"IS THIS FOR REAL?"
April 29, 1997
A Presidential summit has ended with major public and private commitments to increase volunteerism in the U.S. Leaders promise deed will follow word, but can the mood be sustained? A background report , is followed by a panel discussion with Elizabeth Farnsworth on strengths and weaknesses of the summit .
ELIZABETH FARNSWORTH: The summit ended today with a host of commitments from corporations, state and local governments, and individuals to help meet the event's stated goal: providing 2 million at-risk kids with mentors, a safe place after school, marketable skills, a healthy start in life, and an opportunity to serve their community. General Colin Powell, who chaired the summit, closed it today with a key question and an answer.
A RealAudio version of of this segment is available.
April 29, 1997
A panel discusses the strengths and weaknesses of the Presidential Volunteer Summit.
April 28, 1997
A Newmaker interview with Volunteer Summit leader, Gen. Colin Powell.
August 27, 1996
Hillary Rodham Clinton discusses the importance of volunteerism at the Democratic National Convention.
GEN. COLIN POWELL, Chairman, Volunteer Summit: Everybody's asking:Is this for real, or is this just a nice three days, basking in the sun, and talking do-goodism? I'm telling you it's for real, because as I traveled around work group sessions and seen the delegations at work I've come away enormously impressed. 90 percent of the 140 communities represented here by last night had entered their plans into our database.
In the last three days from around the country we have had two million hits on our Web site, Americans around the world wanting information, what do we do, what can we do, how do we get involved? We know how to touch the lives of young people.
In the last few years the Boys & Girls Clubs have created 320 new clubs in public housing areas, safe places for young people to be, wonderful little things I heard about this morning; the governor of Missouri saying that he has formed a partnership with Paul Martin, a greeting card company, so that every time a child is born in the state of Missouri the child receives a letter from the governor and the first lady welcoming the child to the state as a citizen and reminding the parents of the need to get inoculations, and a shot card is with the greeting card.
And then, listen, a volunteer follows up and calls the parents to make sure those shots have been administered. And that same volunteer, so they'll recognize the voice, calls a little bit later to make sure it's happened. That's the private sector working with the government, working with volunteers to give children a healthy start in life. Does that cost a lot of money? Is that brain surgery? Can we do that everywhere in the country? Of course we can. These ideas are everywhere.