After World War II, there was a boom in babies. The war victory along with a new optimism was good for the post-war generation. They came into adulthood during the 1960s and 1950s, and were part of some of the greatest social changes of the twentieth-century. Some of the baby boomers went into the Peace Corps, while others became socially aware about their responsibilities to the global community. The era of social responsibility and volunteerism had its roots with the baby boomers.
Sixty years after WWII, the baby boomers are now past middle age, most of them retired, and a lot of them have taken it upon themselves to return what society had blessed them. Volunteerism is alive and well in the United States. Philanthropy is not just a mindset, it is fueled by compassion and the idea of making the world a better place. It is not a fad, or a fashion, but a passion and a vocation. Sixty years after the most horrible war in human experience, more than fifty years after the civil rights movement and the sexual revolution, the same people who made it happen are again back to their roots of helping others. These people volunteer abroad out of the goodness of their hearts and because they have the means to do so.
This time it is no longer about community building or nation building, but about getting people on their feet. There are a lot of concerns, and issues which are still to be addressed. Even basic things as clean water, irrigation, education, health and childcare, including AIDS, are still out in the world needing more hands to do the work. Today’s volunteers may not be as brawny nor young as they were, but this time they have age and experience on their side. People listen to older people who know what needs to be done.