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Alec Dickson: Pioneering Influence on Two Continents

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PhotoAlec Dickson is a name not enough newcomers to the field of volunteerism know, yet he was an active and outspoken advocate for the importance of volunteering from the 1950s up to his death in 1994. He founded the British organization, Voluntary Service Overseas, which directly influenced the development of the Peace Corps in the United States. Then he began Community Service Volunteers, a domestic program still placing over 3,000 full-time volunteers a year into service throughout the United Kingdom. The ripple effect of his influence was international, if not always attributed, as he was one of the first to articulate many of the principles we now value in this field. On the other hand, many of his opinions continue to be provocative -- reason enough to keep his words circulating and discussed.