National Service Blog

  • Posted on Feb 9, 2015

    Most low-income families face a litany of financial and employment challenges, which is why Social Innovation Fund (SIF) intermediary the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is expanding its comprehensive Financial Opportunity Centers and using data to inform these expansion efforts.

    These 75 centers nationwide represent both a workforce-development and asset-building programming model with services such as job readiness, employment training, financial coaching and help in accessing public benefits.

    Through these services, participants can boost monthly net income and obtain critical supports such as health insurance and utility assistance that improve family well-being.

    “Low-income, low-wage jobs are not enough to sustain a family,” said Seung Kim, LISC program director for family income and wealth building. “Our strategy is to empower individuals and families through an intentional, integrated services approach.”

    These integrated services, or “bundled services,” aim to provide individuals with employment counseling, financial coaching, and access to income supports to help boost steady income, reduce expenses, and build credit and wealth. It is a value-added approach that includes a major emphasis on data and evaluation. For example, one key research question is whether participants receiving multiple services show stronger outcomes than those participating in only one or two activities.

    “The data really drive how we understand the program,” Kim said.

    For example, job placement rates are higher for those with greater involvement. Individuals with only basic employment services have a 26 percent...

  • Posted on Jul 23, 2009
    I am Sally K. and a member of the Catholic Knights in Milwaukee, WI.
  • Posted on Jul 23, 2009
    I am the AmeriCorps VISTA for Lackawanna Heritage Valley Authority (LHVA) in Scranton, PA. I coordinate the volunteer activities for LVHA. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Clarks Summit, PA contacted us because they wanted to bring church members out for a weekend community service event.
  • Posted on Jul 23, 2009
    On Tuesday, June 23rd, Nothing But Nets joined the FBR Branch of the local Boys & Girls Clubs in Anacostia to engage the youth on the issue of malaria. 125 students ages five through 15 joined us in fun and interactive activities such as skits, creative drawing, and a NETS basketball game which served to both educate and empower the students to take action on a global issue.
  • Posted on Jul 22, 2009
  • Posted on Jul 22, 2009
    More than one-third of American children entering kindergarten today lack the basic language skills they will need to learn to read. So on June 23rd, U.S.
  • Posted on Jul 22, 2009
    “Will you marry me?” were the last words I expected to hear on my first day of volunteering with Kids Enjoy Exercise Now (KEEN). Yet within one hour of meeting Jamie, I received my first proposal. Jamie was eleven years old at the time and he also happened to be the first person with Down syndrome with whom I had ever interacted.
  • Posted on Jul 22, 2009
    My name is Mitch and I am a volunteer fishing instructor for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and an Anglers’ Legacy Ambassador. The Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation’s (RBFF) Anglers’ Legacy Program is a nationwide mentoring program to introduce newcomers to fishing and boating.
  • Posted on Jul 22, 2009
    I am an Episcopal priest and became involved with the Warrior to Citizen Campaign, a grassroots effort to support Minnesota’s returning veterans, in 2007. I was drawn to the organization because it represents the best of civic engagement and living my faith.
  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    After Hurricane Katrina, retired businessman Bill Groome wanted to help rebuild New Orleans, his home of 30 years, but knew his best talents were not in the carpentry or construction field. Operation HOPE provided him with the opportunity to put his extraordinary business skills to good use.
  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    At Martin Luther King Jr. Magnet High School in Tennessee, a group of students decided to take Do Something’s “Increase Your Green” challenge, where students across the nation competed to see who could make their school most environmentally friendly. These students initiated their school's first ever recycling program, collecting glass, paper, aluminum, ink cartridges, and cell phones. In 8 weeks, they collected 30,000 bottles and cans, and 350 lbs of paper! Students made daily announcements as reminders to switch off lights, computers, and televisions in each classroom.

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