National Service Blog

  • Posted on Mar 28, 2014
    By Samantha Vernon

     

    I am an AmeriCorps VISTA member serving in Montana with the Global Health Equity Foundation on their social media based project titled "Let's Talk." This project allows me to work toward enabling Healthy Futures in a different way. In fact, I'm the only member working on a mental health project in the state.

    Let's Talk promotes conversations and awareness around the issue of suicide in Montana. This unfortunate problem is being addressed by a group of courageous teenagers who are standing up to tell their stories in an attempt to provide support so that other teens know it's okay to talk and that no one is alone.

    AmeriCorps VISTA Samantha Vernon served with FEMA Corps in Queens, NY, on projects during the Hurricane Sandy recovery before her current assignment in Montana.Before I became an AmeriCorps VISTA member, I worked with AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps where I saw first-hand how natural disasters and poverty affect mental health. My team and I were stationed in Queens, New York, to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Many of those people were devastated by the loss of their belongings, their livelihoods, their homes, and even friends and family...

  • Posted on Aug 26, 2009
    Several years ago, during a routine dental cleaning, my hygienist related her experience while visiting a local school for Children's Dental Health Month. She told me about Jessica, a little third grade girl who's teeth she described as "black". It was not hard to imagine how awful that would look. Severe tooth decay is not attractive. I was appalled that today in America; a child can go to school with severe dental disease and not receive some type of intervention from their community. Think about it.
  • Posted on Aug 26, 2009
    Two weeks ago, Clackamas County Volunteer Connection Center and RSVP brought 35 community members together at an event called “Stepping Stones to Addressing Homelessness.” The goal of the event was to educate the community on (1) Understanding: Who is homeless in the county and why; (2) Hope: What is already being done by public and non profits in the area; and (3) Opportunity: How individuals and groups could help improve the community.
  • Posted on Aug 26, 2009
     After looking at the seven bundles of plastic grocery bags stuck in my pantry closet, a vision of mother Earth filled with these plastic trash, actually made me nauseous. Next few days I surfed internet to know the gravity of the plastic trash in our landfills and I must say that was a rude awakening. I decided since I can't throw away things from my toothbrush to computers, to microwave or deck furniture; one thing I sure can do is to use reusable grocery bags to reduce the toxic trash.
  • Posted on Aug 26, 2009
    More than three months after floods tore through villages bordering the Yukon and Kuskokwim Rivers in Alaska, a unique collaborative effort combining the expertise and resources of faith-based disaster response organizations, the State of Alaska and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing aid to the survivors of the disaster. More than 600 people have filed for FEMA assistance following the May floods.
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    In late 2007 we were privileged to meet Commander McCarthy, USN Retired, Director of the Jacksonville Area USO who described her immediate mission of providing two hot meals a month, directly prior to payday, to families of our lower ranked deployed service members.
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    For almost 29 years I have volunteered at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, NJ. I got started when I returned from Florida after two years of "retirement." I felt restless, and had nothing to do. Before raising six boys, I worked as a dietitian in hospitals and knew I loved the hospital atmosphere.
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    This was the first I’d even heard of a Duck Drop Race, so I was intrigued and wanted to participate. It was a chance to bring together community youth, families, the Chamber of Commerce who started the event, and the community watershed organization with which I work: the Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance (SCRA).
  • Posted on Aug 25, 2009
    Two years ago, I enrolled in a mediation certificate program with University of California Extension Service called Common Ground. I will receive my certificate next month. To enrich what I learned in the courses, I also decided to volunteer for the City of Davis, California Community Mediation Services or CMS. CMS has one full time staff member and 40 volunteer mediators who work on a rotating basis serving as members of a three person panel for each mediation.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    On August 4, a group of 15 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) employees volunteered at Walter Reed – a hospital for wounded soldiers. HUD participants held a cookout and served dinner to patients, family members, veterans, and hospital employees.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    “Christmas has come in July for PS 28!” said Principal Nunez of Public School 28 after a group of volunteers spend a day revitalizing his school facility and installing new equipment. And this was a truly collaborative effort.

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