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A Rich Tradition of Service

Dr. Bill Frist, former U.S. Senate Majority Leader, discusses President Obama's announcement of nominees for the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

With the President announcing today nominees for the Board of Directors for the Corporation for National and Community Service, I am reminded just how important a role service plays in communities here at home and across the globe. The addition of these outstanding members will help continue the proud history of CNCS and continue to promote service as a way that Americans join together in communities large and small to solve the problems all of us face.

These days, our nation faces many challenges and service, whether it be volunteering at a local charitable organization or participating in a CNCS program like AmeriCorps, is at the core of what makes our country great. When our friends, family and neighbors are in need, the helping hands of those who serve provide a critical early boost in restoring fractured lives to normal once again.

CNCS has a rich tradition of service, one that has only grown stronger since the passage of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009. AmeriCorps service volunteers have helped many communities in need this year. Everyone has seen the terrible pictures coming out of the Gulf Coast, and the pictures and need are truly overwhelming. AmeriCorps members have been making a big impact by providing over 4,300 pounds of food to families in St. Bernard Parish which has been hit hard by the oil spill. In May, my hometown of Nashville suffered from severe flooding, and teams from CNCS and the Red Cross managed shelters for those who had to evacuate their homes and multiple teams helped clear debris throughout the area, helping Nashville clean up and get back to normal.

Service has always played an important role in my life, whether it be in the operating room or on the floor of the U.S. Senate. It is truly a rewarding experience to give back. I am glad to see that friends such as John Podesta and Marguerite Kondracke, both of whom have a deep passion for service, are going to be leading the call to service as board members in the coming years.

Dr. Bill Frist is former U.S. Senate Majority Leader