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URGENT: Contact Congress to Vote YES on Expanding National Service, Supporting Mentoring

The following URGENT Advocacy item was sent to us by mentoring.org:

Americans are stepping forward in record numbers to serve, many inspired by the bold vision articulated by President Obama, and all motivated to roll up their sleeves to address the mounting challenges we face in communities across the country. Communities are struggling to meet the growing demand for services, due in large part to the economic downturn, and nonprofit organizations need human capital to meet the increasing needs. This includes mentoring programs and Mentoring Partnerships that are working to ensure that more young people across the country can benefit from the power of mentoring.

The House Education and Labor Committee has recognized the pivotal moment we are in as a country and responded by passing H.R. 1388, the GIVE Act. Tomorrow, March 18, H.R. 1388 will move to the House floor for a vote. The GIVE Act is the House companion bill to the Serve America Act, which was introduced by a bi-partisan group of Senators led by Senators Kennedy and Hatch on January 16, 2009. Before the GIVE Act vote, your Representatives need to hear from you that this legislation is important.

Among its many provisions, the bill provides mentoring programs more access to additional resources and makes it possible to boost mentoring infrastructure through additional federal funding eligibility for Mentoring Partnerships – existing statewide and local, and new partnerships.

Here’s how you can help:

Call your representatives (see below for instructions) BY WEDNESDAY, MARCH 18 AT 9AM and urge them to vote in favor of this important Act. Suggested talking points and instructions are below.
Click here to Read a Summary of the GIVE Act: http://edlabor.house.gov/documents/111/pdf/publications/GIVEActSummary20090311.pdf.

HOW TO CALL THE MEMBERS OF YOUR CONGRESSIONAL DELEGATION

  1. If you need help determining who represents your district visit www.congress.org.
  2. Click through on the links to your Member of Congress and call their offices directly at the number given or call the House Operator at (202) 225-3121 and ask to be connected to the office of your Representative.
  3. Once connected, identify yourself as a constituent and ask to speak to the Legislative Assistant in charge of national service and education issues.

A MESSAGE TO DELIVER BY PHONE

I am calling to ask Representative_______ to vote for the GIVE Act (H.R. 1388). The GIVE Act will reauthorize the federally-supported national service programs like AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and Senior Corps, which have not been reauthorized in 16 years. The bill also includes several provisions that will provide new areas of support to mentoring programs and Mentoring Partnerships to help us close the gap of 15 million young people who are still in need of a caring mentor.

The reforms in this bill will ensure accountability, transparency, and results. They will also make it easier for faith and community-based organizations, including small nonprofits in rural and economically disadvantaged areas meet growing needs in a more effective way.

The GIVE Act will help the nonprofit sector to engage our citizens in addressing local and national challenges in education, health, clean energy, poverty and many other areas. The federal investment is leveraged by significant investment from the private sector and philanthropy.

This is a bipartisan bill. It is not controversial and the White House supports the legislation. I hope that Representative______ will vote in favor of the GIVE Act.

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