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Proclamation 6418—National Volunteer Week, 1992

April 08, 1992

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Experiencing the profound sense of satisfaction and even joy that comes from helping others, millions of Americans are transforming communities across the country through voluntary service. We owe a great deal to these Points of Light, and during National Volunteer Week we offer a special salute to each of them. Their work has brightened the lives of countless individuals and demonstrated the heights that we can achieve as a Nation.

By taking direct and consequential action to help solve serious social problems and by working to enhance the existing good in their communities, volunteers are helping to build the kind of America we all seek. These Points of Light are helping to build what I call Communities of Light -- places that demonstrate a strong commitment to children and to the values that foster stable, loving families; that contain excellent schools and a culture that encourages lifelong learning; and that offer every citizen meaningful employment opportunities and the hope of economic advancement. A Community of Light would also offer its members decent housing in a safe, drug-free, and clean environment, as well as access to quality health care. While effective government leadership and sustainable economic growth are essential to promoting these conditions in any community, we know that real progress also requires voluntary action and leadership at the grass-roots level.

Today volunteers are helping to achieve progress in a variety of ways, working either on their own or in association with others. For example, many volunteers are assisting children and families by providing prenatal and infant care, by teaching parenting skills, and by offering wholesome extracurricular activities for youth. Other volunteers -- including thousands of senior citizens -- are helping to promote excellence in our schools by serving as tutors and mentors. Volunteers who participate in job training programs are helping to open doors to meaningful employment opportunities for persons in need, and many Americans are improving their communities by renovating old homes and building affordable housing. Volunteers are also helping to expand health care options by providing transportation, home care services, and other forms of support for persons who are ill or otherwise incapacitated.

Although millions of Americans engage in voluntary service, making this time-honored tradition a leading tool in the fight against poverty, drug abuse, and other social problems requires committed leadership. Since 1971, the Federal Government has worked to mobilize Americans for volunteer service through the ACTION agency. Other examples of our Federal commitment to promoting volunteerism include the Peace Corps, the Commission on National and Community Service, the Points of Light Foundation, and, of course, the Office of National Service here at the White House. Yet businesses and labor unions, educational and health care institutions, religious congregations, social clubs, and civic groups all have a role to play. These organizations and their leaders can develop effective, innovative service programs; they can replicate what is already working elsewhere; and they can mobilize their members for action. By working together and by encouraging more and more Americans to become Points of Light, we can make any neighborhood, town, or city a Community of Light.

Because voluntary service can go such a long way toward improving our communities and solving problems wherever they exist, creating Communities of Light must become one of America's priorities for the close of this century. During this annual celebration, I call on all leaders to include voluntary service to other as part of the mission of their institutions, to recognize and support the work of volunteers, and to help transform their communities through service.

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim the week beginning April 26, 1992, as National Volunteer Week. I urge all Americans to observe this week with approporiate programs, ceremonies, and activities in honor of volunteers and in recognition of their important contributions to our communities and country.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this eighth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and sixteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6418—National Volunteer Week, 1992 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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