National Service Blog

  • Posted on Feb 9, 2015

    Most low-income families face a litany of financial and employment challenges, which is why Social Innovation Fund (SIF) intermediary the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is expanding its comprehensive Financial Opportunity Centers and using data to inform these expansion efforts.

    These 75 centers nationwide represent both a workforce-development and asset-building programming model with services such as job readiness, employment training, financial coaching and help in accessing public benefits.

    Through these services, participants can boost monthly net income and obtain critical supports such as health insurance and utility assistance that improve family well-being.

    “Low-income, low-wage jobs are not enough to sustain a family,” said Seung Kim, LISC program director for family income and wealth building. “Our strategy is to empower individuals and families through an intentional, integrated services approach.”

    These integrated services, or “bundled services,” aim to provide individuals with employment counseling, financial coaching, and access to income supports to help boost steady income, reduce expenses, and build credit and wealth. It is a value-added approach that includes a major emphasis on data and evaluation. For example, one key research question is whether participants receiving multiple services show stronger outcomes than those participating in only one or two activities.

    “The data really drive how we understand the program,” Kim said.

    For example, job placement rates are higher for those with greater involvement. Individuals with only basic employment services have a 26 percent...

  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    A team of 60 teens from 25 schools raises $30,000+ each year and does 3,000+ hours of service in preparation for a service learning trip.
  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    What happens to those elementary students who do not need special education, but need additional help in the classroom? For many schools, there is not enough staff available to reach these students on a timely basis. RSVP volunteer, Darlene S. has decided to take it upon herself to help fill this void.
  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    The Red Cross was there for John R. when he needed help. Now he’s a Mile High Red Cross volunteer helping others. John was in the military, stationed in Hawaii when he had a family emergency back home in Minnesota. “The Red Cross helped me get emergency leave and arranged my travel to get me home,” he said. He never forgot what they did for him. John went on to a career in information services with United Airlines. When he retired, he wanted to spend his time giving back. He called his local Red Cross chapter to volunteer.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    On June 25th, I got on the 5 Train and headed up to the La Iglesia Cristiana Shekinah block party at 3rd Avenue and 149th Street in the South Bronx. But I wasn’t going for the festivities.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    MillionTreesNYC is a 10-year initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout the City’s five boroughs. By planting one million trees, New York City will ultimately expand the City’s urban forest by 20%, provide New Yorkers important health, economic and environmental benefits, and create a more sustainable urban environment.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    As a longtime blood donor, Kerri P. knows the importance of giving blood. But she never knew that the need for blood would hit so close to home. Her two-year-old daughter, Mary Clare, was born with a heart defect. She underwent surgery at five days old, and had another surgery six months later. Multiple units of blood were given to aid in her recovery.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    Kathy Gallagher is volunteering as a reading mentor under the United We Serve program. This summer she is helping two brothers improve their reading skills during summer vacation.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    I have been a Red Cross Volunteer affiliated with the Washtenaw County Chapter in Ann Arbor, Michigan for almost 4 years. Because I have a full time job, I cannot volunteer as much as I would like but am able to find 8 or so hours a week to join in the efforts of a fixture of my hometown.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    I am an advocate for energy efficiency. In 2004, my neighbor told me about energy efficiency (compact fluorescent) CFL light bulbs. Since then I have bought all energy efficiency light bulbs and replaced all of the light bulbs in my house. In addition, my workplace also replaced all of their light bulbs to CFL’s even though they are more expensive in the short term but long term they realized they were saving money because the bulbs lasted longer and used less electricity. If my neighbor did not tell me about CFL’s, i would not have made this change.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    A 15 year old sophomore at Great Oak High School in Temecula, contacted Melissa, the Unit Director at the Great Oak Clubhouse in Temecula, CA. The student was looking for a community service project that would truly have impact on the community and make a difference for children in her own town.

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