Barack Obama just signed a new bill that triples the size of AmeriCorps, the domestic community service organization that helps college graduates pay down their loans in return for helping poor and troubled communities.
The jobs available at AmeriCorps are not always easy. My wife commuted an hour and a half every day to the worst projects on the south side of Chicago to manage an Americorps sponsored recycling program. It was a tough year for her, but I was really proud of her effort. If you’re a young college student or recent graduate, get out there and give back to struggling communities if you can. Or represent the best of America and journey abroad to the Peace Corps. You won’t regret it.
Why not celebrate Earth Day by cleaning up your community? My 4 year old daughter and her mom helped by picking up trash at the county park near our house this past weekend. Make it a fun time with the family, walking around the neighborhood picking up garbage with plastic gloves and a trash bag. There are also events planned in most major cities. Check out the schedule of events listed here.
Feeling too lazy to get out and clean? I totally understand. The weather has been depressing lately. Why not stay inside and play a word game quiz on the PC? Go to Givevaccines.org to play the game that keeps on giving. For every question you answer correctly, you’ll be helping the third world become vaccinated.
The National Day of Prayer is on Thursday May 7th. If you are a secular humanist or atheist, you probably don’t plan on celebrating this day because you think that prayer is an ineffective equivalent to wishes and hopes. You may even know that this national day is organized by Shirley Dobson, a christian evangelical from Focus on the Familiy, and that the prayers at these unconstitutional events of this “special” day often favor Ms. Dobson’s particular savior (Jesus).
No worries. You can participate in the National Day of Reason. No, it’s not a bunch of atheists drinking the blood of a sacrificed goat and painting pentagrams on churches. It’s actually a day for the non-religious to actually do something to help society (you know, besides clenching fists and making wishes to the sky). Many atheist groups organize a blood drive, but you’ll have to check out the National Day of Reason web site to see what’s happening in your area.
Go grab some life and give it a bear hug this week, OK? You know you want to!