Yesterday, Barack Obama signed the Edward M. Kennedy Learn and Serve America Act - sweeping reform that will triple the size of Americorps, strengthen existing nonprofits, and give educational grants to students who serve their country. Sweeping reform like this has not been seen since the creation of the Peace Corps by JFK in 1961. Alongside this new legislation, the White House also introduced Serve.gov, a new platform for volunteerism and national service.
And the timing could not be better: young Americans are clamoring for new, exciting ways to take part in their community. A recent USA Today article calls Millennials "the Civic Generation," whose philanthropic spirit echoes the Greatest Generation of the 1930's and 40's. Michael Brown, founder and CEO of City Year, says, “Community service is part of [the Millennials’] DNA.”
I couldn’t agree more. Working at a nonprofit does require passionate dedication to our jobs (and sometimes a bit of personal sacrifice!) Ultimately, we rarely make as much money as classmates who took corporate jobs, we’re often understaffed, and we routinely work long hours to get the job done… But, in the end, its rewarding to know that the work that we do every day will have an effect--even in some small way--on the lives of Americans across the country.
Want to give back? Check out these great resources:
National Service Hub: http://serve.gov
Peace Corps: http://peacecorps.gov
Teach for America: http://teachforamerica.org
City Year: http://cityyear.org
The United Way: http://liveunited.org
Habitat for Humanity: http://habitat.org
The Red Cross: http://redcross.org
Nonprofit Job Postings / Volunteer Opportunities: http://idealist.org
Volunteer Opportunities: http://declareyourself.com