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 Home > News & Policies > April 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 29, 2008

Fact Sheet: 2008 National Volunteer Week
President Bush Celebrates The Important Work Of Volunteers Across The Country

     Fact sheet President Bush Discusses National Volunteer Week

Today, President Bush celebrated National Volunteer Week and met with Peace Corps trainees preparing to leave for Guatemala.  During National Volunteer Week, we recognize the millions of American volunteers who offer their time and talents to help the less fortunate and to create positive and lasting change in communities at home and around the globe.  National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering.  Since then, every U.S. President has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week.  This year's National Volunteer Week theme is "Volunteer to Change the World."

  • Through countless acts of kindness, volunteers across the United States are changing this Nation and the world for the better.  Americans are seizing opportunities to serve their country and communities:
    • Peace Corps has mobilized more than 190,000 volunteers since its creation.
    • AmeriCorps has deployed more than 540,000 members since 1994.  Members serve in various capacities, such as mentoring and tutoring youth, responding to disasters, building homes, preserving the environment, and mobilizing other volunteers.
    • Learn and Serve America engages more than one million students a year in service-learning programs in schools.
    • Volunteers for Prosperity has engaged more than 74,000 Americans in service overseas.
    • Take Pride in America was re-launched to increase volunteer service on America's public lands.

President Bush And His Administration Remain Committed To Building A Culture Of Service, Citizenship, And Responsibility 

In his 2002 State of the Union Address, President Bush issued a national call to service and created the USA Freedom Corps to help Americans serve a cause greater than themselves. 

  • The USA Freedom Corps works to connect Americans with opportunities to serve their country, their community, and their neighbors.  Last year, more than 60 million volunteers from across the United States provided critical social services in communities at home and abroad. 

  • Through its website,, and a toll-free number, 1-877-USA-CORPS, the USA Freedom Corps connects Americans with opportunities to serve.

In his 2005 State of the Union Address, President Bush announced the Helping America's Youth Initiative.  The President asked Mrs. Bush to lead this nationwide effort to raise awareness about the challenges facing our youth, particularly at-risk boys, and to motivate caring adults to connect with youth in three key areas: family, school, and community.  As the leader of this Initiative, Mrs. Bush has hosted one national conference and six regional conferences and participated in 132 other Helping America's Youth activities to promote the efforts of youth-serving organizations and the importance of engaging youth in volunteer service. 

  • In February, President Bush signed an Executive Orderestablishing the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs, a coalition of Federal officials who will help support communities and organizations working to help our Nation's youth. 

The Administration also created the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation.  This group of community leaders, entertainers, business executives, professional athletes, and media personalities promotes the importance of volunteering and service.  It also recognizes individuals and groups with the President's Volunteer Service Award.  The President regularly honors local volunteers with this award during his domestic travel, and since 2002, he has met with more than 600 volunteers.  Today, the President presented this award to two individuals: 

  • Deloitte CEO Barry Salzberg, who has led the company to commit to providing pro-bono services worth up to $50 million for the nonprofit sector over the next three years.  Barry has been a board member for several charitable organizations, including College Summit, the YMCA of Greater New York, and the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy. 
  • Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini, who has led the company to commit one million hours of volunteer service by its employees for its 40th anniversary. 
  • The Council also promotes ways that America's business community can deploy skills-based volunteers in a pro bono capacity to support non-profit organizations.  In doing so, businesses improve their own employee recruitment, retention, and morale and increase their competitiveness in the global marketplace. 

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