National Service Blog

  • Posted on Feb 11, 2016

    Rebecca is confined to a wheelchair and has some difficulty speaking due to her Cerebral Palsy. Three days a week, however, she has been a devoted volunteer for the Salinas Family YMCA in California for over two years. She greets people with a wonderful smile and her entire body, joking with “the regulars” and exemplifying the kind of welcoming atmosphere that YMCA wishes to offer its communities.

    “I wanted to do different kinds of work and to help people,” said Rebecca when asked why she chose to volunteer with the Salinas Community YMCA. Working at the YMCA “makes me very happy. I have a lot of friends. I help people out. People are nice to me. I have Cerebral Palsy and I am in a wheelchair. I have a speech problem.” Because of the Y, “I’m more comfortable talking with other people. The YMCA has given me more self confidence. I’m more comfortable with people. My mom is happy that I work at the YMCA.”

    This spring, Rebecca made a step toward independence and moved into an apartment with a roommate. After working at the Y for a while, “it made me think. Think I could live on my own.”

    “Rebecca helps us achieve our goal to build positive relationships with the members we see each day,” says Dave Kretsinger, executive director. “Our members look forward to seeing and interacting with Rebecca. She comes to work with a positive attitude and is a role model for other staff members. Rebecca and our members celebrate holidays, birthday and...

  • Posted on Aug 26, 2009
    More than three months after floods tore through villages bordering the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers in Alaska, a unique collaborative effort combining the expertise and resources of faith-based disaster response organizations, the State of Alaska and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing aid to the survivors of the disaster. More than 600 people have filed for FEMA assistance following the May floods.
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    In late 2007 we were privileged to meet Commander McCarthy, USN Retired, Director of the Jacksonville Area USO who described her immediate mission of providing two hot meals a month, directly prior to payday, to families of our lower ranked deployed service members.
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    For almost 29 years I have volunteered at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ. I got started when I returned from Florida after two years of "retirement." I felt restless, and had nothing to do. Before raising six boys, I worked as a dietitian in hospitals and knew I loved the hospital atmosphere.
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    This was the first I’d even heard of a Duck Drop Race, so I was intrigued and wanted to participate. It was a chance to bring together community youth, families, the Chamber of Commerce who started the event, and the community watershed organization with which I work: the Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance (SCRA).
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    Two years ago, I enrolled in a mediation certificate program with University of California Extension Service called Common Ground. I will receive my certificate next month. To enrich what I learned in the courses, I also decided to volunteer for the City of Davis, California Community Mediation Services or CMS. CMS has one full time staff member and 40 volunteer mediators who work on a rotating basis serving as members of a three person panel for each mediation.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    On August 4, a group of 15 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) employees volunteered at Walter Reed – a hospital for wounded soldiers. HUD participants held a cookout and served dinner to patients, family members, veterans, and hospital employees.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    “Christmas has come in July for PS 28!” said Principal Nunez of Public School 28 after a group of volunteers spend a day revitalizing his school facility and installing new equipment. And this was a truly collaborative effort.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    Foresters in Southern California have been long time supporters of Ronald McDonald House Charities. We have spent countless hours preparing meals and cleaning and refurbishing the houses. In 2008, we looked todeepen further our relationship with the organization by lending our support to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times®!
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    This summer, Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program launched its Home Energy Ambassador Training program in partnership with United We Serve. Volunteers in more than 35 states have been trained to take common sense and low cost energy efficiency ideas into their community to spread the word about lowering energy bills and carbon footprints.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009

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