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Building a More Compassionate America
A Key Initiative in the President's 2003 State of the Union Message

Helping Children at Risk: In his 2002 State of the Union address, President Bush called on all Americans to serve their neighbors and their Nation and created the USA Freedom Corps. In the last year the USA Freedom Corps has become a resource for volunteers and volunteer-serving organizations alike -- working with federally-supported programs, business, educators and the volunteer sector to enlist millions of Americans in meaningful opportunities to serve their neighbors. This year, he asked Americans to share their compassion with those at risk of losing hope by becoming mentors. The President proposed a three-year, $450 million initiative to recruit and train mentors for more than one million disadvantaged youth, and children with one or more parents in prison, who are making the transition from childhood through adolescence. Through this initiative, key federal agencies will work with nonprofit, community, and faith-based organizations that train volunteer mentors and pair them with children in need.

Conquering Addiction: Last year, approximately 100,000 men and women seeking drug treatment could not get help. To address this problem, the President called for a $600 million increase in federal treatment funding over the next three years to help addicted Americans find needed treatment from the most effective programs, including faith-based institutions. This new investment will make treatment available to help 300,000 more Americans combat their addiction over the next three years, by providing vouchers to individuals identified in their communities as needing treatment. By doing this, the President’s plan ensures the availability of a comprehensive continuum of effective treatment and support service options for those who need help.