National Service Blog

  • Posted on Aug 20, 2015

    How well or poorly a child reads in the third grade is a good predictor of his or her future success. Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantee Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is helping catalyze action and investment in pre-K-3 education to better prepare San Mateo County third-graders for reading and continued achievement.

    The eight-year-old, Mountain View, CA-based SVCF is the largest community foundation in the United States, with more than $6 billion in assets under management. It serves San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, focusing on solving the most challenging problems, improving quality of life, and inspiring greater civic participation.

    Although it’s home to the prosperous high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, the region faces stark income inequality and the socioeconomic challenges that result from it. Forty-three percent of San Mateo County’s third-grade students are not reading at grade level, rising to over 60 percent for Latino, African-American, and Pacific Islander third-graders.

    Recognizing the importance of reading proficiency to closing the achievement gap, in 2012 SVCF helped convene a group of county leaders and community-...

  • Posted on Sep 10, 2009
    In 2007 we started the Boston Latin School Youth Climate Action Network as a student led extracurricular club devoted to helping the environment. That same year, we won Do Something’s “Increase Your Green Competition” for the positive changes we made in our school and community. At our first meeting, over 90 students showed up, and formed seven specific committees to take action. Less than a year later, our membership has swelled to over 300 students, and 16 separate committees!
  • Posted on Sep 10, 2009
    A few years ago, my husband helped build two new prisons in our rural West Virginia town. During the Christmas holidays, my husband had to go to the construction site daily to put kerosene in heaters because the new drywall had to be kept at warm temperatures and on one occasion, gave me a mini tour of the still vacant prison. Stepping into one of the cells gave essence to one of the coldest feelings I could imagine. As a member of the faith community, I was drawn from that moment with a desire to reach out in some way to those who might spend their time in the cold concrete cells.
  • Posted on Sep 10, 2009
    Verizon employees across the country have collected more than $500,000 worth of back-to-school supplies to assist schools and nonprofit organizations. The volunteers participated in the Verizon Foundation's three-week Tools for School campaign to collect new and gently used rulers, crayons, backpacks and other items children need to start the school year. Employees at more than 500 Verizon locations took part in the campaign.
  • Posted on Sep 10, 2009
    In a well-traveled corridor in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Education wing, President and Mrs. Obama dance at the inaugural ball, frozen in papier-mâché; a horse and rider made of steel wire prepare to charge into battle; an aluminum-foil woman lifts a friend from a pile of shattered dreams, represented by pieces of broken mirror, tiny Monopoly houses, and bits of paper money. The themes are potent and the concepts are strong—especially considering the artists who created them are legally blind.
  • Posted on Sep 9, 2009
    During United We Serve's Safety and Security Week, the Montana Governor's Office of Community Service had a great time in Lockwood on the last day of our Fire Ready Montana tour! It was a beautiful day and all the local fire and emergency officials were there, along with several community booths. Residents came out with their kids to meet Smokey Bear and enjoy the fire truck demonstrations. It truly was a community event!
  • Posted on Sep 9, 2009
    The University Muslim Medical Association (UMMA) Community Clinic is the first full-time community health center in the United States established by Muslims – a true milestone for Muslims of America. Its mission is to promote the well-being of the underserved by providing access to high-quality health care for all, regardless of ability to pay. Located two blocks away from the flashpoint of the 1992 riots in South Los Angeles, the UMMA Community Clinic stands as the medical home for thousands of uninsured residents that have no other alternative.
  • Posted on Sep 9, 2009
    Secretary Vilsack reiterated President Obama’s call to service and talked about the importance of people of all faiths and backgrounds working together to solve our country’s greatest challenges. He also discussed the role of energy efficiency in the long-term sustainability of the American economy, including provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that promote green job creation. In addition, pointed out that many of the seniors at Maple Terrace receive a box of groceries each month from USDA through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).
  • Posted on Sep 9, 2009
    Robert R: I have volunteered for the Nashville Public Library for something like fifteen years because the library needed me. My friends in retirement volunteered at the old building when new books needed wrapping with Mylar, in the technical services department. We were called the "Mylar Boys." It was like a club.
  • Posted on Sep 9, 2009
    When Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated asked its members to support United We Serve’s Summer Service Initiative, the ladies of the Xi Zeta Omega Chapter located in Washington, DC, joined right in to provide “service to all mankind.” On Saturday, August 22, 2009, members of the Xi Zeta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority supported Beautification Day 2009 sponsored by the District of Columbia Public Schools. A team of volunteers gathered at Burrville Elementary School to ‘spruce up’ the school building and grounds prior to the beginning of the school year.
  • Posted on Sep 4, 2009
    I have been working for the Federal Government for over 33 years, most of the time in human resources (training, career planning, employee development, HR). I have written three courses on career planning and have conducted numerous workshops on career planning to thousands of individuals at Federal and local government agencies, professional associations, conferences, and non-profit organization. I have also been a career counselor in interagency job centers during Federal RIFs.


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