National Service Blog

  • Posted on Feb 11, 2016

    Rebecca is confined to a wheelchair and has some difficulty speaking due to her Cerebral Palsy. Three days a week, however, she has been a devoted volunteer for the Salinas Family YMCA in California for over two years. She greets people with a wonderful smile and her entire body, joking with “the regulars” and exemplifying the kind of welcoming atmosphere that YMCA wishes to offer its communities.

    “I wanted to do different kinds of work and to help people,” said Rebecca when asked why she chose to volunteer with the Salinas Community YMCA. Working at the YMCA “makes me very happy. I have a lot of friends. I help people out. People are nice to me. I have Cerebral Palsy and I am in a wheelchair. I have a speech problem.” Because of the Y, “I’m more comfortable talking with other people. The YMCA has given me more self confidence. I’m more comfortable with people. My mom is happy that I work at the YMCA.”

    This spring, Rebecca made a step toward independence and moved into an apartment with a roommate. After working at the Y for a while, “it made me think. Think I could live on my own.”

    “Rebecca helps us achieve our goal to build positive relationships with the members we see each day,” says Dave Kretsinger, executive director. “Our members look forward to seeing and interacting with Rebecca. She comes to work with a positive attitude and is a role model for other staff members. Rebecca and our members celebrate holidays, birthday and...

  • Posted on Jul 30, 2009
    I started interning with New Jersey Community Water Watch , which is a program ran by AmeriCorps and NJPIRG in a joint project. The program works by informing community members and students and encouraging them to be active stewards of their local water ways.  The program is focusing on the water problem that New Jersey faces, which is that we have the worst water quality in the nation.
  • Posted on Jul 30, 2009
    I have served the community of Bearden, OK as a volunteer fire fighter since 1993. It's a small town of a few hundred people in rural America. In 1994, I became the fire chief of the Bearden Volunteer Fire Department. Being a volunteer fire fighter, I am on the clock 24/7; whenever my pager goes off, I drop everything to respond and help someone in need.
  • Posted on Jul 30, 2009
    For three weeks, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has been collecting men's and women's business attire in an agency-wide effort to donate clothes to unemployed Americans seeking to re-join the workforce. This collection has been going on at both the Washington, DC headquarters and local field offices across the country.
  • Posted on Jul 30, 2009
    On July 3, Todd and Michelle Collins had reason to celebrate. After more than seven long months of waiting, they got to move back into their Columbia home. When a house fire displaced the Collins family from their home in December, the Red Cross was there to help them get back on their feet.
  • Posted on Jul 29, 2009
    Target is proud to be a part of United We Serve. In conjunction with Education Week, Target Property Development team members are putting pencil to paper this week and beginning the design phase for its School Library Makeover program.
  • Posted on Jul 29, 2009
    In 1907, early Czech settlers built a “Bohemian Hall” in Cadott, WI. It was called the ZCBJ (Zapadni Ceska Bratrska Jednota), which translates into Western Bohemian Fraternal Association. Many of such lodges dot the landscape of the Midwest. When the Iron Curtain came down after World War II, this and other lodges dissolved and these historical buildings fell into ruins. By the 1990’s the Bohemian Hall was starting to deteriorate and the youngest active member was over 75.
  • Posted on Jul 29, 2009
    Students at Scituate High School decided that their school was not “green” enough and decided to take action by entering Do Something’s “Increase Your Green” competition, where students across the nation competed to see who could get their school to be the most environmentally friendly. These motivated students got 1,600 people involved in their projects including "Energy Night" which featured film screenings and energy workshops for the eight Rhode Island High Schools.
  • Posted on Jul 29, 2009
    Sons of Norway assists year round with the Ski for Light Puget Sound chapter. We think it is important to not only get involved with the event, but to maintain a tie to Ski for Light to demonstrate how vital this event is for blind and mobility impaired individuals. Ski for Light allows blind and mobility impaired people the opportunity to interact with the outdoors in winter through skiing or sit-skiing. With the help of guides, they spend hours outside, enjoying activities that may otherwise not be available to them.
  • 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.

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