Resolution Marks International Volunteer Day
By Jonathan Pearson on Thursday, December 5th, 2013
“There is so much work that needs to be done in uplifting humanity.” But the positive news, according to Congressman Rick Nolan (D-MN), is that there are hundreds of thousands of individuals willing to lend a helping hand to address the global challenges of poverty, illness and education.
At a Capitol Hill reception on the eve of International Volunteer Day (December 5th), Congressman Nolan announced his plans to introduce a resolution honoring the work and contributions of tens of thousands of Americans who volunteer overseas or engage in programs which bring international volunteers to our shores.
Included in the resolution is recognition of the more than 200,000 citizens who served (or continue to serve) our nation as Peace Corps Volunteers. The resolution also notes the startup of a Peace Corps program in Kosovo will bring to 140 the number of nations where volunteers have served since 1961.
The Capitol Hill gathering was organized by the Building Bridges Coalition (BBC), a consortium of more than 300 member organizations working collaboratively to promote the field of international volunteering.
Nearly fifty representatives of BBC groups (including Partners for the Americas, Save the Children, Global Volunteers, Atlas Corps and Global Brigades) attended the Capitol Hill gathering. Not surprisingly, a number of attendees had Peace Corps in their background. Congressman Nolan also noted that his daughter served as a Peace Corps Volunteer.
As a founding member of the BBC, the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA) took the lead in jump-starting the advocacy effort by organizing nearly 20 congressional meetings on December 3rd and 4th. This allowed BBC representatives to bring attention to International Volunteer Day and ask lawmakers to become original co-sponsors of the Nolan resolution.
At least eight lawmakers (see the list below) signed on as original co-sponsors at the time of this post.
There is plenty of time for your Congressman/woman to support the International Volunteer Day Resolution. Congressman Nolan plans to keep the measure open throughout 2014, with plans to pass the resolution next December 5th. He told the gathering he hopes Congress will take a moment each year at this time to pause and recognize the many contributions of individuals who volunteer overseas.
Follow this link to read a draft of the resolution.
Below is the list of Congressmen/women who are currently co-sponsors of the International Service Resolution. If you are a constituent, please contact them to say thank you.
District of Columbia: Norton
Minnesota: McCollum, Nolan (lead sponsor), Walz
New York: Slaughter
If your Congressman/woman is not listed above, please contact them and ask them to “co-sponsor Congressman Rick Nolan’s resolution recognizing the many contributions international volunteers provide to our country.”
If you wish to send this message via electronic mail, please feel free to use the text below as a guide. Personalize the message if you can, including sharing your experiences as an international volunteer and why this is important to our nation.
(Subject Line: Please Co-sponsor International Service Resolution)
Dear Representative _______,
I am writing to ask you to become an early co-sponsor of a congressional resolution recognizing and honoring the work of international volunteers.
This timely resolution, introduced by Minnesota Congressman Rick Nolan, corresponds with International Volunteer Day. Each year, tens of thousands of individuals serve our nation overseas as Peace Corps Volunteers or with a variety of volunteer sending organizations including universities, corporations, faith-based organizations or private non-governmental organizations.
These volunteers give selflessly to support individuals and communities in every corner of the world who face the challenges of poverty, disease and illiteracy. Their work improves people’s lives, while at the same time building bonds of friendship that last a lifetime.
Please demonstrate your recognition and support of our nation’s international volunteers by contacting Congressman Nolan today and adding your name to the International Service Resolution.
Thank you for considering this request. I would be honored with a reply.
(International Service, if applicable)