National Service Blog

  • Posted on Jun 15, 2015

    Forty percent (PDF) of asthma episodes are caused by preventable hazards found in homes, including mold and dust mites. Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantee Green & Healthy Homes Initiative (GHHI) is helping low-income individuals and families reduce such asthma triggers in their households.

    It is doing so using a cost-effective and integrated approach that utilizes a comprehensive environmental assessment based on eight elements of “green and healthy homes:” dry, clean, pest-free, safe, contaminant-free, well-ventilated, well-maintained, and energy-efficient. A review of published studies (PDF) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services suggests that such home-based, multicomponent asthma interventions provide substantial return on investment.

    GHHI’s asthma program is part of its integrated intervention services that also includes remediation and education for home health, safety, and energy efficiency. Its first pay for success project is located in Baltimore, Md., and will include Calvert Foundation and other investors providing up-front capital to scale the program. Program partners Johns Hopkins Health Care and the Johns Hopkins Health System will then pay back to the Calvert Foundation a portion of avoided medical costs if the program achieves agreed-upon outcomes, such as decreased asthma-related emergency room visits and hospitalizations.

    To show funders the program was...

  • Posted on Aug 4, 2009
    Little did Whole Foods shoppers know that when they donated their unwanted cell phones at Secure the Call’s collection barrels in Ann Arbor and West Bloomfield, MI that not only were they ‘greening’ their community, but they were also helping to keep the Detroit area safe.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    I hold a part-time summer job at the National Park Service in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area, which is nearby to my home in Milford, PA. The national park system is a unique way all Americans can connect with our country. When I arrived at work the other day (I collect tolls and distribute information at a booth along a 20-mile stretch of road that cuts through the park), a memo sat by the cash register: To: All Department of Interior Employees; From: Secretary; Subject: United We Serve. What a revelation.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    Shortly after I joined the USDA five years ago, my husband, Bruce, suffered a massive stroke at the age of 42. It was touch and go for five days before I learned that he would survive. But there was no telling how bad his deficits would be since the stroke hit his midbrain; the center where sight, sound, temperature control, reason and mobility intertwine.
  • Posted on Aug 3, 2009
    On July 23, I volunteered with more than 150 other ARAMARK employees at the East Baltimore Development Inc (EBDI) Community Center as part of a company-wide service day, ARAMARK Building Community.
  • 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.

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