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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
President Celebrates USA Freedom Corps Six-Month Anniversary with New
Public Service Ads and Breakthrough Web Site
Today's Presidential Action
? President George W. Bush marked the six-month anniversary of his USA Freedom Corps by launching a public service advertising campaign and redesigned and upgraded web site that will help Americans answer his ?Call to Service.?
? The public service advertising campaign features the President and several celebrities, including New York Yankee Mariano Rivera, actress Angie Harmon, and former Senators Robert Dole and John Glenn. The campaign titled ?Everyone Can Do Something,? includes television and radio ads in English and Spanish, as well as print ads and web banners.
? The redesigned web site, usafreedomcorps.gov, includes the USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network ? the most comprehensive clearinghouse ever offered to help individuals find service opportunities in their hometowns, across the country, or around the world.
President Bush created the USA Freedom Corps to engage Americans in volunteer service and to create a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America's communities. At the same time, he called on all Americans to dedicate at least two years of their lives ? the equivalent of 4,000 hours ? in service to their communities, our country, or the world.
? The challenge the President issued is significant ? research shows that community involvement and volunteer service in the United States have been steadily declining over the past three decades.
? Research also shows that two of the main reasons individuals give for not volunteering are that they were never asked or didn't know where to start. The President has asked every American to get involved, and the USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network offers Americans millions of places to start.
A Busy Six Months
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.
Everyone Can Do Something
? The advertising campaign includes television, print, radio, and web products. New York Yankee Mariano Rivera appears in English and Spanish language versions of a radio and television ad, actress Angie Harmon appears in a second television and radio ad, and former Senators Robert Dole and John Glenn appear together in a third radio and television ad. President Bush appears in each of the ads, saying ?When you help your neighbors, you help your Nation. Everyone can do something.?
? The public service advertisements are the result of a production relationship with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Ad Council. Support from the Department of Justice and a gift from the Walt Disney Company to the Corporation for National and Community Service made the campaign possible.
The USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network
The web site is the concrete representation of the USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network ? a massive web-based public-private enterprise that enables volunteers to search according to their interests and their geographic location, from the largest clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities ever assembled.
? At launch, the web site will offer opportunities to work with more than 50,000 organizations around the country and the world, with more organizations soon expected to come on board. The number of volunteers each organization needs varies ? the Peace Corps can use 3,500 individuals for a particular type of opportunity each year, but a local church may need only five volunteers to help at its food pantry ? and the USA Freedom Corps estimates that the organizations now online are looking for the assistance of millions of Americans to help meet community needs in the United States and abroad.
? The search function of the web site draws upon well established non-profit organizations, including America's Promise, the National Mentoring Partnership, Points of Light Foundation, SERVEnet, the United Way, and VolunteerMatch, as well as the federal government agencies that are a part of the USA Freedom Corps Coordinating Council ? the Corporation for National and Community Service, Peace Corps, and Citizen Corps. The Department of the Interior is also a founding partner in the USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network, and its one-stop registration center for government agencies that need volunteers can also be accessed through the new search function.
? The redesigned web site and USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network are a landmark e-government initiative ? bringing publicly and privately supported volunteer opportunities together and putting them just one click away from a potential volunteer.
? The redesign of the web site and the creation of the new search function was made possible through a gift to the Corporation for National and Community Service from Network for Good, a non-profit organization working to advance e-philanthropy and non-profit adoption of the Internet that was founded by a partnership of non-profit organizations and Internet companies, including AOL Time Warner Foundation and AOL, Inc., the Cisco Foundation and Cisco Systems, Inc. and Yahoo! The Corporation for National and Community Service will maintain the web site through a gift of support from the UPS Foundation.
Find Out More
Explore the USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network now at usafreedomcorps.gov and use the newly designed web site as a resource for helping your neighbor ? and your Nation.
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