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 Oct 8, 2009
    One of the scariest times of the year is tax season. For families with low incomes and individuals with language barriers it can be even scarier. Some do not have the know how or confidence to file a correct income tax return, but cannot spare the money it costs to get it professionally prepared. Many times it is friends, family, or friends of friends with no formal training that prepare the returns at a subsidized rate.
  • Posted on Oct 8, 2009
    I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began my internship at the Department of Education this summer. I was aware of the great work that the department was doing to improve the quality of education throughout the country but I curious to see what my role would be in this greater mission.
  • Posted on Oct 5, 2009
    The Bronx Wash is a cement covered arroyo that is an uninviting eyesore in the Northwest Neighborhood in Tucson, Arizona that cuts off access from the south to Mansfield Park. The goal of the Bronx Wash Mural Project is to encourage a sense of pride and ownership in the area, to reconnect the neighborhood and involve local residents in beautifying this shared space.
  • Posted on Oct 5, 2009
    Youth from across the nation came together in Keystone, Colorado to take part in the first official September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance. The volunteers from the Natural Leaders Network planted trees at Prospector campground in service to the environment and in honor of fallen heroes.
  • Posted on Oct 5, 2009
    Keeping in mind President Obama’s message to serve our communities wherever we are and in the spirit of the United We Serve season, U.S. Embassy Tokyo staff and family members are volunteering and reaching out to local Japanese of all ages in part through the Embassy Community Action Program (ECAP), formerly known as U.S. Embassy Community Outreach.
  • Posted on Oct 5, 2009
    I am the Director of RSVP in Etowah County, Alabama, and am also actively involved with our Citizen Corps Council/VOAD. With the Citizen Corps Council/VOAD, RSVP hosted an informational meeting on August 24, 2009 - to kick off Safety and Security Week and also build up to 9/11.
  • Posted on Oct 5, 2009
    Pratyusha Yalamanchi of Rochester Hills, Michigan, has a passion for making a difference locally and globally. It is evident in all that she does.
  • Posted on Oct 2, 2009
    This August, a group of Girls Inc girls at our Brooklyn site volunteered at Rooftop Farms in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
  • Posted on Oct 2, 2009
    EducationWorks, which serves children and youth in urban neighborhoods, including Trenton in NJ, wanted to participate in a service event to recognize the new National Day of Service and Remembrance on 9/11/2009. But the organization’s programs hadn’t started yet. The Kenyon Hodges Computer Learning Center, a neighborhood network center at Kingsbury Corporation’s Twin Towers, also wanted to participate in the United We Service Initiative. But the Trenton-area nonprofit had never done a service project before.
  • Posted on Oct 1, 2009
    On a day when President Obama urged all Americans to remember through service, professional athletes in Austin, Texas answered the call. These athletes joined in a special partnership between Athletes for Hope and the United Way Capital Area to participate in the Fall Day of Caring.


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