Big Citizenship

Today while waiting in line at my local non-governmental shipping store, I eavesdropped on customers inquiring on the price of sending numerous 150 lb. packages to Haiti.

I got a little misty-eyed (Who knew I had so much in common with John Boehner?!) when they said they were working with college kids to send toiletries to the cholera-ravaged country.

Now those are some big citizens.

("And the kicker," chimed in the lone employee behind the counter, "is that I'm from Haiti!")

I've always been at a loss as to how I can be of help in the world (specifically in my new hometown of Tampa), which was why I was drawn to Alan Khazei's book
Big Citizenship: How Pragmatic Idealism Can Bring Out the Best in America.

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing Alan for the WMNF News. The 3-minute segment will most likely air tonight, and an extended version will air next Monday evening as part of my author interview special.

Alan, a huge believer in national service, co-founded City Year in the late 80's, which became the model for AmeriCorps. He later helped save AmeriCorps when it was threatened by political shenanigans. Again, another teary-eyed moment for me since I served in AmeriCorps during the 2005-2006 school year as a second grade reading tutor as part of Hillsborough Reads.

But not to worry, I didn't cry over the air. Not that there's
anything wrong with that.

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