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 Sep 2, 2009
    Cisco employees decided that they wanted to “make an impact” and not just “write a check” for the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens in downtown San Jose, an area maintained entirely by volunteers. Thirty-eight Cisco employees rolled up their sleeves to clean and provide maintenance for the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens, donating more than 800 hours in 2008.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    Cooperative service among Czech/Slovak families was the purpose of ZCBJ Lodge 236 of Phillips, Wisconsin, founded in 1914, a mile deep in the woods at a community dance hall. From that small beginning the dozen or so families expanded to include non-Czech/Slovaks and evolved into Western Fraternal Life Association. They also volunteer time, financial and material aid to local, state and national charities without ethnic consideration.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    As the program director for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, I work with community volunteers in 3 New York City neighborhoods on a Community Supported Agriculture Project.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I came into volunteer on the Monday morning before the 4th of July, excited for the three days ahead of me and the upcoming holiday. This was my third week as a camp counselor for Discovery Camp, the National Ability Center's day camp for children and teens with disabilities. By now I was beginning to feel like I knew what I was doing, and I was eager to take on more responsibility.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I am an AmeriCorps VISTA member working in Port Charlotte, FL at Facilitator for Good Friends, a free reading and literacy program for second and third graders.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    My name is Carolyn and I am a volunteer at the Piney Creek Watershed Association (PCWA). I am so grateful that I was introduced to PCWA because it is a wonderful group of people who have a passion for the community, access to clean water and protecting the environment.
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    I spent my high school years at a Jesuit school in Portland, Oregon. Our school motto was “Age Quod Agis,” a Latin proverb that means, “Do well whatever you do.” Throughout high school, this concept was constantly emphasized by teachers, coaches, and priests. “Study your hardest; you only get to take this test once.” “Leave it all on the field; there are no points for second place.” “God doesn’t care if you have a bad voice; sing loudly with the voice He gave you."
  • Posted on Sep 2, 2009
    The Military Buildup Community Forum is a service-learning project coordinated by Guam Community College’s Criminal Justice and Social Sciences students. This year-long endeavor started when Fall 2008 students surveyed the public to find what they considered major concerns facing our island community. The impending military buildup in reference to the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to Guam ranked number one.
  • 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).

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