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 Sep 3, 2009
    Andrea W. knows a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. Andrea, a guidance counselor at Vero Beach Elementary School, decided to turn her summer off into a summer of service. Not knowing what type of service she wanted to perform, Andrea joined the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Indian River County. Through RSVP she found the Social Entrée Meals program at the Senior Resource Association.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    This summer (2009) was a hot, exciting and challenging summer for the Interfaith Partnership/ Faith Beyond Walls St. Louis Interfaith Community Exploitations (SLICE) program. Interfaith Partnership/ Faith Beyond Walls works with congregations and faith communities to promote peace, understanding and respect among people of all faiths and within the greater Saint Louis metro area.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    "Move over. Let me show you a man-portion! These men are big. You need to give 'em more chili." Listening to the expert, I forfeit the chili ladle from my latex-ed hands and back away.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    Cisco employees decided that they wanted to “make an impact” and not just “write a check” for the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens in downtown San Jose, an area maintained entirely by volunteers. Thirty-eight Cisco employees rolled up their sleeves to clean and provide maintenance for the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens, donating more than 800 hours in 2008.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    Cooperative service among Czech/Slovak families was the purpose of ZCBJ Lodge 236 of Phillips, Wisconsin, founded in 1914, a mile deep in the woods at a community dance hall. From that small beginning the dozen or so families expanded to include non-Czech/Slovaks and evolved into Western Fraternal Life Association. They also volunteer time, financial and material aid to local, state and national charities without ethnic consideration.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    As the program director for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, I work with community volunteers in 3 New York City neighborhoods on a Community Supported Agriculture Project.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I came into volunteer on the Monday morning before the 4th of July, excited for the three days ahead of me and the upcoming holiday. This was my third week as a camp counselor for Discovery Camp, the National Ability Center's day camp for children and teens with disabilities. By now I was beginning to feel like I knew what I was doing, and I was eager to take on more responsibility.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I am an AmeriCorps VISTA member working in Port Charlotte, FL at Facilitator for Good Friends, a free reading and literacy program for second and third graders.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    My name is Carolyn and I am a volunteer at the Piney Creek Watershed Association (PCWA). I am so grateful that I was introduced to PCWA because it is a wonderful group of people who have a passion for the community, access to clean water and protecting the environment.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I spent my high school years at a Jesuit school in Portland, Oregon. Our school motto was “Age Quod Agis,” a Latin proverb that means, “Do well whatever you do.” Throughout high school, this concept was constantly emphasized by teachers, coaches, and priests. “Study your hardest; you only get to take this test once.” “Leave it all on the field; there are no points for second place.” “God doesn’t care if you have a bad voice; sing loudly with the voice He gave you."

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