New PSA Campaign Urges Boomers To Volunteer

By Bill Goodwill

The “Get Involved” campaign is being launched in partnership with America’s nonprofit community. More than 40 organizations, including AARP, the American Red Cross, America’s Promise, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Habitat for Humanity, Catholic Charities, and Communities in Schools, have signed on as campaign supporters. A full list is available at www.getinvolved. gov. The campaign also has support from private-sector organizations that share a commitment to civic responsibility, including IBM, CVS, America Online, and Inova Health System. Both the National Association of Broadcasters and the National Cable Television Association have also signed on as campaign supporters.

The Corporation for National and Community Service provides opportunities for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through three programs: Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Together with USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to foster a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. For more information The first of America’s 77 million baby boomers turned 60 in January. As they near retirement, they will begin contemplating how to give of their free time. Because the talents and energy of boomers are needed by the nation’s non-profit and volunteer- driven organizations to meet a wide range of community challenges, the “Get Involved” PSA campaign was developed to encourage boomers to lead, inspire, and change the world again.

A Huge Audience

Baby Boomers Are:

  • Ages 41 to 60 (born between 1946 and 1964)
  • 77 million strong
  • Highly educated
  • Healthy and active

To publicize various volunteer opportunities and to engage this activist audience, the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is launching the nationwide public education campaign, comprising TV, radio, and print PSAs. The goal of the campaign is to encourage boomers to seek out opportunities to make a difference in their communities and, in return, to redefine the meaning and purpose of their older years.

The public service announcements will begin running in February 2006. They include a series of English and Spanish language television, radio, and print ads profiling “leading-edge” baby boomers (ages 55- 60) of different backgrounds discussing how community service changed their lives and inviting their peers to join them. The PSAs feature stories of real boomer volunteers reflecting on how they contributed to society throughout their lives, and how they continue to change the world today through their volunteer efforts. For example, the TV PSAs illustrate stories like that of Ray Wright, a youth mentor from Detroit, who despite growing up in poverty, decided to serve his community, help the homeless, and challenge youth to make positive contributions. The PSAs also feature the story of Carter Flemming, who in her youth was constantly reminded that “with great privilege, comes great responsibility” – words of wisdom that led her to engage in three decades of service, including organizing events at her community center and serving on the board of the local Red Cross.

The call to action in the PSAs is a toll-free number (1-800-424-8867) and a website (www.getinvolved.gov) that can be used to locate volunteer and service opportunities that best fit the needs and experience of the baby boomer audience. “The time and need to involve boomers is now. They have the potential to become a social resource of extraordinary proportions – the largest pool of available and skilled volunteers ever seen in the history of the United States,” observes David Eisner, CNCS Chief Executive Officer. “By harnessing their time and talents, we can overcome some of our nation’s most pressing social challenges – from improving education for our youth to ensuring long-term care for the frail elderly,” he said.