UServeUtah, in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service, brings National Service programs to Utah. Programs operate in almost every region of the state, bringing exciting & innovative programming to rural and urban Utah. When faced with challenges, our nation has always relied on the dedication and action of its citizens. Citizens who serve as members create lasting and powerful impact on quality of life in Utah.
Check out this rich American Service History.
The National Service Story
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC)
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps which recruited over four million young people and provided billions of dollars worth of support to communities. Through 11 years of the Great Depression, CCC members restored the nation’s parks, revitalized the economy, enabled millions of families to live in dignity, and developed new skills to support themselves and their families. Inspired by the CCC model, over a thousand AmeriCorps* National Civilian Community Corps members are at work today on special urban and rural projects.
In the 1960s, the call to service came from President John F. Kennedy who challenged Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” This strong spirit of citizenship inspired the Peace Corps. Today, thousands of young Peace Corps volunteers travel far and wide to connect America with the world through peaceful service efforts, such as building schools to promote literacy, helping farmers provide food for the hungry, and setting up hospitals to care for the sick. After returning from overseas, Peace Corps volunteers put their new knowledge to work at home, changing America for the better.
VISTA and the National Senior Service Corps
The 1960s also saw the birth of Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) which organizes efforts to help low-income citizens and communities mobilize efforts to address their challenges. One initiative to engage older Americans in service grew into the National Senior Service Corps, which now includes the Foster Grandparents Program, the Senior Companion Program, and the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program.
National & Community Service Trust Act
President Bill Clinton sponsored the National and Community Service Trust Act which was passed and signed into law on September 21, 1993. The legislation created a new federal agency, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), to administer federally-funded national service programs. The law created AmeriCorps, which was designed to support local, state, and national organizations across the nation that involve Americans in results-driven community service.
National Service Today
On March 31, 2009 the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act was passed. This bill focuses on significantly expanding and improving opportunities for utilizing National Service to meet specific national challenges. Pressing challenges such as tackling the dropout crisis and strengthening our schools; improving energy efficiency; safeguarding the environment; improving health care in low-income communities; expanding economic opportunities for low-income individuals; and preparing for and responding to disasters and emergencies.
President Obama, reflecting on the passage of the new legislation said “Our work is not finished when I sign this bill into law – it has just begun. It is up to each of us to seize this opportunity, to do our part to lift up our fellow Americans, to realize our own true potential. I call on all Americans to stand up and do what they can to serve their communities, shape our history and enrich both their own lives and the lives of others across this country.”