National Service Blog

  • Posted on May 20, 2016

    Earlier this week I traveled to Joplin, Missouri, for a trip I will never forget. The Joplin story is one of a community that that never gave up, that demonstrated steely resolve in the face of tragedy, and that is coming back stronger and better than before. It is also the story of volunteers – 130,000 strong and counting – whose selfless service has lifted up an entire community when it needed it most.

    For many residents, the one year anniversary was a painful reminder of the devastating EF-5 tornado that ripped through Joplin, killing 161 people, destroying 7,500 homes and buildings, and leaving a trail of destruction through the heart of the city.

    A destroyed home displays a thank you message by Joplin resididents to volunteers.

    But even more so, the anniversary was a symbol of hope, pride, optimism, and unity. The people of Joplin did not let themselves be defined by what happened on May 22, 2011. Instead they defined themselves by what happened after - their extraordinary resilience and desire to rebuild.

    As President Obama told the graduating seniors at Joplin High School, “Here in Joplin, you've also learned that we have the power to grow...

  • Posted on Aug 12, 2009
    I am the Volunteer Coordinator for the Reading Is Power! program at the post-dispositional New Beginnings Program in The Northern Virginia Juvenile Detention Home (NVJDH) in Alexandria, Virginia. Reading Is Power! uses the Read Naturally Program, a nationally known and research-based reading program that assists youth in developing a strong foundation of phonemic awareness to develop fluency and become independent and confident readers.
  • Posted on Aug 12, 2009
    On Saturday, August 1st Rebuilding Together Orange County, the nonprofit I'm serving my AmeriCorps term with, held one of their rebuild projects at the Veterans First transitional living facility. Veterans First is the only nonprofit in Orange County, CA offering veterans a wide range of services: case management, counseling, substance abuse programs, job training and placement and homeless shelter.
  • Posted on Aug 12, 2009
    When I received an email from US Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack regarding the President and first Lady’s summer of service initiative, United We Serve, I thought, “Oh no, now what?” As I read about the goals of the program, I wasn’t sure if I would have either the time or the energy to do anything. But, as I thought about how lucky I am at this time to have a job, a roof over my head and a reliable vehicle, it seemed very little to ask me to give up one afternoon. Little did I know how much value I would find in giving up one afternoon of my time.
  • Posted on Aug 12, 2009
    Among the many difficulties facing the Appalachian communities of Southwest Virginia is the quality of education. With limited funding, many primary and high schools struggle to meet the Standards of Learning (SOL), set forth by the state of Virginia in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. In recent years, the rural elementary schools of Russell County have sought to incorporate an environmental education aspect in their curriculum. They’ve experienced difficulty in implementing the project due to lack of resources and few qualified instructors.
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
    Parts of the 30th Street Industrial Corridor in the heart of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently got a bit of a face lift. Nearly 40 volunteers donned gloves, grabbed shovels and rakes, and hauled trash bag after trash bag to dumpsters in an effort to clean up streets, alleys, and abandoned properties in the area.
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
    The North Riverside Public Library, the heart of the Village of North Riverside, IL, had a huge project that needed to be completed as quickly as possible in order to make its DVD collection available to the patrons with the least amount of interruption and inconvenience. The time consuming project consisted of transferring over 1300 DVDs from old CD cases to new, more durable security-lined cases. How could this project be accomplished with the small staff working on the project only during slivers of time between their other projects?
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
    On August 4th, six of our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers served 18 hours assisting with the annual “National Night Out.” This community event provides our entire community with heightened crime and drug prevention awareness; generates support for and participation in local anticrime programs; strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and sends a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fightin
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
    Linda Loi has been volunteering in the Golden Gate National Park for the last five years. First in the Urban Trail Blazers Program and most recently with the program Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders, Loi has dedicated hours of her time each week to giving back, not just environmentally but also as a youth leader and role model to others in her programs.
  • Posted on Aug 10, 2009

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