National Service Blog

  • Posted on May 20, 2016

    Earlier this week I traveled to Joplin, Missouri, for a trip I will never forget. The Joplin story is one of a community that that never gave up, that demonstrated steely resolve in the face of tragedy, and that is coming back stronger and better than before. It is also the story of volunteers – 130,000 strong and counting – whose selfless service has lifted up an entire community when it needed it most.

    For many residents, the one year anniversary was a painful reminder of the devastating EF-5 tornado that ripped through Joplin, killing 161 people, destroying 7,500 homes and buildings, and leaving a trail of destruction through the heart of the city.

    A destroyed home displays a thank you message by Joplin resididents to volunteers.

    But even more so, the anniversary was a symbol of hope, pride, optimism, and unity. The people of Joplin did not let themselves be defined by what happened on May 22, 2011. Instead they defined themselves by what happened after - their extraordinary resilience and desire to rebuild.

    As President Obama told the graduating seniors at Joplin High School, “Here in Joplin, you've also learned that we have the power to grow...

  • Posted on Jul 29, 2009
    When President Obama announced United We Serve, a summer service initiative to encourage all Americans to reach out in service to their neighbors and communities, he was very clear that the government acting alone can’t pull America through these hard economic times.
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    Some 100 children from Washington, D.C.’s embattled Trinidad neighborhood and other underserved city neighborhoods took part in a major event on July 15 celebrating community service and summer learning activities.
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    What happens when a small-town Montana boy grows up and enlists in the U.S. Air Force? He becomes a Big Brother, of course! Stationed near Belleville, Illinois at Scott Air Force Base, First Lieutenant Cody H. is the Chief Information Officer for the 375th Medical Group. Cody's day job has him checking up on the base's medical information systems to make sure the network is operational.
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    Hello. My name is Janna and I am the Founder and CEO of Solano Green Alliance. I am an Employment Resource Specialist by trade and have worked helping the poor since 1996. Along with my disabled husband, I Founded Solano Green Alliance to build more Pathways out of Poverty for Women, People of Color and Low Income People. We began our efforts January 22, 2009 in Vallejo, California, which is a bankrupt City in Solano County. We based our effort on Van Jones' concepts from his book, "The Green Collar Economy: How One Solution Can Fix Our Two Biggest Problems."
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    In January 2009, I began my year of Americorps service through Hands On Gulf Coast. As an Art Outreach Specialist with the Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art, I have worked with hundreds of children in three counties along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
  • Posted on Jul 28, 2009
    I have recently been volunteering at a local nursing home. It is the one my husband stayed in prior to his death last year. I find that I have enjoyed being with and socializing with the seniors there, as i am a senior myself.
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    I shall never forget a little girl named Sabrina. Her hair was fly-away dish-water blonde and framed her narrow face, thin lips, pointy chin and blue eyes. Thin and gangly, she made a perfect target for numerous taunts and teasing from other children. She was also very disruptive in class. She was defiant of the teacher, aggressive to other children and rude. It seemed she didn’t want to learn. She needed help!
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    Darius was born with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), a genetic disorder that claimed the life of his older brother. Knowing the rest of his life would be spent in a wheelchair, at 15 Darius left his home for the first time on a cross-country road trip. Darius and his best friends drove from small-town Georgia to California, hoping to convince MTV to “pimp his ride,” his wheelchair that is.
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    Armed with fierce determination and dozens of canoes and kayaks, volunteers continued the massive effort to eradicate the aquatic invasive plant water chestnut from Mill Pond at the Oyster Bay National Wildlife Refuge, New York on Wednesday, July 8th 2009.
  • Posted on Jul 27, 2009
    In February of 2007, my concept of the Red Cross was forever changed. I am a small town worker from Richland Center, Wisconsin. I had just finished removing the last tray of spice cookies from the oven when I realized that the smell of smoke was overcoming the sweet scent of cinnamon and nutmeg. I soon discovered the laundry room was billowing with dense black smoke. By the time I had picked up my essential belongings and rushed out the door, the flames were visible from the road.

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