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Serve America Act Celebrates 2 Year Anniversary
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April 21, 2011 is the 2nd Anniversary of the Serve America Act. All over the country, organizations are celebrating the creation of this landmark bipartisan legislation. Save Service has organized "bus tours” for elected officials, service leaders, and community members in Atlanta, GA, Baltimore, MD, Boston MA, Chicago, IL, Denver, CO, Dubuque, IA, and Tucson, AZ. These tours will visit service sites, many of which are project sites for state and national AmeriCorps programs, for local organizations to see service in action and celebrate its impact. ServeNext is also hosting parties to celebrate the anniversary in Charlotte, NC, Chicago, IL, Columbus, OH, Des Moines, IA, Las Vegas, NV, Miami, FL, New Haven, CT, Rochester, NY, Salt Lake City, UT, and San Francisco, CA.  In many instances, Alums are organizing, leading or participating in these education events in their local community.

The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act was signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2009. Administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Act expanded the scope of national support for services, providing the opportunity for millions to serve their communities. One of the ways the Act did this was by increasing the amount of AmeriCorps positions from 75,000 to 250,000 by 2017.

As many local and city governments are facing tighter budgets, more and more people have come to rely on the support and aide of local and national non-profit organizations. It is important to recognize the support these organizations provide in the needed service areas of education, housing, nutrition, youth development, and elderly services. 

This time of celebration however, is also a time of reflection and awareness. With the recent budget cuts to National Service and AmeriCorps programs in the FY11 budget, including the elimination of the school based Learn and Service America service learning initiative, it is important that the impact of national service not be forgotten. By aiding and supporting the countless local and national service organizations, national service programs have leveraged $800 million in private and philanthropic funds annually, countless volunteers, and helped to fill the gap in the time of need for millions of Americans.  

We hope you will join us in celebrating the spirit of service embodied by the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act. You can find more information on the ServeNext parties here and be sure to follow us on Twitter and our blog for updates throughout the day.
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