GIVE Act of 2009

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The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act of 2009 (H.R.1388) was introduced in the House on March 9, 2009 and referred to the House Committee on Education and Labor. It is sponsored by Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D, NY-4) and has 37 co-sponsors.



The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act of 2009, also known as The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, an Act to reauthorize and reform the national service laws, proposes increasing funding for volunteer programs, such as AmeriCorps. The current form of the bill does not include a mandate that requires service. [1]


According to the House Committee on Education and Labor blog [3], the bill does the following:

  • "Grows the number of volunteers nationwide to 250,000, up from 75,000. The bill also links the full-time education award to the maximum authorized Pell Grant award amount in order to keep up with rising college costs."
  • "Establishes the Summer of Service program that engages middle and high school students in volunteer activities in their communities and allows them to earn a $500 education award to be used for college costs."
  • "Establishes Youth Engagement Zones, a new service-learning program to help bridge partnerships between community based organizations and schools in high-need, low-income communities to engage high school students and out-of-school youth in service-learning to address specific challenges their communities face."
  • "Establishes the Campuses of Service to support and recognize institutions of higher education with exemplary service-learning programs and assists students in the pursuit of public service careers."
  • "Expands opportunities for disadvantaged youth, including those with disabilities, to become more involved with service and strives to include people of all ages and those from diverse background in volunteerism."
  • "Establishes four new service corps to address key needs in low income communities, including a Clean Energy Corps to encourage energy efficiency and conservation measures, an Education Corps to help increase student engagement, achievement and graduation, a Healthy Futures Corps to improve health care access, and a Veterans Service Corps to enhance services for veterans. "
  • "Expands the focus of the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) to include disaster relief, infrastructure improvement, environmental and energy conservation, and urban and rural development.
  • "Encourages service partnerships with other federal agencies."
  • "Recruits scientists, technicians, mathematicians and engineers into national service to help keep America competitive."
  • "Establishes an alumni corps of former participants who can be called to service during times of disaster and other emergencies."
  • "Creates two new fellowships to engage social entrepreneurs, seniors and retirees, the private sector and Americans from all generations in service.
    • 1. ServeAmerica Fellowships: ServeAmerica Fellows are individuals who propose their own plans for serving in their communities to address national needs and are matched up with a service sponsor.
    • 2. Silver Scholarships and Encore Fellowships: These programs offer seniors, age 55 or older, opportunities to transition into service post-career as well as entrance into new careers in the public or nonprofit sector."
  • "Builds a nationwide service infrastructure through community-building investments and social entrepreneurship.
    • 1. Community Solutions Fund: Creates a Community Solutions Fund pilot program that awards competitive matching grants to social entrepreneur venture funds in order to provide community organizations with the resources to replicate or expand proven solutions to community challenges.
    • 2. Volunteer Generation Fund: Provides grants to improve the quality and capacity of organizations to work with volunteers, and to create innovations in volunteerism in the areas of recruitment, training and management."
  • "Includes a Call to Service Campaign to launch a national campaign encouraging all Americans to engage in service and to observe September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance." [2]

Bill passage

House vote

On March 18, 2009, the House voted 321-105 to pass the bill. [3]

Senate vote

On March 26, 2009, the Senate passed the GIVE Act with a vote of 79-19. [3]

Articles and resources


  1. OpenCongress' info page on the GIVE Act of 2009.
  2. Committee on Education and Labor, [1]The Generations Invigorating Volunteerism and Education (GIVE) Act
  3. 3.0 3.1 OpenCongress, [2]GIVE Act of 2009,

External resources

External articles