In the 1960s, the Americans created the Peace Corps to mobilize the spirit and generosity of a young generation. Now the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) is hoping the Boomer Corps will help mobilize the potential of 76-million baby boomers and transform aging into a source of individual and social renewal.
The Progressive Policy Institute, a Washington think tank, has developed a blueprint calling baby boomers to service and rewarding them for their contributions. The PPI outlined its four-point program in its 2004 policy report: “Boomer Corps: Activating Seniors for National Service:”
Create a Boomer Corps for recent retirees to serve 25 hours per week for one year or more in innovative, grassroots civic projects focused on: 1) home care services and coordinated care; 2) tutoring and mentoring work and educational innovation initiatives; and 3) efforts to organize and coordinate the volunteer activities of additional older adults in these community projects.
Provide service members with a tax-free stipend of $400 pre month to supplement their retirement income during their year of service, and the choice of either a $4,000 education award that can be used for their own continuing education or to send a child or grandchild to college, or a $4,000 health care voucher.
Reach the maximum number of recent retirees by including Call to Service cards with information on joining the Boomer Corps with every American’s first Social Security cheque.
Scale up this new national service program to 1 million members by 2012, so that more than one in every five baby boomers will be able to mark their transition into an active retirement through national service. Recruit 12 community volunteers for every Corps member, so that an additional 12 million older adults will continue to serve five hours per week or more as part of an active retirement.
The cost of the Boomer Corps is projected to be $9 billion annually.
For the full report, visit www.ppionline.org.