Dan Campbell (El Salvador 1974-77) wrote a letter to his senator– Tim Kaine–asking for support for the Peace Corps in the upcoming budget. I thought we would all like to read it and asked Dan if I might share it with you. Thanks, Dan.
Dear Mr. Campbell:
Thank you for contacting me about the Peace Corps. I appreciate hearing from you.
Since 1961, the Peace Corps has challenged nearly 220,000 Americans to serve in over 140 countries and to help people in need. In the process, Peace Corps volunteers have helped develop hundreds of communities around the world while promoting a better understanding of the American people. Currently, about 6,800 volunteers, including over 200 Virginians, serve in 64 countries, mostly in Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. I strongly believe that this service helps advance the national interests of the United States.
I understand the value of serving abroad to help people in need. When I was in law school, I decided to take a year off from my studies to work with Jesuit missionaries in El Progreso, Honduras, where I taught young students carpentry and welding skills. This experience taught me the importance of skills-based training-both abroad and at home-and inspired me to pursue the issue of expanding career and technical education in the U.S. Senate. In February 2015, I had the pleasure of returning to El Progreso and seeing the success and expansion of the campus where I taught.
In March 2015, I wrote a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, urging full support for the President’s 2016 budget request of $410 million for the Peace Corps. I am glad that this budget request was included in a bipartisan agreement by the House and Senate to fund operations of government for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016. In March 2016, I joined 29 of my colleagues in a letter to the Senate Appropriations Committee, reiterating the need to continue strong investments in the Peace Corps for Fiscal Year 2017. As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I will continue to support a strong diplomatic corps, including the Peace Corps.
Thank you again for contacting me.