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As unemployment rises due to a troubled economy, library patronage is rising. This projects aims to address the first trend by building the capacity of the second. The economic hardship that Wisconsin residents are facing falls hardest on low-income and high-poverty communities. Libraries are critical to meeting economic recovery needs such as job training, financial literacy, home loss prevention, and legal assistance.

On April 21, 2009, President Obama signed the Serve America Act into law – the most sweeping expansion of national service in a generation. To mark the one year anniversary, we are going to spotlight the stories of everyday service heroes who are transforming lives and local communities across the country. Here is Karen's story...The crystal meth epidemic hit Colbert County, AL hard in 2009, with methamphetamine-related arrests increasing 1,500% over 2007 levels. The Colbert County Homeland Security Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) recognized the devastating toll the situation has on families. Established the year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the organization initially focused on training volunteers to respond to disasters and emergencies. As the drug problem took hold in the local community, though, the RSVP added responding to the methamphetamine crisis to its focus areas.

On April 21, 2009, President Obama signed the Serve America Act into law – the most sweeping expansion of national service in a generation. To mark the one year anniversary, we are going to spotlight the stories of everyday service heroes who are transforming lives and local communities across the country. Here is Opik's story....In rural Nome, Alaska planes are needed to transport anything and anyone to anywhere. When planes make return trips, then typically head back empty cargo holds. That is, until RAVEN AmeriCorps Member Opik Ahkinga got involved. She and her site supervisor, Anahma Saito, a planning development specialist with Kawerak, Inc., a regional Native corporation, have established Nome as a local staging site for collecting and backhauling recyclable goods and waste from about 20 surrounding villages.

On April 21, 2009, President Obama signed the Serve America Act into law – the most sweeping expansion of national service in a generation. It has been an incredible year for national service – thousands more Americans are volunteering, AmeriCorps applications have tripled over the last year and the service field is experiencing a wave of new innovation and collaboration.

Next week the Corporation for National and Community Service will release its open government plan – and we want to get your thoughts and ideas on the draft before we submit the final plan. The Corporation’s mission meshes naturally with the concept of open government. Transparency, participation, and collaboration are guiding principles for all of our work. We regularly share data and information with the public and seek input about policies and initiatives, both formally and informally. Our programs operate through collaboration with thousands of nonprofit, faith-based, community, and educational organizations.

Rocker Bon Jovi has sent us pictures from his tour to share with you. He has teamed up with The Corporation for National and Community Service to take the President’s call to service – United We Serve – on the road. In cities across the US, millions of concert-goers will see his “The Power of WE” concert video and have the opportunity to volunteer in their local communities via serve.gov. Below are pictures of local volunteers getting the word out in the corridors outside of concert venues.

The Senate unanimously passed a bipartisan resolution saluting AmeriCorps VISTA for its contribution to alleviating poverty. VISTA turns 45 this year – launched in 1965 by President Johnson as part of the War on Poverty, VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America) has engaged more than 175,000 Americans in devoting a year of full-time service living and working in low-income communities to help eradicate poverty. VISTA became part of AmeriCorps in 1993 and is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

On my first full day in office, I want to tell you how excited and honored I am to be serving as the CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Five years ago, Mika Community Development Corporation recruited its first AmeriCorps member in the Shalimar neighborhood of Costa Mesa, CA. Her name was Effy Sanchez. During that year Effy walked door to door in this neighborhood trying to discover what neighbors were interested in changing to improve their community. She listened over and over. Finally it was clear. The neighbors wanted their park back.

For 37 years, the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Dane County has coordinated a successful Driver Escort/Home Delivered Meal Program that meets the need for transportation for frail elderly as well as for meal delivery to help older citizens stay independent. Close to 600 drivers use their own automobiles to provide transportation and deliver meals in the rural areas of Dane County.

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