National Service Blog

  • Posted on Feb 9, 2015

    Most low-income families face a litany of financial and employment challenges, which is why Social Innovation Fund (SIF) intermediary the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is expanding its comprehensive Financial Opportunity Centers and using data to inform these expansion efforts.

    These 75 centers nationwide represent both a workforce-development and asset-building programming model with services such as job readiness, employment training, financial coaching and help in accessing public benefits.

    Through these services, participants can boost monthly net income and obtain critical supports such as health insurance and utility assistance that improve family well-being.

    “Low-income, low-wage jobs are not enough to sustain a family,” said Seung Kim, LISC program director for family income and wealth building. “Our strategy is to empower individuals and families through an intentional, integrated services approach.”

    These integrated services, or “bundled services,” aim to provide individuals with employment counseling, financial coaching, and access to income supports to help boost steady income, reduce expenses, and build credit and wealth. It is a value-added approach that includes a major emphasis on data and evaluation. For example, one key research question is whether participants receiving multiple services show stronger outcomes than those participating in only one or two activities.

    “The data really drive how we understand the program,” Kim said.

    For example, job placement rates are higher for those with greater involvement. Individuals with only basic employment services have a 26 percent...

  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    This month, with the help of Literacy Volunteers of Essex/Franklin Counties, 10 inmates at the Adirondack Correctional Facility will be trained and certified as volunteer literacy tutors. All of these men have high school diplomas or GEDs and also hold facility jobs for which they are paid a nominal stipend ($.24/hour, 30 hours/week). Here is what they would like to say:
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    I serve by being a Senior Companion in San Bernardino, CA. As a Senior Companion, I visit with local seniors to be a listening ear and helping hand. My experience volunteering has been full of stories to share but there is one woman has touched my heart. She is a new client of mine. At 87-years-old, she has just returned from the hospital, suffers from dementia, hypertension and heart disease. She lives with her bedbound husband and adult son. She had not responded in any way to anyone at home.
  • Posted on Jul 15, 2009
    In early January of this year, I got an idea after watching a news story about our Community Food Bank. The food bank was struggling to meet the demands placed on it by a shrinking economy and an ever-expanding unemployment rate. I thought, “If every neighbor in Tucson—nearly one million of them—donated one can of food a week, we could eliminate hunger in our city.”
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    Welcome to the United We Serve "Stories of Service" blog! In this blog we’ll be featuring news, updates, and some of the remarkable stories of service we’ve been getting from Americans across the country who are answering President Obama’s call to service.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    To kick off United We Serve, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates visited wounded soldiers at Walter Reed Medical Center. The Secretary said that meeting with the soldiers, “lifted him up.” Speaking about the soliders, Gates said, “their grit, resilience and indomitable spirit amaze and inspire me every time."
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    On June 22nd, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar joined volunteer and youth groups at Shenandoah National Park as part of a national kickoff for President Obama’s new “United We Serve” campaign.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    On June 23, 2009, St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP) launched its first weatherization-based volunteer project under the President’s United We Serve initiative. The project involved a number of energy efficient retrofits, including state-of-the-art “Shasta White” shingles, which reflect solar heat rays.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    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.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    When “United We Serve” officially launched on June 22, America’s libraries and the Department of Education were poised and ready to be a major part of the program from the very beginning. They will remain engaged throughout the summer, and they call upon all Americans to join them.
  • Posted on Jul 14, 2009
    Building strong literacy skills early onis the foundation for an effective education. Developing a child’s ability to read by the third grade prepares them to read to learn in content areas like science and math in the future. It also setsthe childon a positive path to graduate from high school.

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