President's Volunteer Service Award
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|President's Volunteer Service Award|
|Awarded for||Recognition of outstanding contributions in Community Service to the United States|
|Presented by||Corporation for National and Community Service
President of the United States
|Official website||Award Site|
The President's Volunteer Service Award is a civil award bestowed by the President of the United States. Established by executive order by George W. Bush, the award was established to honor volunteers that give hundreds of hours per year helping others through the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The award can be granted to individuals, families and organizations located throughout the United States. Depending on the amount of service hours completed, individuals can receive the Bronze, Silver, Gold, and/or the President's Call to Service Award (also referred to the President's Lifetime Achievement Award). The Call to Service Award is the most prestigious, and it has been awarded to few Americans to recognize over 4,000 hours of extraordinary service including honorees such as S. Truett Cathy, Zach Bonner, Brandon Pugh, Thomas Smith, and Stanley Williams). Awardees may receive a personalized certificate, an official pin, medallion, and/or a congratulatory letter from the President depending on the award earned.
Purpose and establishment
The purpose for the President's Volunteer Service Award is to honor the hundreds of thousands of people across America that have volunteered hundreds, if not thousands of volunteer hours over their lifetime. The program was established to honor the volunteer works of individuals, families and organizations throughout the United States. There have been several variations of this program using different names, including the President's Volunteer Action Award from the 1980s.
The current program is called the President's Volunteer Service Award and was created by President George W. Bush in 2002. He made this program known during his State of the Union address. In January 2003, President George W. Bush created an Executive Order that created the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation. The Council was established to recognize the important contributions Americans of all ages are making within their communities through service and civic engagement. The President's Volunteer Service Award is now an initiative of the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Institute.
After September 11, 2001, President Bush saw the need to renew the interest in helping our neighbors and called upon all Americans to help by volunteering their time. As part of this request, he created several new programs, including the Citizen Corps and to go along with these new programs, the President's Volunteer Service Award to be given to those the help to make a difference.
Volunteers are requested to maintain a log of hours that are volunteered and when requesting a President's Volunteer Service Award are required to present this information for certification. Individuals may use a regular sheet of paper or sign up to track their hours. The President's Volunteer Service Award website has a place for individuals and group to register and track the hours that have been volunteered.
The program uses two groups of organizations to certify awards. There is the Leadership Organization which is usually a national organization. The LO then will have its smaller groups sign up under them and will administer all their activities for them.
Then, there is a Certifying Organization which is any group that wishes to be able to process and award the President's Volunteer Service Award. They are usually only a local or state wide group and will handle all aspects of their part in the program. For example, Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Foundation is a certifying organization.
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