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 Jul 15, 2009
    I serve by being a Senior Companion in San Bernardino, CA. As a Senior Companion, I visit with local seniors to be a listening ear and helping hand. My experience volunteering has been full of stories to share but there is one woman has touched my heart. She is a new client of mine. At 87-years-old, she has just returned from the hospital, suffers from dementia, hypertension and heart disease. She lives with her bedbound husband and adult son. She had not responded in any way to anyone at home.
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    In early January of this year, I got an idea after watching a news story about our Community Food Bank. The food bank was struggling to meet the demands placed on it by a shrinking economy and an ever-expanding unemployment rate. I thought, “If every neighbor in Tucson—nearly one million of them—donated one can of food a week, we could eliminate hunger in our city.”
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    Welcome to the United We Serve "Stories of Service" blog! In this blog we’ll be featuring news, updates, and some of the remarkable stories of service we’ve been getting from Americans across the country who are answering President Obama’s call to service.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    To kick off United We Serve, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center. The Secretary said that meeting with the soldiers, “lifted him up.” Speaking about the soliders, Gates said, “their grit, resilience and indomitable spirit amaze and inspire me every time."
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    On June 22nd, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined volunteer and youth groups at Shenandoah National Park as part of a national kickoff for President Obama’s new “United We Serve” campaign.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    On June 23, 2009, St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP) launched its first weatherization-based volunteer project under the President’s United We Serve initiative. The project involved a number of energy efficient retrofits, including state-of-the-art “Shasta White” shingles, which reflect solar heat rays.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    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.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    When “United We Serve” officially launched on June 22, America’s libraries and the Department of Education were poised and ready to be a major part of the program from the very beginning. They will remain engaged throughout the summer, and they call upon all Americans to join them.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    Building strong literacy skills early onis the foundation for an effective education. Developing a child’s ability to read by the third grade prepares them to read to learn in content areas like science and math in the future. It also setsthe childon a positive path to graduate from high school.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off United We Serve by joining forces with California’s First Lady Maria Shriver, CaliforniaVolunteers, KaBOOM! and community volunteers to build a playground at Bret Harte Elementary School in San Francisco.

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