(1) This act may be cited as the “Florida Volunteer and Community Service Act of 2001.”
(2) It is the intent of the Legislature to promote the development of better communities by fostering greater civic responsibility through volunteerism and service to the community. Toward this end, the Executive Office of the Governor may establish policies and procedures which provide for the expenditure of funds to develop and facilitate initiatives by public agencies, scholastic institutions, private institutions, and individuals that establish and implement programs that encourage and reward volunteerism.
(3) Initiatives and programs developed pursuant to this act shall have the following purposes and objectives:
(a) To place increased priority on citizen participation and volunteerism as a means of addressing the increasingly complex problems facing Florida’s communities.
(b) To encourage local community leaders to implement strategies that expand civic participation based on the fact that volunteers represent a valuable and much-needed asset within communities.
(c) To promote the concept and practice of corporate citizenship, particularly in communities where such initiatives are less developed.
(d) To build the enthusiasm, dedication, and combined expertise of individual citizens and public and private systems to find new and creative ways to effectively use volunteerism and community service as a strategy to meet the challenges facing Florida’s communities both now and in the future.
(e) To foster the alignment of community volunteer resources with the goals of the state.
(f) To implement policy and administrative changes that encourage and enable individuals to participate in volunteer and community service activities.
(g) To encourage nonprofit agencies to interweave volunteers into the fabric of their service delivery as a means of increasing the effectiveness and efficiency of their services.
(h) To support and promote volunteer service to all citizens as an effective means to address community needs and foster a collective commitment to lifelong community service.
(i) To recognize National Volunteer Week as a time to encourage all citizens of Florida to participate in local service projects.
(j) To recognize the value of individual volunteers and volunteer and service organizations and programs and to honor and celebrate the success of volunteers.
(k) To encourage volunteer and service efforts to point children in the right direction and to endow them with the character and competence they need to achieve success in life. In order to accomplish this, the citizens of Florida are encouraged to support America’s Promise, the Alliance for Youth, and Florida’s Promise for Youth through volunteerism and citizen service, to help ensure that children in Florida have the following five fundamental resources in their lives:
1. An ongoing relationship with a caring adult.
2. Safe places with structured activities during after-school hours.
3. A healthy start.
4. A marketable skill through effective education.
5. An opportunity to give back through community service.