National Service Blog

  • Posted on Jun 15, 2015

    Forty percent (PDF) of asthma episodes are caused by preventable hazards found in homes, including mold and dust mites. Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantee Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) is helping low-income individuals and families reduce such asthma triggers in their households.

    It is doing so using a cost-effective and integrated approach that utilizes a comprehensive environmental assessment based on eight elements of “green and healthy homes:” dry, clean, pest-free, safe, contaminant-free, well-ventilated, well-maintained, and energy-efficient. A review of published studies (PDF) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that such home-based, multicomponent asthma interventions provide substantial return on investment.

    GHHI’s asthma program is part of its integrated intervention services that also includes remediation and education for home health, safety, and energy efficiency. Its first pay for success project is located in Baltimore, Md., and will include Calvert Foundation and other investors providing up-front capital to scale the program. Program partners Johns Hopkins Health Care and the Johns Hopkins Health System will then pay back to the Calvert Foundation a portion of avoided medical costs if the program achieves agreed-upon outcomes, such as decreased asthma-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

    To show funders the program was...

  • Posted on Aug 30, 2009
    The US Department of Health and Human Services partnered with Safe Shores on a back to school supply drive and flu educational event forDC area youth who have been the victims of or witnesses to extreme violence and abuse.
  • Posted on Aug 30, 2009
    Our Western Fraternal Life Association Lodge 236 members have done community services for decades and plan to expand volunteer efforts. One effort began six decades ago and will continue for decades into the future. One purpose is to remind present and future generations of historical events so that, hopefully, we will work to prevent them from occurring again. Another purpose is to honor veterans who have served, and sometimes died, to keep such tragic events from recurring.
  • Posted on Aug 30, 2009
    I'm a member of a couple of Tucson, Arizona groups that bring the barn-raising model to community greening projects. The first is a homeowners’ co-op that is part of the Watershed Management Group. Members are required to work a certain number of hours before they can host a water harvesting workshop on their property. It’s 16 hours for an earthworks workshop and 32 hours for a cistern workshop. I hosted an earthworks building project at my house last August. The co-op members were supervised by a WMG employee, and they built berms and basins.
  • Posted on Aug 27, 2009
    Operation Homefront, military families and local volunteers teamed up to take part in the President’s call to service during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend. On Saturday July 25, Operation Homefront hosted a project to prepare care packages for deployed service members and back-to-school backpacks for New York’s military children.
  • Posted on Aug 27, 2009
  • Posted on Aug 27, 2009
    It’s my job to hike into the wild, track down a trail crew, sit with them in the middle of their workday . . . and read them a poem. A poem? Indeed. What good might that do?
  • Posted on Aug 27, 2009
    In 2005, the Pierre School District found a need to begin a student health profile on each high school student. The task of screening their 900 students for health risks seemed daunting. As they often do, RSVP volunteers from Central South Dakota RSVP came to the rescue.
  • Posted on Aug 27, 2009
    The US Department of Commerce is answering the President's call to service through an all-volunteer "Green Team" at our headquarters building in Washington, DC. The Team is comprised 134 volunteers with representatives from the Office of the Secretary and all seven Operating Units located at, or nearby, the Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB). The purpose of the HCHB Green Team is to promote energy awareness and environmental stewardship throughout the Department of Commerce through efforts in the HCHB.
  • Posted on Aug 26, 2009
    Yesenia is a talented first-generation college applicant whose mother speaks little English. Dedicating over 80 hours between September and June, youth mentor Shelby helped her navigate a process that is especially complex for kids whose parents are immigrants and for whom cost is a real barrier. Shelby works as an office manager at Raw Art Works in Lynn, MA. RAW is a youth arts organization that matches volunteer mentors with high school juniors and seniors to help them realize their future goals.
  • 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.

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