
In 2006, President Bush Recognized His 550th Volunteer For Dedication To Volunteer Service. In conjunction with travel throughout the United States, the President has met more than 550 volunteers, called USA Freedom Corps Greeters, since March 2002. Greeters are nominated for this honor by local volunteer organizations, and each greeter receives the President's Volunteer Service Award, created by the President to recognize outstanding volunteers. Recent greeters include:
Katya Lyzhina, 16, Little Rock, Arkansas: Katya greeted President Bush in February 2005. In 2004, she started Hope's Miracle, an organization that raises funds to assist families with adoption costs. Reminded of the indignity she felt carrying everything she owned in a potato sack before her adoption from a Russian orphanage, Katya has also started a program called Baggage Claim, through which she has collected suitcases for every child in foster care in Little Rock. She also collected more than two tons of pasta to help feed the homeless and collected 4,000 books to help build libraries for after-school programs in Little Rock.
Zach Bonner, 9, Tampa, Florida: Zach greeted President Bush in September 2006. When he heard about the devastation in Florida caused by Hurricane Charley, Zach began collecting supplies in his little red wagon for families in need an effort that ultimately resulted in the donation of more than 25 truckloads of supplies. Following Hurricane Katrina, he organized a similar drive, and in 2005, Zach started the Little Red Wagon Foundation, Inc., to provide opportunities for kids to help other kids in need. Teaming up with Stand Up For Kids, a non-profit organization that helps homeless youth, Zach assembled more than 400 backpacks filled with donated snacks, personal hygiene items, underwear, first-aid kits, and toys.
Kristen Holloway, 31, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Kristen greeted President Bush in March 2006. She is the founder and president of Operation Troop Appreciation (OTA), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting military troops. Since its inception, OTA has reached more than 21,000 troops with care packages tailored to meet specific "wish list" requests. Through fundraising and in-kind donations, OTA volunteers have collected and sent items including phone cards, sports equipment, musical instruments, cosmetics, and DVDs. In addition, each care package also includes a letter of thanks to each solider in the unit.
Eloise Monsarrat, 84, Honolulu, Hawaii: Eloise greeted President Bush in November 2006. She is a volunteer with the Human Animal Bond Program, a pet therapy program that allows volunteers to bring specially chosen pets to Tripler Army Medical Center's wards, clinics, and waiting areas for informal visits. During the past 16 years, Eloise has logged more than 10,000 hours as a pet handler with this program.
Matthew Cook, 17, Rancho Palos Verdes, California: Matthew greeted President Bush in October 2006. Matthew is the founder of the Mile-Long Yellow Ribbon Project, through which he traveled to 25 states and collected nearly 10,000 youth signatures on a yellow ribbon which, upon completion, stretched one mile long. He shipped the ribbon to troops serving in Iraq to remind them of the gratitude and respect of the Nation's youth. Matthew is also the founder of the Matthew Cook and Friends Dolphin Research Fund, which supports research at Hubbs-SeaWorld Research Institute in San Diego. He produced and directed a film to encourage marine conservation awareness among elementary and middle school students.
Eloise Hadaway, 84, Warner Robins, Georgia: Eloise greeted President Bush in October 2006. She is a volunteer with Volunteer Macon and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. Every morning, she drives to a local supermarket to pick up donated food and deliver it to Macon Outreach, helping feed more than 150 people each week. She is also a Golden Guide, helping visitors navigate the Medical Center of Central Georgia, and a volunteer at The Villas at College Hill, an assisted-living facility where her 104-year-old mother resides.
David Jewison, 27, Minneapolis, Minnesota: David greeted President Bush in August 2006. He is a volunteer with the University of Minnesota Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). Following Hurricane Katrina, David spent nearly three weeks assisting physicians in the relief efforts in Lafayette, Louisiana, and the surrounding communities. The volunteers treated patients with needs ranging from hypertension and prenatal care to minor surgery. He also conducted clinics to update volunteers on proper techniques for administering vaccinations.
Sally Adams, 49, Albuquerque, New Mexico: Sally greeted President Bush in August 2005. For more than 10 years, she has been a volunteer with Junior Achievement of New Mexico, which brings mentors and business volunteers into classrooms to educate young people about business and economics. She has also taught entrepreneurship and free enterprise classes for over three years to fifth-grade students at Los Ranchos Elementary School. In addition, she assists with Junior Achievement's marketing, community outreach, and fundraising programs.
Dave Kruger, 62, Chicago, Illinois: Dave greeted President Bush in July 2006. He has been a volunteer with the United Service Organizations of Illinois for two years and volunteers every weekend at the Home Away From Home Centers located at Naval Station Great Lakes and Chicago O'Hare International Airport. He provides information, assistance, and resources to troops visiting the USO facilities. He also coordinates the purchase and delivery of supplies used to prepare meals for military personnel visiting the Home Away From Home Centers. During the past two years, Dave has volunteered more than 1,300 hours and assisted more than 4,500 service personnel.