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National Service Blog - Archive
by
Robert Velasco, II

Veterans Day is a time to reflect on the tremendous sacrifices that military service members and families have made while protecting our nation.

As Americans, it is our solemn obligation to not only honor veterans with our words, but to support them through our deeds. Veterans and the families that support them deserve our respect, gratitude, and service - on Veterans Day and throughout the year.

At the Corporation for National and Community Service, we are committed to expanding our work with veterans and military families. Building on years of experience, and consistent with the Serve America Act and our Strategic Plan, we are working with our partners to increase support for programs that serve veterans and military families and to engage more veterans in service. 

A Few Highlights

  • All week on our National Service Blog, we are sharing stories of veterans in national service - including some amazing WWII vets still serving today through Senior Corps. You can also learn more about how to support and honor a veteran.
  • On Monday, Koby Langley joined CNCS as Strategic Advisor for Veterans, Wounded Warriors and Military Family Initiatives, bringing a wealth of experience as a decorated veteran, JAG attorney, and special assistant at the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs.
  • Tomorrow we will join the National Guard and the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America to launch a multi-state VetCorps supported through AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps VISTA. Click here to watch a live webcast of the press conference tomorrow at 9:30 am EDT.
  • Organizations including The Mission Continues, Mission Serve, colleges in the President's Interfaith Collegiate Challenge, and national service programs across the country are leading service projects for Veterans Day, part of a broader effort to connect military and civilian service.

How You Can Help

There is still much more to do. As we celebrate Veterans Day, we encourage the national service field to expand support for veterans and military families, and recruit more veterans into service. Veterans bring extraordinary skills and leadership abilities to national service.

More than 16,000 veterans have served in AmeriCorps, and tens of thousands have served in Senior Corps - applying their unique skills to solve problems here at home. Here are some ways volunteers can help.

  • SERVE: Organize or join a project through Serve.gov. The search engine provides a great tool for individuals and groups to find local projects or start a project using our online toolkits.
  • HONOR: Memorialize the story of a veteran by recording his or her story for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. The Veterans History Project Field Kit provides straightforward, step-by-step guidelines on how to interview a veteran.
  • PLEDGE: Operation Honor Cards is a project inspired by the First Lady's Joining Forces campaign to encourage Americans to pledge to serve military families and veterans. National service programs are pitching in, such as Montana Senior Corps programs that generated more than 185,000 hours of service, helping the project reach 9 million hours of pledges. Make your pledge here.

Thank you for your support of our veterans and military communities, on Veterans Day and throughout the year.

PS: Learn more about the Corporation's work with veterans and military families and join the conversation or share your stories about Veterans Day on Facebook or http://twitter.com/ServeDotGov.

Keywords: CEO, National Service, Veterans, Volunteer
With his Michigan town in need of a cleaning and beautifying committee, a local resident took matters into his own hands.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is: what are you doing for others?" Across the country, Americans will answer that question by making the January 18, 2010 King Holiday a national day of service. We here at the Corporation for National and Community Service are asking individuals in the tech community to think about how you can help serve others on the King holiday and throughout the year. What can technologists do to help others on the King Holiday? There is a spectrum of involvement - from organizing a large-scale hackathon, to utilizing the King Holiday to build a blog for charity - everyone fits in according to whatever you can give.
Now is a great time to start planning a King Holiday project and I thought I would share this email from our Acting CEO, Nicola Goren.
Volunteers have the power to transform their community. As co-founder of Friends of the San Jose Rose Garden, I have witnessed how people of all ages and abilities can come together to make a difference, transform neglect into beauty, and inspire change in other communities. In less than two years, volunteers took a historic landmark park from probation to elation. This is our story.
Our project is the landscaping and on-going care of the grounds of the new Hospice House of St. Mary's County.
From January 9 in San Diego to June 12 in Sacramento, Melissa W. will join others to walk up the California coast and over to Sacramento to raise diabetes awareness and encourage healthy habits among middle school students.
The Beaches Veterans Association holds monthly cook-outs, rotating between organizations. All proceeds goes to the USO No Dough Dinners.
This past September 12, Pepperdine University alumni, parents, and friends took part in service projects around campus, across the nation, and around the world as part of the 21st annual Step Forward Day.
Feeling overwhelmed sometimes by the magnitude of the poverty, homelessness, and violence in this country and in our world, a volunteer learns to keep giving, keep loving, keep trying. “You never run out of capacity for these things,” she says.
My partners and I have started an off season youth football camp to better prepare the youth of our community in the fundamentals of the game and at the same time keep them occupied and off the streets.
In celebration of Global Youth Service Day 2009, high school students in El Paso planted tree seedlings behind three major non-profit organizations to provide a windbreak and safety screen for their outdoor areas.
The members of Western Fraternal Life Association Lodge #144 in Mosinee have made addressing community needs their top priority.
In my hometown of Reno, Nevada, about 60 low income, older veterans live in a subsidized-housing complex. Most live alone and have no family living nearby to help. The majority of them have no cars or even telephones. An added complication is that several are physically or mentally disabled.
The College Assistance Migrant Program Alumni Association will launch the 2nd National Cesar E. Chavez Blood Drive Challenge in March 2010. This national service learning program promotes the engagement of U.S. Hispanic college health students as organizers in a national donor recruitment campaign. The students organize blood drive campaigns on their college/university campuses as part of this national competition.
I am currently serving my second AmeriCorps term with Youth Service Opportunities Project (YSOP) in Washington, DC. YSOP coordinates opportunities for youth to engage in meaningful service in Washington, DC and New York City.
I have taken the call of our President. I started an organization in my Community called ' Wheels for Education " . What we do is take students from the inner city of Philadelphia to College campuses.
Green Road Community Center in Raleigh has a brand new playground today thanks to a coordinated effort of 200 volunteers from Foresters™ and the community who erected the facility.
Students in Murtaugh, Idaho are building a community entrance to their town to attract highway passerby’s and highlight their town's natural beauty.
The folks are trained through the city's Community Emergency Response Team and are prepared for wind, snow, ice, power outages and earthquakes. Kloshe Illahee is a community of citizens ages 55 and up. Residents embarked on their neighborhood emergency plan in 2005. The plan was finalized in 2006. Now, the group is preparing a revision, with the goal of continuing self-sustainability in preparation for a disaster.
For 32 years, Chore Service has performed minor household repairs to help elderly and disabled remain safe in their homes. The driving force of Chore Service has been the dedicated, compassionate volunteers who perform the repairs. These are extraordinary people, willing to lend their time and considerable talents to help others.
A student learns that "art can be an exceptionally powerful tool toward communications and healing when words and discussions fall short." The exhibit she organizes is about restoring a connection: between victims of domestic violence and a community through a visual narrative form -- ART.
During the first "Make a Delicious Difference Week," 10,000 Kraft Foods employees in more than 32 countries gave their time to help fight hunger, support healthy lifestyles, and build stronger communities around the world. It was the largest volunteer initiative ever in Kraft Foods’ history.
Gary van der Wege, a member of the 2004 U.S. Paralympic Fencing Team, visited with the youth at the Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio on September 11th. Gary shared with the club his inspiring story of how he became a paralympian.
Our team members grab a cup of coffee, some eggs and bacon, a tool, and a hardhat – and the day’s adventure begins.
In Wimberley, $3 million dollars has been collected through monthly, volunteer-driven Market Days. Since the 1960's, that money has gone exclusively towards providing important resources to the town and its citizens.
I have been working with American WWII veterans since 1994, making many of them guests of honor where once they were in combat.
Volunteers at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C., have contributed more than 32,00 hours of service to the community. Celebrating 50 years of service, the hospital established the Sibley Heart Pillow Project this year to provide heart-shaped pillows to breast cancer patients for use after surgery.
We have heard your engaging message across the Atlantic. Since President Obama and the First Lady have launched "United We Serve" in June, the students of the American School of Barcelona, Spain, from pre-school to high school, are responding enthusiastically to your call of service with volunteerism in our community to strengthen the world.
The current economic downturn and challenges of raising a family in the 21st century has an impact on young boys.
College student in Binghamton rally around their community after an unimaginable tragedy.

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