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 7, 2009
    My dad has been in the military for over 25 years. I have been through the hurts that come with deployment and that’s why I started “Sisterhood of the Traveling BDUs” with a friend and won a Do Something grant to help us reach our goals. BDU stands for Battle Dress Uniforms.
  • Posted on Aug 7, 2009
    Many families spend their weekends at ballparks decked out in team colors, cheering on little league sports teams. Some families in Orange County, however, spend one Sunday a month rallying together as a different kind of team, where the goal is not to win, but to serve.
  • Posted on Aug 7, 2009
    This summer I’ve been working as an AmeriCorps Summer VISTA for a non-profit group called Parents Plus. I have just returned from a year abroad in Spain but I figured with my AmeriCorps position mostly involving office work I would not have much of an opportunity to practice my Spanish this summer. I was mistaken.
  • Posted on Aug 7, 2009
    I graduated with my MPH from Boston University (BU) School of Public Health in January of 2008. At that time I was working on a public health research project at BU, an occupational health screening project for former workers of Department of Energy Laboratories.
  • Posted on Aug 6, 2009
    United We Serve to Save Energy & the Earth!! I organized a home energy efficiency event in Battle Creek, Michigan. The overarching goal was to reach out to the Battle Creek community to help lower their energy costs and decrease carbon pollution emissions.
  • Posted on Aug 6, 2009
    First reading service experience today (July 27, 2009) at the Charles Houston Recreation Center here in Alexandria. Arrived a bit early to a beautiful new community center that was spacious and inviting.
  • Posted on Aug 6, 2009
    Odyssey House, Inc., a 40 year old non-profit community service agency devoted to assisting disenfranchised individuals with substance abuse and mental health problems, serves many different populations in our residential treatment facilities and supportive housing.
  • Posted on Aug 6, 2009
    I am a Veterans Affairs Voluntary Service Deputy at the Batavia, NY, Veterans Hospital and Representative at the NYSNH in Batavia, NY. I serve through the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 626, in the town of Alabama, NY.
  • Posted on Aug 6, 2009
    I am volunteering at the Ramsey County Care Center in St.Paul. We did this service project to learn how to help our community by volunteering. I have learned that volunteering is important because you do it for yourself not because you have to or because you want money for it, but because it matters to you that you have made some body happy for a day. You have let somebody know that you care about them.
  • Posted on Aug 5, 2009
    Governor Timothy M. Kaine of Virginia participated in two United We Serve volunteer projects at the end of July including a park clean up and weatherization of a home.

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