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 2, 2009
    The Military Buildup Community Forum is a service-learning project coordinated by Guam Community College’s Criminal Justice and Social Sciences students. This year-long endeavor started when Fall 2008 students surveyed the public to find what they considered major concerns facing our island community. The impending military buildup in reference to the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam ranked number one.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I have been trying to "find the time" to volunteer for years at our local nursing home and finally decided to take the first step and began doing pet therapy with my Golden Retriever, "Kramer". I go once a week after an exhausting week of teaching school, on Friday afternoons.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    We had in mind an organizational tool for kids making the transition from elementary school to the upper grades. It is a classic problem that these students don't know how to schedule their time and homework. Together we (the developers) have about 50 years of experience in planning and logical processes, and we think we have succeeded in adapting professional planning methods for upper school students. We think we have come up with something that doesn't really exist for kids (at least we couldn't find it).
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    During Safety and Security Week the Somebody Cares organization took part in their fourth week of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training hosted by the Harris County Citizen Corps. The fourth week of the eight week program taught them about Emergency Medical Operations.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    As a tornado touched down just a few city blocks away, a humble group gathered in the safest place it could be, deep in the basement of a church, hardly aware of the storm outside. We were caught up in trying to make a difference, volunteering at Groveland Foodshelf, which serves the neighborhood just south of downtown Minneapolis.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    “Number 3, number 3 number 2, number 2 number 9, number 9 number number 9, number 9 number 5!” The Student Conservation Association (SCA) youth crew chants out their rhythm game to warm up before hiking into National Park Service land to perform trail work at the Phleger Estate. “Who has the first aid kit?” SCA crew leader Katrina Ellis shouts as the seven members grab their loaded backpacks for the day. Despite the early morning hour, these local teenage youth are ready to get started.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    As a professional athlete, Rams linebacker Chris Draft has had to deal with many challenges on the field. No challenge may have been bigger than trying to tackle asthma through every stage of his career. Chris knows the challenges of having asthma as an athlete, and that’s why he’s partnered with the National Lt. Governor’s Association to challenge coaches across the country to educate themselves about the challenges and dangers of asthma to athletes.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    Volunteers across the country are teaming with Islamic Relief USA in the annual 'Day of Dignity' effort to serve thousands of homeless and underserved people in 19 cities.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    David Pickens is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he graduated from Reid Ross Senior High School. There he played football and was a two-time all-conference defensive lineman. He was also a member of ROTC and marched in the "Cumberland Rifles" drill team. He spent his first year of college at Fayetteville State University playing football before transferring to North Carolina A&T State University. While at A&T he participated in ROTC, the "Aggie Rifles" drill team, and joined the U.S Army Reserves.
  • Posted on Aug 30, 2009
    Having been a part of organized baseball since an early age, the concept of teamwork has been a part of my life for a very long time. I’ve seen firsthand the power of a unified group and how together a group can accomplish great things and succeed despite any obstacles. I also have seen how counter productive, and sometimes destructive, disunity can be to a common goal. One early Saturday morning in May, members of my team, the Chicago White Sox, again reminded me of how together there is nothing we, as active members of our communities, cannot accomplish.

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