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 Aug 25, 2009
    Two years ago, I enrolled in a mediation certificate program with University of California Extension Service called Common Ground. I will receive my certificate next month. To enrich what I learned in the courses, I also decided to volunteer for the City of Davis, California Community Mediation Services or CMS. CMS has one full time staff member and 40 volunteer mediators who work on a rotating basis serving as members of a three person panel for each mediation.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    On August 4, a group of 15 Housing and Urban Development (HUD) employees volunteered at Walter Reed – a hospital for wounded soldiers. HUD participants held a cookout and served dinner to patients, family members, veterans, and hospital employees.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    “Christmas has come in July for PS 28!” said Principal Nunez of Public School 28 after a group of volunteers spend a day revitalizing his school facility and installing new equipment. And this was a truly collaborative effort.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    Foresters in Southern California have been long time supporters of Ronald McDonald House Charities. We have spent countless hours preparing meals and cleaning and refurbishing the houses. In 2008, we looked todeepen further our relationship with the organization by lending our support to Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times®!
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
    This summer, Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program launched its Home Energy Ambassador Training program in partnership with United We Serve. Volunteers in more than 35 states have been trained to take common sense and low cost energy efficiency ideas into their community to spread the word about lowering energy bills and carbon footprints.
  • Posted on Aug 24, 2009
  • Posted on Aug 21, 2009
    Once a month several men from my church and I come to cook the dinner for 35-40 men, women, and children at the 8th Street Mission in West Memphis, Arkansas. We try to serve the same meal every month (spaghetti, meat sauce, French bread, green beans and bacon, salad, dessert, and lemonade). Once a week, I try to serve desert (fresh chocolate chip cookies and oranges) to the men and help with dishes.
  • Posted on Aug 21, 2009
    As a communications instructor at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn., I am always looking for new ways to reinvent my communication courses for first and second-year students. In September 2008, I took 10 students to National Public Lands Day at our local state park, Bledsoe Creek State Park.
  • Posted on Aug 21, 2009
    Good nutrition is important for everyone, but incorporating high-quality food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, can be challenging for people as they age and their appetites diminish. Local food—nutritious, delicious and increasingly available at Farmers Markets around the country—may be one answer to the problem.
  • Posted on Aug 21, 2009
    This summer we took the Collegiate United Methodist Church Middle School Youth Group on a mission trip to assist with tornado and flood damage clean-up and reconstruction in northeastern Iowa. The Hazelton area was hit by the same tornado that destroyed Parkersburg, Iowa, in May 2008. Shortly afterwards, the area received roughly 20 inches of rain in the span of one weekthat resulted in widespread flooding.

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