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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 3, 2009
    Disasters have become too commonplace in the world. I couldn’t just stand around and let people suffer because they are unprepared so I started a youth-run volunteer organization, Always Ready Kids, and won a Do Something Disaster Grant to help fund my efforts.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    I teach Calculus to middle school students during the summer. I cover the conceptual entirety of a College Calculus I course adapted for Algebra I backgrounds. Calculus is something most people (never mind middle school students!), regardless of socioeconomic background, are typically intimidated by. serve my community by teaching calculus and showing young people they can thrive.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    Like most immigrants, my parents bought the idea of the American Dream, the popular but misguided belief that hard work would yield benefits that far outweigh the cost. But the hardships they faced were never expected—no access to healthcare, language barriers, racism, social isolation, and poverty.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    I started Birthday Wish with five of my friends in the winter of our freshman year of high school(2006). We started it after Youth Venture, an organization that helps teenagers make a difference in the community by granting seed-money to start non-profits, came to our school looking for motivated teens.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    We have a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) at Cedarhill Estates Mobile Home Park at Fullerton, CA. About 30 people took the CERT training course and received a certificate of completion in 2006. We have taken various additional classes such as defibrillator training, CPR and basic first aid. Our community is a limited access community with just one way in and out. We do have an emergency gate separating our community with a community to the north of us that remains locked. In the event of an emergency this gate will be unlocked.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    My name is Robby Riess, Assistant Cubmaster of Pack 353 Brooklyn, NY & Brooklyn District Committee Camping Chairman. This project was brought to my attention by Jack Walsh, Brooklyn Council Vice President, and Brooklyn’s only Distinguished Eagle Scout.
  • Posted on Jul 31, 2009
    Hindu Americans are responding to President Obama’s call to the United We Serve initiative through various seva (service) projects. The Hindu American Seva Charities (HASC) has been established as a community space to bring together seva projects across the country and showcase them accordingly. The ultimate goal is to reach 1,001 seva projects by September 11. Numerous temples and individuals have joined forces in the name of seva.
  • Posted on Jul 30, 2009
    When school children are surrounded by dingy walls marred by dirty hand prints, countless scuff marks, and traces of pencils and markers, what does it say? At Balboa Elementary in San Diego, it says more than just that 700 elementary age students go to school here, year round. It also speaks to the many ways that budget cuts have taken their toll on the school environment.
  • Posted on Jul 30, 2009
    I started interning with New Jersey Community Water Watch , which is a program ran by AmeriCorps and NJPIRG in a joint project. The program works by informing community members and students and encouraging them to be active stewards of their local water ways.  The program is focusing on the water problem that New Jersey faces, which is that we have the worst water quality in the nation.
  • Posted on Jul 30, 2009
    I have served the community of Bearden, OK as a volunteer fire fighter since 1993. It's a small town of a few hundred people in rural America. In 1994, I became the fire chief of the Bearden Volunteer Fire Department. Being a volunteer fire fighter, I am on the clock 24/7; whenever my pager goes off, I drop everything to respond and help someone in need.

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