President Clinton Buys Christmas Gifts at Peace Corps Store
December 23, 1998Washington, D.C., December 23, 1998—President Clinton went shopping for his family this afternoon and bought various Christmas gifts from around the world at the new Peace Corps Store in downtown Washington. The President became the second member of the Clinton family to shop at the three-month old store, which is located in the lobby of the new Peace Corps headquarters, 1111 20th Street, NW. First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was the first customer at the store, shopping there just before she dedicated the new Peace Corps Building on September 15. "These visits by the President and Mrs. Clinton are a reaffirmation of their support for the Peace Corps and the work of our volunteers around the world," said Peace Corps Director Mark Gearan. Gearan noted that the Peace Corps has the largest budget in its history, $240 million, thanks to a proposal by the President last year to increase the number of volunteers to 10,000. More than 400 additional volunteers will be recruited in 1999, most in education and health, which will bring the total number of Peace Corps volunteers to more than 7,400 by the end of the fiscal year, the highest total since 1974. Currently, nearly 6,700 Peace Corps volunteers are serving in 80 countries, working to help fight hunger, bring clean water to communities, teach children, help start new small businesses, and stop the spread of AIDS. The Peace Corps Store is owned by Guest Services, which currently owns and operates numerous successful gift shops in the Washington area. The goods sold at the store represent many Peace Corps countries, with the majority of the items from Morocco, Haiti, Guatemala, Nepal, and the Philippines.