December 12, 1981

The President today announced the creation of the President's Volunteer Action Awards to honor outstanding volunteer achievement by individual citizens and their organizations.

The awards program is cosponsored by VOLUNTEER, the National Center for Citizen Involvement, and ACTION in a unique cooperative effort between the private sector and government.

The President will present the awards at a White House ceremony in April. Awards will be made in seven categories: jobs, health, material resources, education, recreation and the environment, public safety, the arts and humanities.

In announcing the program, the President said, ``Throughout our history, Americans have always extended their hands to neighbors in assistance. The energy expended by our citizens in problemsolving is absolutely imperative to maintain and improve the quality of life for all Americans. I believe this program of recognition is vital to call attention both to what is being done by American volunteers and to what can be done through voluntary action.''

VOLUNTEER is the primary national organization supporting greater citizen involvement in problemsolving. It provides a broad range of technical assistance services to volunteer-involving organizations, public agencies, unions, and corporations. It works closely with a network of approximately 200 associated Voluntary Action Centers and over 1,000 other local, State, and national organizations.

ACTION, the national volunteer agency, serves to stimulate voluntarism and to demonstrate the effectiveness of volunteers in addressing social problems. Its major programs include the Foster Grandparent, Retired Senior Volunteer, and Senior Companion programs for the elderly and a variety of programs for youth.

The announcement of the program followed the first meeting of the President's Task Force on Private Sector Initiatives, chaired by William Verity, chairman of Armco Steel. Two of VOLUNTEER's board members, George Romney and Senator David Durenberger (R-Minn.), sit on that task force, as does Tom Pauken, Director of ACTION.

Official nomination forms are available by writing to the President's Volunteer Action Awards, P.O. Box 37488, Washington, D.C., 20013. The deadline for receipt of nominations is February 7.