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 17, 2009
    I have been a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member in Cobb County, Georgia since 2004. It all started with my desire to help my family and neighbors to survive a disaster.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    My child, Emelly, was born with a chromosome disorder that resulted in her being mentally disabled, virtually immobile, and afflicted regularly with seizures. She was unable to sit upright and indicated little, or no, awareness of activity or people.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    This post from the Arizona Republic just scratches the surface of a great story of service, and how we can help increase volunteerism around the nation. Jul. 6, 2009 04:20 PM
  • Posted on Jul 16, 2009
    The Columbus Crew, the 2008 Major League Soccer champs, took Washington, DC, by storm on July 13. First stop was the White House, where they were honored by President Obama for winning the championship and for serving their community.
  • Posted on Jul 16, 2009
    I graduated from Auburn University in May 2009 and found myself jobless, yet needing to finish my lease in Auburn. My lease terminated at the end of July, so I decided to begin volunteering at the Lee County Red Cross in Opelika, AL to pass the time and gain some non-profit experience. The Lee County Red Cross put me to work running errands, cleaning up the office space, and doing clerical work. I also help with our Utilities assistance program and with the occasional fire call.
  • Posted on Jul 16, 2009
    My musical group, Taylor Made Jazz, have been performing for troops for 30 years. I started performing at bases around my area and then on bases up and down the east coast at the end of the Vietnam War. I did not serve in the war but have maintained my commitment to the troops. I performed professionally for many years, and currently continue my music by entertaining our troops through the Department of Defense’s Armed Forces Entertainment and through various Morale Welfare and Recreation units when called upon.
  • Posted on Jul 16, 2009
    I am the day to day manager of a nonprofit farmers' market that was founded in February, 2008 with the mission of growing and sustaining a local food economy in and around Pass Christian, Mississippi. We provide a venue for small farmers and other producers to be entrepreneurs and sell their products directly to the public. We educate the public about the importance of supporting local farmers and sustainable farming practices. We take part in the USDA Farmers Market Nutrition Program and we are active in local food drives.
  • Posted on Jul 16, 2009
    I am going into the 8th grade at Andrew Jackson Middle School in Titusville, FL. This summer I am a part of a week-long camp improving Jackson's Learn and Serve team. Learn and Serve is a club at my school and we do service projects that benefit both the recipient and the giver. We help the community and learn at the same time.
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    Nearly 50% of residents of Lansing Michigan are living at or near poverty levels. In an effort to help residents stretch their financial resources and improve their access to nutritious, locally grown foods, the Old Town Commercial Association is sponsoring the first ever Community Garden project.
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    The greenest building is the one that already exists." The US Forest Service has hosted a volunteer historic preservation program called "Passport in Time" since 1989. Volunteers work with professional archaeologists and preservationists to restore historic buildings for continued use. Not only does this save buildings, it engages communities and fosters civic pride in their history.

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