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Serve America

If Holy Week isn't proof enough that spring is just around the corner, today is Opening Day at Fenway Park! (Opening Day: Take Two due to yesterday's storm.) The Red Sox are hoping that Senator Ted Kennedy will be able to throw the first pitch this afternoon, which reminded me toput up a post about the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.This was released on March 31st:

Seventy-five years to the day after President Roosevelt signed the Civilian Conservation Corps into law, the House of Representatives today sent President Obama a sweeping expansion of national service that will engage millions of Americans in meeting national needs and solving local problems through volunteer service. ...The legislation would reauthorize and expand national service programs administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency created in 1993. The Corporation engages four million Americans in result-driven service each year, including 75,000 AmeriCorps members, 492,000 Senior Corps volunteers, 1.1 million Learn and Serve America students, and 2.2 million additional community volunteers mobilized and managed through the agencys programs.

Highlights of the act can be found in the link above, but it willfocus on hugely increasing the number of volunteer and service opportunities, strengthening the nonprofit sector and developing stronger methods of accountability. Opening Day, service opportunities, Easter - so many things to be excited about!

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I hope you're right.Here in our community of 18,000. c. 500 seniors volunteer at c. 80 different activities.Recently the oversight person has been told to reduce the number of volunteer stations.Also to focus on certain prioirties, like volunteering with prisoners( a good thing,Peter), but we have very few here.One of our senior centers though is staffed by all volunteers, except for a part time administrative person who keeps stats.I wonder if that counts.I see the legislation doing wonderful things for our young folk in expanded opportunities and rewards.I hope that all us seniors will continue to receive support for the important satisfaction we get in giving as well as helping our comunities.

Years ago at Cornell University, Senator Kennedy was discussing the proposed volunteer army. He asked the assembled students what they thought of it. Loud and prolonged cheers.He then asked how many would join. Loud and prolonged silence.