Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Rep. Perriello and National Service Reserve Corps

Today, Rep. Perriello helped pass the Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act. Further explanation from his press release:
The GIVE Act would more than triple the number of volunteers, from the current 75,000 to 250,000, and increase the education reward they receive to $5,350 for next year. The education award can be used to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans. Some national service members may also receive a modest living allowance during their term of service.
Money quote:
“In our nation’s history, every crisis comes with a call to service. This bipartisan bill will expand opportunities for all Americans to serve their communities and country. As someone who grew up in the community service generation, I believe full-time national service is a great option for graduating high school students, young people looking to jumpstart their careers, and even displaced workers and seniors,” said Perriello.

He added: “I’m proud of my proposal to create a reserve corps, which will tap into the skills and talent of our service alumni in case of a national emergency.”
Importantly, Rep. Perriello added an amendment to the bill to create a National Service Reserves Corps, which passed with stunning bipartisanship, 339-93. Here is video of Perriello explaining his amendment. Notably, he was a volunteer buildinging a green house during the filming of the video.

Volunteerism is important to Perriello. He has spent his life at service to his community and nation, from Boy Scouts to working overseas to help end war and genocide. During his campaign, Tom, staff, and volunteers tithed 10% of their time to help strengthen local communities, from domestic violence shelters to soup kitchens; from reading to underprivileged youth to adult day care centers. This bill and his amendment are a natural extension of his behavioral ethic.

Committing to building new generations of volunteers that give back go their communities, both locally or nationally, positively strengthens civic engagement and responsibility, the sense that we are all in this together. And, as Tom said in the top video, volunteers now become volunteers later.

Thank you, Tom!

1 comment:

A Faithful Reader said...

It was the call to service in the 1960s by President Kennedy that launched a generation of Peace Corps and community activist volunteers. Those volunteers are among our greatest progressive leaders today, because they broke the bonds of selfishness and gave openly to those who truly needed help.

Tom Perriello is leading a new generation of Americans to think outside of self and give. Our country will be better for this and should a time come when we are all called to assist in some national crisis, these volunteers will be first in line.

We in Virginia's 5th Congressional have every right to be proud of who we sent to Washington, and prouder of his successes there. This is a bill whose time has come, lead by a Representative whose time is now and in the future.