National Service

June 30, 2006 • Volume 16, Issue 25
Should community service be required?
By John Greenya

Introduction

The Experience Corps pairs retirees with inner-city children in 14 cities for tutoring and mentoring. (Alex Harris)
The Experience Corps pairs retirees with inner-city children in 14 cities for tutoring and mentoring. (Alex Harris)

More than 65 million Americans now volunteer for charitable and service organizations, and President Bush wants to push the total to 75 million by 2010. But the president appears to have lost some of his enthusiasm for volunteerism. In his 2002 State of the Union address, Bush called on more Americans to volunteer to help their neighbors. But now the administration wants drastic cuts in AmeriCorps, the domestic Peace Corps-type program created by President Bill Clinton in 1993. Experts say the issue could move into the spotlight in coming years if Bush's support wanes, and candidates for public office pick up the banner of national service. Supporters argue that requiring national service will foster national unity and inspire more volunteerism from Americans young and old. Critics counter, however, that making service compulsory negates the whole purpose of volunteering — giving one's time willingly to help others.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Peace Corps, National Service, and Volunteerism
Jan. 11, 2013  Peace Corps Challenges
Jun. 30, 2006  National Service
Dec. 13, 1996  The New Volunteerism
Jun. 25, 1993  National Service
Jan. 25, 1991  Peace Corps' Challenges in the 1990s
Oct. 31, 1986  Blueprints for National Service
Jan. 25, 1985  International Relief Agencies
Dec. 12, 1980  Volunteerism in the Eighties
Jun. 15, 1979  Future of the Peace Corps
Apr. 03, 1963  Domestic Peace Corps
Nov. 28, 1962  Peace Corps Expansion
Jan. 04, 1961  Government Youth Corps
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Elementary and Secondary Education