April Featured Advocate – Jay Thomas
By Jonathan Pearson on Saturday, April 6th, 2013
Jay Thomas of Beaver, Pennsylvania says his mind has been in “Peace Corps mode” more than usual these days because he is applying to serve again.
Jay, who served in Iran from 1973-75 and Madagascar from 1997-2001 certainly applied the can-do Peace Corps spirit to our advocacy program a couple of weeks ago.
On March 21st, the National Peace Corps Association’s advocacy program reached out to western Pennsylvania constituents of freshman Representative Keith Rothfus, to let them know their congressman was holding an open house the next day back in his district.
The timing couldn’t have worked better for Jay, as he dropped by the open house only a few hours after his interview with his Peace Corps recruiter. ”(Congressman Rothfus) remembered shaking the hands of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers (RPCVs) during the day on Capitol Hill on February 28th…He gave his full attention to what I had to say.”
Part of what Jay had to say was asking his congressman to add his name to the Peace Corps funding Dear Colleague letter circulated by the bi-partisan group of RPCV lawmakers in the House of Representatives.
“More Americans should have the opportunity to give the needed assistance that developing countries are asking for. Whereas retired people have a lifetime of experience to share, Americans of all ages should get involved in the three goals of Peace Corps.”
By taking swift and effective hometown advocacy, Jay is making a significant contribution in efforts to reach out to new members of Congress, provide personal information about the Peace Corps and demonstrate the passionate constituency for a strong and vibrant Peace Corps. We are grateful for his advocacy and wish him best of luck as he seeks his third tour of service with the Peace Corps.