In early 2008, four public-interest organizations banded together to create ServiceNation, a campaign aimed at increasing civic engagement. All four organizations—Be the Change, City Year, Civic Enterprises and Points of Light Institute—hope ServiceNation will increase service opportunities in America. Dr. Oz talks with Alan Khazei, CEO of Be the Change, and Michael Brown, CEO of City Year, about ServiceNation, its goals and the importance of volunteering.
ServiceNation's ultimate goal is to have 100 million Americans involved in service by 2020 and at least 1 million Americans in full-time service during some time in their lives. Alan shares ways he thinks will increase the level of service in America:
We need to call on everybody. "We need leadership from the next president and Congress to build on the foundation that's been built," Alan says. ServiceNation also wants people to become involved in service from as early as kindergarten, and to continue through their retired years. Alan says there's an opportunity for community and national service at every key life stage.
We need American leaders to do their part. CEOs, university presidents and education reformers need to participate in and promote service, Alan says. In the private sector, he says leaders can give their employees time off to do community service. Also, universities need to provide new opportunities for their students to serve, he says.
We need resources. To be able to coordinate volunteers on a matching basis, more resources are needed, Alan says. "There is a great desire out there [to serve], but it takes an infrastructure and understanding that we need to invest in that infrastructure so that we can do more," Alan says.
We need a new call. Americans need a new call that will unite both military and civilian service, like the famous "Uncle Sam wants you" slogan. "We need that again for the 21st century," Alan says. "People will be ready to answer the call."