Marking an historic National Volunteer Week, President Obama and national service advocates met at the SEED School, a charter school in Washington, D.C. where service is a core part of the curriculum, on Tuesday April 21 for the signing of The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act.
Congressional leaders, and others dedicated to the passage of the bill, including VolunteerMatch president, Greg Baldwin, joined President Obama as he discussed the importance of service, and recognized the leaders who have made significant contributions to the field, most notably, Senator Kennedy.
Three critical initiatives of the bill include:
- Increase opportunities to serve, including increasing AmeriCorps opportunities from 75,000 to 250,000 within a decade.
- Create a Social Innovation Fund, which will invest in ideas that work, leverage private-sector dollars to encourage innovation, and scale successful programs to the entire nation.
- Strengthen the Volunteers for Prosperity program, which coordinates short-term international service opportunities for skilled professionals to serve in developing nations.
“We need your service right now, at this moment in history,” President Obama concluded. “I’m not going to tell you what your role should be; that’s for you to discover. But I’m asking you to stand up and play your part.”
Check out Greg Baldwin’s photos from the day.