Over the past six months, the USA Freedom Corps has stimulated tremendous growth in volunteer service opportunities and federally-supported public service programs. In addition, the USA Freedom Corps has been working throughout the non-profit sector and with as many businesses as possible to create new resources for individual volunteers and to stimulate organizations to play a meaningful role in encouraging and enabling all Americans to answer the President's "Call to Service."
VolunteerMatch, one of the members of the Network, already reports that since the launch of the USA Freedom Corps, more people are going online to get involved in their communities. In just the last quarter, VolunteerMatch has measured a 72 percent increase in its matching activity as measured against the same period in 2001.
Federally-supported public service and volunteer opportunities at the Peace Corps, Corporation for National and Community Service and Citizen Corps have marked major increases in volunteer interest since the President's "Call to Service."
More than 66,000 potential Peace Corps Volunteers have requested applications since the President's State of the Union address - a 40 percent increase over the same period in 2001. During the same period the Peace Corps has opened or re-opened programs in East Timor, Peru, Bangladesh, Macedonia, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and sent out 13 assessment teams. In addition, 34 countries have requested Peace Corps volunteers since the State of the Union address.
The number of potential AmeriCorps members is growing, with a 90 percent increase in online applications compared with pre-State of the Union levels. President Bush has proposed increasing the number of AmeriCorps members and reforming the programs run by the Corporation for National and Community Service - and the Citizen Service Act that would carry out those reforms was approved with bipartisan support by the House Education and the Workforce Committee in June.
Potential volunteers with Senior Corps, another Corporation for National and Community Service program, have contributed to a 57 percent jump in web visitors since January.
More than 45,000 individuals signed up online to participate in the newly-created Citizen Corps. They join hundreds of thousands of individuals already volunteering at the local level with Citizen Corps-supported programs including CERT, Neighborhood Watch, and Volunteers in Police Service. More than 140 communities around the country have officially registered Citizen Corps Councils to coordinate local emergency prevention, preparation and response volunteer activity. All state and territorial governors have appointed a Citizen Corps point of contact, and all states and territories will be receiving grants from FEMA to support the development of local Citizen Corps activities.
On more than 35 trips around the country, President Bush has met with volunteers who are answering his "Call to Service" to highlight their volunteer service as an example of the dedication he is hoping to instill in all Americans through the USA Freedom Corps.
In June, President Bush met with business leaders who are working on a self-directed effort to get businesses involved in supporting and promoting volunteer service by their employees and customers. Financial services companies, grocers, hospitality companies and entertainment and media businesses are among those who have already made major commitments to support volunteer service in response to the President's "Call to Service." These companies have announced new policies, including paid leave time for employees to participate in volunteer service, sponsorship of volunteer projects involving employees, and the creation of resources to engage customers in volunteer service.