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 Jul 20, 2009
    On June 25th, I got on the 5 Train and headed up to the La Iglesia Cristiana Shekinah block party at 3rd Avenue and 149th Street in the South Bronx. But I wasn’t going for the festivities.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    MillionTreesNYC is a 10-year initiative to plant and care for one million new trees throughout the City’s five boroughs. By planting one million trees, New York City will ultimately expand the City’s urban forest by 20%, provide New Yorkers important health, economic and environmental benefits, and create a more sustainable urban environment.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    As a longtime blood donor, Kerri P. knows the importance of giving blood. But she never knew that the need for blood would hit so close to home. Her two-year-old daughter, Mary Clare, was born with a heart defect. She underwent surgery at five days old, and had another surgery six months later. Multiple units of blood were given to aid in her recovery.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    Kathy Gallagher is volunteering as a reading mentor under the United We Serve program. This summer she is helping two brothers improve their reading skills during summer vacation.
  • Posted on Jul 20, 2009
    I have been a Red Cross Volunteer affiliated with the Washtenaw County Chapter in Ann Arbor, Michigan for almost 4 years. Because I have a full time job, I cannot volunteer as much as I would like but am able to find 8 or so hours a week to join in the efforts of a fixture of my hometown.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    I am an advocate for energy efficiency. In 2004, my neighbor told me about energy efficiency (compact fluorescent) CFL light bulbs. Since then I have bought all energy efficiency light bulbs and replaced all of the light bulbs in my house. In addition, my workplace also replaced all of their light bulbs to CFL’s even though they are more expensive in the short term but long term they realized they were saving money because the bulbs lasted longer and used less electricity. If my neighbor did not tell me about CFL’s, i would not have made this change.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    A 15 year old sophomore at Great Oak High School in Temecula, contacted Melissa, the Unit Director at the Great Oak Clubhouse in Temecula, CA. The student was looking for a community service project that would truly have impact on the community and make a difference for children in her own town.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    I have been a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member in Cobb County, Georgia since 2004. It all started with my desire to help my family and neighbors to survive a disaster.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    My child, Emelly, was born with a chromosome disorder that resulted in her being mentally disabled, virtually immobile, and afflicted regularly with seizures. She was unable to sit upright and indicated little, or no, awareness of activity or people.
  • Posted on Jul 17, 2009
    This post from the Arizona Republic just scratches the surface of a great story of service, and how we can help increase volunteerism around the nation. Jul. 6, 2009 04:20 PM

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