The field of community and national service lost an important voice this week: former Senator Harris Wofford. For those of us in the realm of national and international service, his passing marks a great loss. Wofford’s efforts over the course of his career helped create John F. Kennedy’s Peace Corps, Bill Clinton’s AmeriCorps, and other service organizations such as Senior Corps and Learn to Serve America, all federally funded programs that recruited hundreds of thousands of volunteers. Ironically, Mr. Wofford passed away on Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day of Service.
Wofford’s passing on this particular day seems amazingly befitting. Dr. King Jr.’s Day of Service is observed by many through volunteering that helps their neighbors and nation. This national holiday embodies the American spirit that is aptly captured in this Ronald Reagan quote: “American spirit of voluntary service… flows like a deep and mighty river through the history of our nation.”
Mr. Wofford’s passion for service not only helped propel domestic organizations but also forged support for those involved in global service. We at WorldTeach would like to honor Mr. Wofford’s passing for all that he has done to advance international service. His life’s commitment to service validates and remains as our north star.