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.
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 Jul 9, 2013
Hurricane Sandy not only caused physical damage but wreaked havoc on many long-established community connections. In Rockaway Park, water damage to the St. Camillus-St. Virgilius Parish (SCSVP) gym scuttled a weekly gathering for children and adults with disabilities. But the community behind Rockaway Special Athletes worked to keep the Monday night tradition alive.“Parents kept telling me, ‘The kids need their Mondays back,’” said Joe Featherston, the group’s founder. “For some, it had been part of their routine for 16 years. We had to figure out a way to keep it going.”
Posted on Jul 8, 2013
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) is again collaborating with the New York Yankees during its fifth-annual HOPE Week (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) to highlight acts of goodwill and service in the community.Individuals and groups recognized during HOPE Week will be honored by the team during a Yankees game this week, and team members will attempt to personally connect with them in locations that honor the spirit of their service.
Posted on Jul 3, 2013
The Statue of Liberty withstood the force of Hurricane Sandy when it struck last fall, but storm damage closed Liberty Island to tourists just weeks after renovations were completed to the area.
Posted on Jun 28, 2013
Have you ever had one of those days where you can't stop smiling? This month was filled with them. Support for national service grows stronger and stronger; during the past two weeks, we've seen this momentum build in several major arenas. Here's the latest news:
Posted on Jun 25, 2013
Did you know students can experience learning loss when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer months? On average, students lose the equivalent of two months of math and reading skills during the summer months. More than half of the achievement gap between lower- and higher-income youth can be explained by unequal access to summer learning opportunities.
Posted on Jun 24, 2013
This week, I had the opportunity to speak at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service here in Washington, DC. Sponsored by Points of Light, the conference is the world’s largest annual gathering of volunteering and service leaders and supporters.I also announced that President Obama and the First Lady will host a celebration at the White House, on July 15, 2013, in honor of the 5,000th Daily Point of Light award.
Posted on Jun 21, 2013
A year ago, I visited the Qi Life Center, a veterans' transition home in Washington, DC. There I met a neatly dressed gentleman who was focused intently at a computer screen. "That's Ken Harris," the center's director said. "When he came to us, he was lost. He's a veteran who has been homeless for almost 20 years since he was discharged. He became homeless the day he left the military."
Posted on Jun 7, 2013
A construction project in the shadow of the Washington Monument brought 40 AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA national service members to Washington, DC. to assemble frames and construct accessible ramps for new Habitat for Humanity homes during the 2013 Veterans Build on the Mall June 2-5.
Posted on Jun 3, 2013
A U.S. Air Force veteran, Regina Best was recently homeless and became so passionate about service that she spent months building homes for others before finding one for herself. Now in her own apartment and back in school, Best is determined to keep serving well beyond her AmeriCorps term.
Posted on May 31, 2013