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 13, 2009
    Imagine 1948. Soldiers returning from the war, many anxious to move on with their lives using the new GI Bill to improve their education and career opportunities. But what about those blinded in service to our country? What could be done for them? Ann T. McDonald had the answer. Record textbooks on tape.
  • Posted on Aug 13, 2009
    I am a summer intern in the Office of the Mayor of New York City, and I am a proud member of the brand new NYC Service team. NYC Service is a new municipal initiative by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to answer President Obama’s national call to service, and its primary goal is to increase volunteerism and civic engagement in the city.
  • Posted on Aug 13, 2009
    Leadership Morgan Hill is a community based leadership program that is open to citizens residing and/or working in Morgan Hill, CA. The purpose of the organization is to develop future community leaders by engaging and introducing "students" to the inner workings of the city government and the community in general.
  • Posted on Aug 13, 2009
    Every day is a gift for Gary Klinker, a Cisco employee who suffered cardiac arrest and was saved by members of Cisco’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) program.
  • Posted on Aug 12, 2009
    Right To Play, an international humanitarian organization that uses sport and play programs to improve health, develop life skills, and foster peace for children and communities in some of the most disadvantaged areas of the world. It recently organized an international exchange between Jordanians and Americans, supported by the U
  • 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

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