The National Peace Corps Association is seeking the names of volunteers who served in the Peace Corps.
About 200,000 Americans have volunteered for the Peace Corps since it was founded by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. But records of that service were lost during the Nixon administration, association president Kevin Quigley said, when President Richard M. Nixon consolidated the Peace Corps with other federal volunteer organizations.
Because of privacy laws established in the 1970s, the government does not share its records with the independent Washington, D.C.-based not-for-profit Peace Corps Association, Quigley said.
The advocacy group is also looking for another 50,000 people who worked as staff during the time period.
Through networks, contacts and records, the Association has found about 100,000 names of volunteers. Its goal is to compile a complete list by 2016.
In addition to wanting to connect former Peace Corps volunteers with each other, the association emphasized that numbers matter in a place like Washington, D.C.
“The more people you have in a group, the more people think that what you do matters,” Quigley said.
Former Peace Corps volunteers who want to be counted should go to www.peacecorpsconnect.org and follow links on the homepage, or call 202-293-7728.