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 12, 2009
    Among the many difficulties facing the Appalachian communities of Southwest Virginia is the quality of education. With limited funding, many primary and high schools struggle to meet the Standards of Learning (SOL), set forth by the state of Virginia in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. In recent years, the rural elementary schools of Russell County have sought to incorporate an environmental education aspect in their curriculum. They’ve experienced difficulty in implementing the project due to lack of resources and few qualified instructors.
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
    Parts of the 30th Street Industrial Corridor in the heart of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, recently got a bit of a face lift. Nearly 40 volunteers donned gloves, grabbed shovels and rakes, and hauled trash bag after trash bag to dumpsters in an effort to clean up streets, alleys, and abandoned properties in the area.
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
    The North Riverside Public Library, the heart of the Village of North Riverside, IL, had a huge project that needed to be completed as quickly as possible in order to make its DVD collection available to the patrons with the least amount of interruption and inconvenience. The time consuming project consisted of transferring over 1300 DVDs from old CD cases to new, more durable security-lined cases. How could this project be accomplished with the small staff working on the project only during slivers of time between their other projects?
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
    On August 4th, six of our Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) volunteers served 18 hours assisting with the annual “National Night Out.” This community event provides our entire community with heightened crime and drug prevention awareness; generates support for and participation in local anticrime programs; strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and sends a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fightin
  • Posted on Aug 11, 2009
    Linda Loi has been volunteering in the Golden Gate National Park for the last five years. First in the Urban Trail Blazers Program and most recently with the program Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders, Loi has dedicated hours of her time each week to giving back, not just environmentally but also as a youth leader and role model to others in her programs.
  • Posted on Aug 10, 2009
  • Posted on Aug 10, 2009
  • Posted on Aug 10, 2009
    For my birthday on July 12th, I invited about 20 friends to join me for a fun beach day by the ocean in Waikiki. I requested that instead of gifts and flower leis, people please bring cans of food to be donated to my church’s food pantry. Much to my surprise I got a good turn out and a laundry basket full of cans (SPAM).
  • Posted on Aug 10, 2009
    Every fall, I am in charge of getting items donated to put in care packages to our deployed soldiers. In November, we mail out these items to Minnesota based units in time for a Christmas arrival.

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