January 27, 2009

NYT editorial calls for expanding service opportunities

The New York Times editorial on Sunday calls for passage of the Serve America Act, which would "rapidly expand the number of full-time and part-time national service volunteers eligible for minimal living expenses and a modest educational stipend at the end of an intensive year of work by 175,000 from the current level of 75,000."

"The new positions would be devoted to meeting challenges in a handful of targeted areas: tackling the dropout crisis, strengthening schools, improving health care and economic opportunity in low-income communities, cleaning up parks, aiding efforts to boost energy efficiency, and responding to disasters and emergencies.

"The Serve America Act is structured to invite participation by people of all income levels and ages, including retirees. It would offer tax incentives for employers who allow employees to take paid leave for full-time service, and permit older individuals to transfer their education awards to a child or grandchild. A new Volunteer Generation Fund would help nonprofit groups recruit and manage an expanding pool of volunteers."

You can read the full article here.

What do you think? Would opportunities like this make a difference, or should people create their own service opportunities in their local communities? What do you think are the biggest needs in our country right now that could be addressed by an organized group of volunteers?

the buzz in play, service