National Service Blog

  • Posted on May 20, 2016

    Earlier this week I traveled to Joplin, Missouri, for a trip I will never forget. The Joplin story is one of a community that that never gave up, that demonstrated steely resolve in the face of tragedy, and that is coming back stronger and better than before. It is also the story of volunteers – 130,000 strong and counting – whose selfless service has lifted up an entire community when it needed it most.

    For many residents, the one year anniversary was a painful reminder of the devastating EF-5 tornado that ripped through Joplin, killing 161 people, destroying 7,500 homes and buildings, and leaving a trail of destruction through the heart of the city.

    A destroyed home displays a thank you message by Joplin resididents to volunteers.

    But even more so, the anniversary was a symbol of hope, pride, optimism, and unity. The people of Joplin did not let themselves be defined by what happened on May 22, 2011. Instead they defined themselves by what happened after - their extraordinary resilience and desire to rebuild.

    As President Obama told the graduating seniors at Joplin High School, “Here in Joplin, you've also learned that we have the power to grow...

  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I have been trying to "find the time" to volunteer for years at our local nursing home and finally decided to take the first step and began doing pet therapy with my Golden Retriever, "Kramer". I go once a week after an exhausting week of teaching school, on Friday afternoons.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    We had in mind an organizational tool for kids making the transition from elementary school to the upper grades. It is a classic problem that these students don't know how to schedule their time and homework. Together we (the developers) have about 50 years of experience in planning and logical processes, and we think we have succeeded in adapting professional planning methods for upper school students. We think we have come up with something that doesn't really exist for kids (at least we couldn't find it).
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    During Safety and Security Week the Somebody Cares organization took part in their fourth week of Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training hosted by the Harris County Citizen Corps. The fourth week of the eight week program taught them about Emergency Medical Operations.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    As a tornado touched down just a few city blocks away, a humble group gathered in the safest place it could be, deep in the basement of a church, hardly aware of the storm outside. We were caught up in trying to make a difference, volunteering at Groveland Foodshelf, which serves the neighborhood just south of downtown Minneapolis.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    “Number 3, number 3 number 2, number 2 number 9, number 9 number number 9, number 9 number 5!” The Student Conservation Association (SCA) youth crew chants out their rhythm game to warm up before hiking into National Park Service land to perform trail work at the Phleger Estate. “Who has the first aid kit?” SCA crew leader Katrina Ellis shouts as the seven members grab their loaded backpacks for the day. Despite the early morning hour, these local teenage youth are ready to get started.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    As a professional athlete, Rams linebacker Chris Draft has had to deal with many challenges on the field. No challenge may have been bigger than trying to tackle asthma through every stage of his career. Chris knows the challenges of having asthma as an athlete, and that’s why he’s partnered with the National Lt. Governor’s Association to challenge coaches across the country to educate themselves about the challenges and dangers of asthma to athletes.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    Volunteers across the country are teaming with Islamic Relief USA in the annual 'Day of Dignity' effort to serve thousands of homeless and underserved people in 19 cities.
  • Posted on Aug 31, 2009
    David Pickens is a native of Fayetteville, North Carolina, where he graduated from Reid Ross Senior High School. There he played football and was a two-time all-conference defensive lineman. He was also a member of ROTC and marched in the "Cumberland Rifles" drill team. He spent his first year of college at Fayetteville State University playing football before transferring to North Carolina A&T State University. While at A&T he participated in ROTC, the "Aggie Rifles" drill team, and joined the U.S Army Reserves.
  • Posted on Aug 30, 2009
    Having been a part of organized baseball since an early age, the concept of teamwork has been a part of my life for a very long time. I’ve seen firsthand the power of a unified group and how together a group can accomplish great things and succeed despite any obstacles. I also have seen how counter productive, and sometimes destructive, disunity can be to a common goal. One early Saturday morning in May, members of my team, the Chicago White Sox, again reminded me of how together there is nothing we, as active members of our communities, cannot accomplish.
  • Posted on Aug 30, 2009
    One student said that this was her first time doing community service. Another said that others had helped her throughout her life and this was the first time she could return the favor. More students said that random people who saw their service stopped and thanked them for their work.

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