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 4, 2009
    Little did Whole Foods shoppers know that when they donated their unwanted cell phones at Secure the Call’s collection barrels in Ann Arbor and West Bloomfield, MI that not only were they ‘greening’ their community, but they were also helping to keep the Detroit area safe.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    I hold a part-time summer job at the National Park Service in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which is nearby to my home in Milford, PA. The national park system is a unique way all Americans can connect with our country. When I arrived at work the other day (I collect tolls and distribute information at a booth along a 20-mile stretch of road that cuts through the park), a memo sat by the cash register: To: All Department of Interior Employees; From: Secretary; Subject: United We Serve. What a revelation.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    Shortly after I joined the USDA five years ago, my husband, Bruce, suffered a massive stroke at the age of 42. It was touch and go for five days before I learned that he would survive. But there was no telling how bad his deficits would be since the stroke hit his midbrain; the center where sight, sound, temperature control, reason and mobility intertwine.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    On July 23, I volunteered with more than 150 other ARAMARK employees at the East Baltimore Development Inc (EBDI) Community Center as part of a company-wide service day, ARAMARK Building Community.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    Disasters have become too commonplace in the world. I couldn’t just stand around and let people suffer because they are unprepared so I started a youth-run volunteer organization, Always Ready Kids, and won a Do Something Disaster Grant to help fund my efforts.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    I teach Calculus to middle school students during the summer. I cover the conceptual entirety of a College Calculus I course adapted for Algebra I backgrounds. Calculus is something most people (never mind middle school students!), regardless of socioeconomic background, are typically intimidated by. serve my community by teaching calculus and showing young people they can thrive.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    Like most immigrants, my parents bought the idea of the American Dream, the popular but misguided belief that hard work would yield benefits that far outweigh the cost. But the hardships they faced were never expected—no access to healthcare, language barriers, racism, social isolation, and poverty.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    I started Birthday Wish with five of my friends in the winter of our freshman year of high school(2006). We started it after Youth Venture, an organization that helps teenagers make a difference in the community by granting seed-money to start non-profits, came to our school looking for motivated teens.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    We have a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) at Cedarhill Estates Mobile Home Park at Fullerton, CA. About 30 people took the CERT training course and received a certificate of completion in 2006. We have taken various additional classes such as defibrillator training, CPR and basic first aid. Our community is a limited access community with just one way in and out. We do have an emergency gate separating our community with a community to the north of us that remains locked. In the event of an emergency this gate will be unlocked.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    My name is Robby Riess, Assistant Cubmaster of Pack 353 Brooklyn, NY & Brooklyn District Committee Camping Chairman. This project was brought to my attention by Jack Walsh, Brooklyn Council Vice President, and Brooklyn’s only Distinguished Eagle Scout.

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