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A few years ago, as I began to travel around the country and talk to all sorts of people, one set of stories always tugged at my heart.They took my breath away.They inspired me.And they motivated me to learn more.They were stories of strength, courage, and patriotism that define our nation's military families. And I know that Fayetteville is filled with them.

Three of the biggest stars in America are lending their voices to Joining Forces, the initiative started by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr.Jill Biden to bring attention to the unique needs and strength of America's military families.Tom Hanks, Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg have each created public service announcements (PSAs) that tell real stories about America's military families and call on all Americans to give back to ensure service members and military families have the support they have earned.

During Black History Month, we pause to salute and reflect on the contributions African Americans have made to the rich fabric that makes up the United States.There are many untold stories that reveal the best of Americans who stepped up when duty called, broke color barriers, or quietly made their communities better one person at a time.

One year ago today, Joplin MO was ravaged by a devastating E5 tornado. In the 12 months that followed, the community responded with an unmatched sense of hope and a determination to rebound. National Service is proud to have been a part of these recovery efforts and continues to provide services there today.

Today, Wendy Spencer begins her first day as new Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service. While you'll hear more from Wendy in the coming weeks, we wanted to help you get to know her a bit better. Learn more about Wendy and the service experiences that shaped her life with this video below.

This week, communities across the nation are taking part in Senior Corps Week, an annual event designed to celebrate the powerful impact of Senior Corps volunteers and encourage more Americans 55+ to give back.

The Coulee Region RSVP in La Crosse, Wisconsin, collaborates with Gundersen Lutheran Health System's environmental stewardship program to mitigate some of the waste that was being sent to the county's landfill and reuse the material to help others in the hospital.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice, and opportunity for all. He challenged us to build a more perfect union, and taught us that everyone has a role to play in making America what it ought to be.

In less than two weeks, thousands of volunteers will be mobilized as part of MLK Day 2011. The nonprofit, faith-based, education, and national service communities are just a few of the diverse groups of people organizing projects around the country.

On Monday January 17th 2011 hundreds of thousands of Americans participated in service projects across the country. From painting schools to serving meals to writing letters to troops, these dedicated volunteers made a positive difference in their communities.

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