SCHUMER: PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNS INTO LAW GROUNDBREAKING LEGISLATION TO DESIGNATE SEPTEMBER 11 AS A NATIONAL DAY OF SERVICE
National Day of Service Would Encourage All Americans to Spend Every September 11th Serving Their CommunitiesSchumer: This Designation Would Send a Powerful Message That Americans Are Committed to Their Community and to Each Other
Today U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that President Barack Obama has signed into law his provision that designates September 11 th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance as part of the "Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act". Schumer's provision will designate September 11 th as a national day of service and will encourage Americans to spend that day working for and with members of their community, for the benefit of others. Service opportunities on September 11 th will be publicized through the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal publicprivate partnership established in 1993.
"Sept. 11 will now not only be a day for mourning, but a day to think about our neighbors, our community and our country. We have taken a tragic day in our nation's history and turned it into a force for good," added Schumer. "We have made it a day on which we can give back in remembrance of those who lost their lives."
The "Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act" encourages 175,000 more Americans to give a year of service to address specific national challenges such as strengthening our schools or increasing economic opportunities, thereby expanding the total number of such service participants to 250,000. The legislation will also increase opportunities for individuals to serve at any stage of their life, from childhood through retirement, and will support social entrepreneurs with innovative solutions to tackle our most pressing problems.
The Corporation will conduct a nationwide "Call to Service" campaign to encourage all Americans to volunteer in the nonprofit or government sectors. As part of this campaign, the Corporation will collaborate with other Federal agencies and entities, state commissions, governors, nonprofit and faithbased organizations, businesses, institutions of higher education, elementary schools, and secondary schools. Schumer's provision will also allow the Corporation to assist organizations and provide grants to communitybased organizations across the country to coordinate service opportunities related to the September 11 th National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Senator Schumer worked on this legislation with MyGoodDeed.org, a charitable organization that has lead the multiyear effort to establish 9/11 as a national day of service. To recognize 9/11 and honor the lives of the victims and the efforts of 9/11 volunteers and rescue and recovery workers who rose in service, each year MyGoodDeed.org organizes activities that encourage individuals and organizations to set aside time on the anniversary of 9/11 to perform simple good deeds and service that help others in need. In recent years support for the initiative has grown rapidly. More than one million individuals from all 50 states and more than 150 nations have posted 9/11 service ideas and pledges to perform good deeds on the organization's Web site.
The Serve America Act, signed in to law by the President today, does the follow:
- Officially designates September 11, 2009 and ever September 11 in to the future as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
- Expands the number of national service participants to 250,000 per year.
- A boost in the educational stipend offered in exchange for service to $5,350, with the provision that it will continue to rise in tandem with Pell grants.
- The establishment of a Clean Energy Corps, Education Corps, Healthy Futures Corps and Veterans Services Corps.
- The establishment of new Serve America Fellowships and the Silver Scholarships and Encore Fellowships.
- The expansion of the Civilian Community Corps to include work on weatherization and other energyconservation projects.
- The expansion of the Peace Corps (to 16,000) and other existing programs.
In 2004, Schumer authored the very first Congressional resolution which called upon the President of the United States to proclaim 9/11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance
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