Community Renewal

VISTA Volunteer Makes Tax Season Simple

One of the scariest times of the year is tax season. For families with low incomes and individuals with language barriers it can be even scarier. Some do not have the know how or confidence to file a correct income tax return, but cannot spare the money it costs to get it professionally prepared. Many times it is friends, family, or friends of friends with no formal training that prepare the returns at a subsidized rate.

Americans Serving Abroad Give Back Through ECAP

Keeping in mind President Obama’s message to serve our communities wherever we are and in the spirit of the United We Serve season, U.S. Embassy Tokyo staff and family members are volunteering and reaching out to local Japanese of all ages in part through the Embassy Community Action Program (ECAP), formerly known as U.S. Embassy Community Outreach.

Pro Athletes Team Up With United Way on 9/11

On a day when President Obama urged all Americans to remember through service, professional athletes in Austin, Texas answered the call. These athletes joined in a special partnership between Athletes for Hope and the United Way Capital Area to participate in the Fall Day of Caring.

A Young Boy Opens a Volunteer's Eyes and Heart

One of the most impactful and rewarding ways to serve any community, but particularly my community in Rochester NY, is to mentor a youth. I myself am a mentor in the Mentoring Children of Prisoners Program (a program of Compeer Rochester), which is a federally funded mentoring initiative for youth who have a parent or guardian who is incarcerated.

Sometimes It Can Be So Simple

We have a neighbor, an older gentleman who sits on his porch and waves to the traffic.  He knows so many people in the neighborhood that we have taken to calling him the Mayor of Main Street (the actual name of the road).

His wife is in and out of the hospital, and has been for a while, for a variety of health reasons.  Almost every day, my wife or I go and sit and talk to him. We might not agree on much, but we always take about a half hour or an hour to keep him company during his new-found, unexpected solitude.

Bringing Hope to the Darkest Places

A few years ago, my husband helped build two new prisons in our rural West Virginia town. During the Christmas holidays, my husband had to go to the construction site daily to put kerosene in heaters because the new drywall had to be kept at warm temperatures and on one occasion, gave me a mini tour of the still vacant prison. Stepping into one of the cells gave essence to one of the coldest feelings I could imagine. As a member of the faith community, I was drawn from that moment with a desire to reach out in some way to those who might spend their time in the cold concrete cells.

Secretary Vilsack and Interfaith Leaders Participate in a Service Event in Rural Ohio to Promote United We Serve

Secretary Vilsack reiterated President Obama’s call to service and talked about the importance of people of all faiths and backgrounds working together to solve our country’s greatest challenges. He also discussed the role of energy efficiency in the long-term sustainability of the American economy, including provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that promote green job creation. In addition, pointed out that many of the seniors at Maple Terrace receive a box of groceries each month from USDA through the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP).

Re-Imagining the Possibilities of Waste

From the moment I began my term of service with AmeriCorps in October, it became apparent to me that all over the country, people were going to be looking for new ways to deal with hunger, and my community of Binghamton, NY was no different.

A Summer Off Becomes a Summer of Service

Andrea W. knows a healthy mind is just as important as a healthy body. Andrea, a guidance counselor at Vero Beach Elementary School, decided to turn her summer off into a summer of service. Not knowing what type of service she wanted to perform, Andrea joined the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Indian River County. Through RSVP she found the Social Entrée Meals program at the Senior Resource Association.

Making Fresh, Affordable Produce Available to More New Yorkers

As the program director for the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, I work with community volunteers in 3 New York City neighborhoods on a Community Supported Agriculture Project.

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