Service Nation Call To Action

February 21, 2009 · By Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO, Hello Neighbor

Answer With Action Volunteers at the LA Food Bank

I believe America should have a mandatory service requirement. The requirement should include the option to either serve in the military or as a volunteer for a service project for 1 year. Why? Why not? A majority of countries have some sort of mandatory service and what better way to increase respect and nationalism for all that America has to offer than by requiring every citizen to participate. Looks like I'm not the only one who feels this way. Let me introduce you to Service Nation, a part of Be The Change Inc., which is working with Congress to expand national service opportunities for Americans of all ages, provide support to help nonprofits recruit and manage volunteers, and increase the stipends and scholarship awards provided to volunteers.

More about Service Nation:

An America where citizens unite and take responsibility for the nation’s future. An America that restores the great tradition of citizen service, and honors the profound sacrifices made by so many Americans who have passed before, from the small band of Founders to the millions who have fought for equality and justice at home, and defended our freedom abroad. ServiceNation is about an America that is ruggedly idealistic, compassionate, and above all committed to the idea of shared sacrifice in pursuit of America’s boldest promise: liberty and justice for all.

I have just received an email from Independent Sector that the The House Education and Labor Committee is holding a hearing on national service next Wednesday, February 25, on “Renewing America through National Service and Volunteerism.” The Hearing starts at 10 a.m. at 2175 Rayburn House Office Building. If anyone is in D.C. next week, you are urged to attend. Otherwise, I'll be updating the progres of this legisliation that is looking to be included in the Senate's Serve America Act. All nonprofits and their supporters who believe that the current service programs should be expanded and improved in America should be paying attention to this. The following Senators are co-sponsors of the bill (as of February 2, 2009) according to America Forward:

Sen. Evan Bayh (IN) Sen. Benjamin L. Cardon (MD) Sen. Thad Cochran (MS) Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (CT) Sen. Richard Durbin (IL) Sen. Judd Gregg (NH) Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (UT) Sen. John F. Kerry (MA) Sen. Mary L. Landrieu (LA) Sen. Blanche L. Lincoln (AR) Sen. John McCain (AZ) Sen. Robert Menendez (NJ) Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (MD) Sen. Patty Murray (WA) Sen. Harry Reid (NV) Sen. John D. Rockefeller, IV (WV) Sen. Charles E. Schumer (NY) Sen. Olympia J. Snowe (ME) Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) Sen. Roger F. Wicker (MS)

You can sign the Declaration of Service here in addition to finding other ways to get involved on the website.

Declaration of Service