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Beyond Starts Today: September 2007
Act Now For National Service
by Diana Epstein- AmeriCorps Class of '02, '03
Ever wonder how you can advocate for national service without consuming so much of your valuable time?  Many of us want to help advocate for national service issues, but just don't see how it is posssible with so many competing priorities nipping at your feet.  Well, here are ten simple and time-considerate yet impactful options for your continued support of national service.
1. Sign the petition to build a U.S. Public Service AcademyThe U.S. Public Service Academy will be America’s first national civilian university, a flagship institution designed to develop a steady flow of passionate and patriotic young leaders dedicated to public service.
Required Time: 3-4 minutes
Cost: $0.00
2. Stay up to date on the latest news and legislation related to national service. A great place to start is the AmeriCorps Alums Advocacy Center- AmeriCorps Alums official online hub for national service advocacy news and updates.
Required time: 15 minutes per week
Cost: $0.00
3. Volunteer! Continue your AmeriCorps commitment to a lifetime of service and civic action by volunteering.  You can see what's going on in your chapter by visiting the AmeriCorps Alums Community Calendar (linked below).
Required time: 4 hours per month
Cost: Gas/Public Transportation expenses, but if you're lucky the volunteer host site may feed you
4. Pick a presidential candidate to support and volunteer on his/her campaign.
Action Link» Visit any of the Presidential Candidate's official websites for more details
Required Time: 1-2 hours per week
Cost: Gas/Public Transporation costs 
5. Sign the ServeNext Letter to Presidential candidates that asks candidates to commit to expanding national service. 
Required Time: 2-3 minutes
Cost: $0.00
6. Submit a YouTube question about National Service for the upcoming YouTube Republican debate.  As the event approaches, ServeNext will provide continuous video stream of 150 national service questions (about 10 per candidate) on their website.
Required Time: 10-20 minutes
Cost: $0.00
7. Write/E-mail a letter to your Representative or Senator.  Tell your AmeriCorps story, and ask them to please support full funding for AmeriCorps and other National Service programs. Locate your Congressional representatives here.
Required Time: 30 minutes
Cost: $0.00 to $0.41 (postage) 
8. Submit an op-ed to your local newspaper in support of AmeriCorps and national service programs.  For a comprehensive listing of major market newspapers, view the Daily Earth's Newspaper Directory (linked below).
Action Link» Newspaper Directory
Required time: 30 minutes
Cost: $0.00 to $0.41 (postage)
9. Call your Representative's local district office and arrange to meet with him/her when he/she is in town to talk about the value of AmeriCorps and other national service programs in your district. Get a group of alums from your local chapter to come to the meeting with you.
Action Link»
Required Time: 1 hour (including organization of other alums)
Cost: Gas/Public Transportation expenses
10. Ask Presidential candidates to sign the “ServeNext Presidential Pledge to Expand National Service.” This pledge is a commitment to four areas for the first term: 1) Expanding AmeriCorps by 100,000 members (a total of 170,000); 2) Expanding senior corps; 3) Expanding the Peace Corps; and 4) Expanding Learn and Serve America.
Action Link/Place» ServeNext Presidential Pledge/Presidential Town Hall Forums or meet n' greets
Required Time: 2.5 hours - 3 hours (travel to, attending event, and asking question)
Cost: Gas/Public Transportation expenses
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