In describing his policy on volunteerism, President Barak Obama stated "All that’s required on your part is a willingness to make a difference. That is, after all, the beauty of service. Anyone can do it. You don’t need to be a community organizer, or a Senator - - or a Kennedy – or even a President to bring change to people’s lives."
April 21, 2009: President Barack Obama signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, a legislative authorization establishing Volunteers for Prosperity within the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). To learn more click here.
Former President George W. Bush called on American citizens to mobilize "armies of compassion." The Volunteers for Prosperity initiative would link skilled American professionals to U.S. organizations with international volunteer opportunities. The program would harness American volunteer skills to answer the call to service and help meet global needs in areas such as health care, information technology, financial services, trade and investment, education and agricultural development.
May 21, 2003: Volunteers for Prosperity was created as a volunteer-based initiative designed to support major U.S. development initiatives overseas by using the talents of skilled Americans to promote and generate prosperity within U.S. organizations in countries around the world.
September 25, 2003: Initiated by Executive Order 13317 concerning the Volunteers for Prosperity initiative. The Executive Order directed appropriate federal agencies and departments to look for ways to expand, promote, and enhance overseas volunteer opportunities for American professionals. It also directed appropriate agencies to evaluate prospective grantees in their use of the assistance of highly trained volunteers in development activities abroad. This innovation will make federal funds more available to grant applicants relying on skilled volunteers.
International voluntary service has long been a source of national strength. The confluence of efforts of individual American volunteers, voluntary organizations, private enterprise, and government has distinctly been an American contribution to world stability and development.
June 5, 1947: Following the Second World War, American volunteers and the U.S. Government joined forces to provide major relief for Europe.The Marshall Plan (from 1947–51) was the primary program of American assistance providing financial support for the rebuilding of Europe and promoting policies of political and economic freedom and openness.
September 22, 1961: Congress authorizes the passage of the Peace Corps. To promote world peace and friendship, to interested countries by qualified men and women of the United States willing to serve abroad, under conditions of hardship if necessary, to help the people and the country meet their needs for trained manpower.