Why does it take government grant money for volunteerism?

I was wondering what Governor Patrick was up to these days, so I inquired onto the Governor’s page which highlighted “Commonwealth Corps” with a mission statement of

“Commonwealth Corps will work with non-profit organizations and public entities to reinvigorate civic involvement to help address the Commonwealth’s most urgent needs. Commonwealth Corps members will work to strengthen the bonds of common purpose and unite people in service for the common good. Corps members will provide direct service, recruit, organize and mobilize additional volunteers – building a grassroots movement of volunteers dedicated to service.”

So I went into the press releases to look more into exactly what Commonwealth Corp’s purpose, which is ultimately try to get citizens to volunteer such as ‘meals on wheels’ or adopt a dog which will later own help a disabled person.

This is what upsets me.

Governor Patrick Awards More Than $2.3 Million In Grants For Commonwealth Corps Volunteers

Please pardon the profanity, but WTF!

From the Press release


Proposed by Governor Patrick in 2007, the mission of the Commonwealth Corps is to engage Massachusetts residents of all ages and backgrounds in direct service to rebuild communities and address their unmet needs. Commonwealth Corps will provide opportunities for skill building, leadership development and will encourage and enhance a lifelong civic vocation for its members.

Commonwealth Corps will work with non-profit organizations and public entities to reinvigorate civic involvement to help address the Commonwealth’s most urgent needs. Commonwealth Corps members will work to strengthen the bonds of common purpose and unite people in service for the common good. Corps members will provide direct service, recruit, organize and mobilize additional volunteers – building a grassroots movement of volunteers dedicated to service.

I have nothing against volunteering, it’s called charity. Charity is something one does on their own initiative. Charity, unlike anything else, expects nothing in return. That is what makes charity wonderful, instead of this incomprehendable garble about the common good and unity that takes over two million dollars of public funds to promote.  

I should like to add though, grants such as Governor Patrick Announces $823,608 in Workforce Competitiveness Grant Funding for Lowell Area Grant funding for two projects will increase pipeline of skilled workers in construction, healthcare are fine with me.

From the press release

“The Cambodian Mutual Assistance Association of Lowell will receive a

$323,609 grant for a three-year initiative to assist the City of Lowell’s Asian community, which has a lower rate of college graduates and holders of associate’s degrees.

The project is a collaborative effort between labor unions and employers to increase the number of bricklayers, carpenters, masons, painters and others in the construction industry to meet rising demand.  The grant will connect existing opportunities, such as Lowell’s GED program and the union’s apprenticeship program, while integrating a system for recruiting, case management, referrals and supplemental training to help recruits pass required pre-admission tests.   The goal is to get 60 people on the path from unemployment to well-paying, skilled construction jobs.

Other project partners include Trinity Financial, Inc., CWC Builders, Architectural Heritage Foundation and labor including Laborers International Union of North America Local 429, International Union of Bricklayers and Related Crafts, Local 1, New England Regional Council of Carpenters, District 35 and Painters & Allied Trades Union as well the Mass AFL-FIO and Lowell Adult Education

Governor Patrick also announced Community Teamwork, Inc. will receive a $499,999 grant to offer a two-level readiness course and a variety of technical training to help 240 people gain career pathways to jobs in the healthcare sector. Targeted jobs include Certified Nurse’s Aide, Transporter/Attendant, Medical Assistant/Phlebotomist, Clerk, Administrative Medical Assistant, Unit/Administrative Secretary and LPN.  Community Teamwork’s project will increase the quality and stability of the region’s healthcare workforce.

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