All Americans actively engage in our democracy by celebrating our heritage, defending the Constitution, and protecting individual freedoms.
Founded in 1949 by E.F. Hutton, Don Belding, Kenneth Wells, and General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Freedoms Foundation is located on 72-acres in the heart of Valley Forge. This national educational non-profit welcomes thousands of people a year to participate in programs to encourage engaged, responsible citizenship based on the Bill of Responsibilities authored by Freedoms Foundation in 1985. With over twenty chapters and more than 3,000 volunteers spread across the nation, Freedoms Foundation is filled with people who wish to pass on a legacy of freedom and democracy, which requires active, engaged citizens ready to accept the responsibilities and challenges of self-government.
Freedoms Foundation promotes the ideals and principles of our free society and encourages all Americans to embrace both their rights and the responsibilities and contribute to the common good of society. By recognizing good citizenship through our awards programs and inspiring leaders through our education programs, we cultivate civic responsibility in all, strengthening and bolstering our democracy for future generations.
Civic education is no longer a priority in many schools. As social studies curricula are squeezed by STEM and standardized testing, American students are missing fundamental lessons on citizenship and civic responsibility. Freedoms Foundation’s educational programs are an investment that lasts a lifetime, one that promises our experiment in limited self-government will not fail. Since 1949, more than 5 million people have been impacted by FFVF citizenship programs. More than 80% of FFVF alumni register to vote at their first opportunity. The National Average is 60%. More than 75% of FFVF students volunteer in a community service project or program. The National Average is 23%.
Preamble to the Bill of Responsibilities:
Freedom and responsibility are mutual and inseparable; we can ensure enjoyment of the one only by exercising the other. Freedom for all of us depends on responsibility by each of us. To secure and expand our liberties, therefore, we accept these responsibilities as individual members of a free society.
To be fully responsible for our own actions and for the consequences of those actions. Freedom to choose carries with it the responsibility for our choices.
To respect the rights and beliefs of others. In a free society, diversity flourishes. Courtesy and consideration toward others are measures of a civilized society.
To give sympathy, understanding, and help to others. As we hope others will help us when we are in need, we should help others when they are in need.
To do our best to meet our own and our families’ needs. There is no personal freedom without economic freedom. By helping ourselves and those closest to us to become productive members of society, we contribute to the strength of the nation.
To respect and obey the laws. Laws are mutually accepted rules by which, together, we maintain a free society. Liberty itself is built on the foundation of law. That foundation provides an orderly process for changing laws. It also depends on our obeying laws once they have been freely adopted.
To respect the property of others, both private and public. No one has a right to what is not his or hers. The right to enjoy what is ours depends on our respecting the right of others to enjoy what is theirs.
To share with others our appreciation of the benefits and obligations of freedom. Freedom shared is freedom strengthened.
To participate constructively in the nation’s political life. Democracy depends on an active citizenry. It depends equally on an informed citizenry.
To help freedom survive by assuming personal responsibility for its defense. Our nation cannot survive unless we defend it. Its security rests on the individual determination of each of us to help preserve it.
To respect the rights and to meet the responsibilities on which our liberty rests and our democracy depends. This is the essence of freedom. Maintaining it requires our common effort, all together and each individually.