• Tim Zimmermann

    It’s a shame that writer Nancy Lewis takes such a cynical and shallow view in her report on the ServiceNation summit. The summit was not about glitz
    and glad-handing. It was about rallying leaders from all sectors of society behind the idea that service can play a critical role in helping solve the many problems and challenges that America now faces. Here’s what the Summit accomplished:

    1) It provided a forum for both presidential candidates to tell the American people about their plans and vision for service, and also put both on record
    as supporting the new Kennedy-Hatch Serve America Act.
    2) It included the announcement of a series of meaningful commitments by universities and foundations related to service, which can be found at http://bethechangeaction.org/servicenation/take_action/commitments
    3) It featured the unveiling of the ServiceNation policy blueprint (which more than 100 organizations have endorsed), as well as the details of the
    Serve America Act, helping generate a series of pro-service editorials in newspapers like the New York Times and the Boston Globe.
    4) It launched the Declaration of Service, our idealistic celebration of the ideals and potential of service, giving all Americans a way to demonstrate
    their belief in the power of service to unify us and help solve problems.
    3) It unified and rallied the service world behind the idea that, working together, we can bring about a new era of service in America. ServiceNation coalition members have been telling us that their memberships have been fired up by the summit. That enthusiasm was carried into the Sept. 27 Day of Action, which featured more than 2700 events across the country celebrating
    the power and potential of service.
    4) The Summit and the Day of Action have laid the foundation of a grassroots movement for service, which will now engage communities, the private sector,
    and elected leaders on the importance of uniting Americans in common cause through voluntary service.

    Of course, there is much work to be done. But the Summit was an important start to a national movement that already is having a direct impact on the
    lives of Americans. I would encourage Nancy Lewis to contact members of the ServiceNation coalition to ask their reactions to the Summit. I am confident
    that they will tell her it was a meaningful and important event that will help voluntary community and national service play a more important and unifying role in our national life.

    Best, Tim Zimmermann
    Director Of Communications
    Be the Change, Inc.

  • Iris Chen

    I wanted to clarify my viewpoint of the ServiceNation movement as reported here. I attended both days of the Summit, and the “I Have A Dream” Foundation coordinated a nationwide event for our affiliates as part of the Day of Action that followed. I was honored to be part of this effort, and amazed by the extraordinary energy that this movement inspired. Americans of all backgrounds and representing a wide range of organizations came together to celebrate the spirit of America and to call upon our fellow citizens to join us in making our nation stronger. Tangible commitments were made during our two days together. The Day of Action several weeks later then began to put these commitments into practice.

    My comment was that the important thing now was to make sure that we maintained this momentum in the months ahead, and that we fully capitalized on the potential of this movement. I hope we can all come together to be part of taking ServiceNation forward.