National Service Blog

  • Posted on Aug 20, 2015

    How well or poorly a child reads in the third grade is a good predictor of his or her future success. Social Innovation Fund (SIF) grantee Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) is helping catalyze action and investment in pre-K-3 education to better prepare San Mateo County third-graders for reading and continued achievement.

    The eight-year-old, Mountain View, CA-based SVCF is the largest community foundation in the United States, with more than $6 billion in assets under management. It serves San Mateo and Santa Clara Counties, focusing on solving the most challenging problems, improving quality of life, and inspiring greater civic participation.

    Although it’s home to the prosperous high-tech hub of Silicon Valley, the region faces stark income inequality and the socioeconomic challenges that result from it. Forty-three percent of San Mateo County’s third-grade students are not reading at grade level, rising to over 60 percent for Latino, African-American, and Pacific Islander third-graders.

    Recognizing the importance of reading proficiency to closing the achievement gap, in 2012 SVCF helped convene a group of county leaders and community-...

  • Posted on Jul 21, 2009
    The Red Cross was there for John R. when he needed help. Now he’s a Mile High Red Cross volunteer helping others. John was in the military, stationed in Hawaii when he had a family emergency back home in Minnesota. “The Red Cross helped me get emergency leave and arranged my travel to get me home,” he said. He never forgot what they did for him. John went on to a career in information services with United Airlines. When he retired, he wanted to spend his time giving back. He called his local Red Cross chapter to volunteer.
  • 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.


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