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National Service Blog

  • Posted on Aug 20, 2015

    How well or poorly a child reads in the third grade is a good predictor of his or her future success. Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantee Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is helping catalyze action and investment in pre-K-3 education to better prepare San Mateo County third-graders for reading and continued achievement.

    The eight-year-old, Mountain View, CA-based SVCF is the largest community foundation in the United States, with more than $6 billion in assets under management. It serves San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, focusing on solving the most challenging problems, improving quality of life, and inspiring greater civic participation.

    Although it’s home to the prosperous high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, the region faces stark income inequality and the socioeconomic challenges that result from it. Forty-three percent of San Mateo County’s third-grade students are not reading at grade level, rising to over 60 percent for Latino, African-American, and Pacific Islander third-graders.

    Recognizing the importance of reading proficiency to closing the achievement gap, in 2012 SVCF helped convene a group of county leaders and community-...

  • 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.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    I have been a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member in Cobb County, Georgia since 2004. It all started with my desire to help my family and neighbors to survive a disaster.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    My child, Emelly, was born with a chromosome disorder that resulted in her being mentally disabled, virtually immobile, and afflicted regularly with seizures. She was unable to sit upright and indicated little, or no, awareness of activity or people.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    This post from the Arizona Republic just scratches the surface of a great story of service, and how we can help increase volunteerism around the nation. Jul. 6, 2009 04:20 PM
  • Posted on Jul 16, 2009
    The Columbus Crew, the 2008 Major League Soccer champs, took Washington, DC, by storm on July 13. First stop was the White House, where they were honored by President Obama for winning the championship and for serving their community.
  • Posted on Jul 16, 2009
    I graduated from Auburn University in May 2009 and found myself jobless, yet needing to finish my lease in Auburn. My lease terminated at the end of July, so I decided to begin volunteering at the Lee County Red Cross in Opelika, AL to pass the time and gain some non-profit experience. The Lee County Red Cross put me to work running errands, cleaning up the office space, and doing clerical work. I also help with our Utilities assistance program and with the occasional fire call.


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