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 Home > News & Policies > July 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 3, 2003

Fact Sheet: USA Freedom Corps Launches "How I Spent My Summer"

Today the USA Freedom Corps launched "How I Spent My Summer," an effort to mobilize Americans of all ages to volunteer time this summer to help meet the needs of their communities.

Why Volunteer in the Summer? Many Americans enjoy time away from work or school during the summer months, giving them the opportunity to visit places and do things that they have been hoping to do all year long. This summer, Americans can volunteer some of their free time to help others on their own, as a family activity, or with friends.

By dedicating time, Americans can meet needs like child hunger, literacy, senior companionship, environmental protection and conservation, housing, and public safety that persist year round, and in some cases become more serious in the summer months. For example:

  • During the summer, young people need help from volunteers to sustain basic reading skills. Research shows that children lose some of their reading skills during the summer. By tutoring or reading with youth, an individual can help prevent summer learning loss.

  • Crimes committed by and against young people occur at substantially higher rates when children are not in school. Unsupervised children and teens are far more likely to use alcohol and drugs, engage in criminal and risky behaviors, and drop out of school. Volunteers can help by coaching youth sports, helping out at a summer club or camp, or mentoring.

  • The more than 15 million children who receive free or reduced price school lunches during the school year need help getting nutritious meals during the summer. By collecting food for a food bank, or pantry, or working with a feeding program, individuals can help.

  • Summer brings more visitors to parks, beaches, and other natural resources, and with them a greater need for trash pickup, guides, trail maintenance, and upkeep in our National Parks, wildlife refuges, beaches, and state and local parks. Volunteers can help meet all those needs.

What is "How I Spent My Summer?" To help individuals interested in volunteering to get started using their summer free time to help their communities, the USA Freedom Corps is offering:

  • Information on the extra summer needs of youth-serving, parks and recreation, hunger relief, and other community organizations around the country.
  • Ideas for how youth, families, seniors, and business, religious, civic, and school groups can volunteer.
  • Tips for starting a project based on these or other great ideas.
  • Millions of volunteer opportunities with organizations across the country and around the world.

    How to Find Needs Where You Spend the Summer?
    The USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network can connect individuals with volunteer opportunities near their homes or even where they plan to vacation. The USA Freedom Corps continues to add more volunteer opportunities to our USA Freedom Corps Volunteer Network. Already the largest online clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities, the search engine, located at now includes millions of volunteer opportunities with more than 75,000 organizations across the country and in more than 100 countries around the world. People can find similar information by phone at 1-877-USA-CORPS.