Bush Unveils Freedom Corps Campaign

WASHINGTON — President Bush launched a series of humorous public service announcements Tuesday, which urge Americans to volunteer time in their neighborhoods and communities.

The public service campaign is done by The Advertising Council for the U.S. Freedom Corps. Bush unveiled three 30-second TV spots, done by BBDO, New York, and print work by The Martin Agency, Richmond, at a White House ceremony held in the East Room.

“The main reason people give for not volunteering is no one asks them to, ” Bush said. “I’m asking.”

In one spot, called “Rivera,” baseball player Mariano Rivera, dressed in his New York Yankees uniform, walks up to a clerk and says he wants to volunteer for the neighborhood emergency response team to help firefighters. “I was Fireman of the Year three times,” Rivera says. After the skeptical clerk responds that that is a baseball award, the scene shifts to a boy scout troop in the woods. Rivera is seen having trouble starting a campfire as impatient boy scouts look on. “Fireman of the Year, huh?” one boy scout says.

Bush appears at the end of the spot saying, “When you help your neighbors, you help your nation.” The tagline, “Everyone can do something,” closes each spot and viewers are referred to a Web site.

The two other spots feature actress Angie Harmon, and former Senators Bob Dole and John Glenn. The work is expected appear on major networks, affiliates and in newspapers.