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National Service Blog - Archive
by
Wendy Spencer

This weekend was a major moment for national service, and I want to share some of the many highlights that inspired me.

As the federal agency that leads the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, we worked closely with the Presidential Inaugural Committee to make the President’s National Day of Service and MLK Day into a Weekend of Service.

The result: Americans in all 50 states came together to make a difference. They delivered meals, refurbished homes and schools, collected food and clothing, signed up mentors, promoted nonviolence, supported veterans and military families, and much more.

On Saturday, I had the honor of serving alongside President Obama, Mrs. Obama, their daughters, and members of City Year, an AmeriCorps program, at the Burrville Elementary School in Washington, DC. It was remarkable to see the President and First Lady’s passion and commitment to service up close.

It was also great to see so many Administration officials and elected leaders at all levels of government engaged in and promoting service over this weekend.

Another example comes from a service project for our military families. Vice President Biden, Dr. Jill Biden, and members of their family joined thousands of volunteers, including Senior Corps and CNCS employees, at the D.C. Armory. They spoke with AmeriCorps NCCC members who helped organize the project.

It was a remarkable experience, and we must give a special thanks to our partners Target and Points of Light, as well as Operation Gratitude. Thousands of volunteers prepared care packages and sent messages of support to our troops, military families, and first responders.

Watch the video below and check out our photo gallery that capture the energy from this event and others.

As we reflect on the Weekend of Service, we want to build on this momentum. Let's remember the sense of accomplishment and collaboration that we felt, and bring more Americans into service.

 

Whether you're an individual who wants to serve your community, or an organization that wants to recruit volunteers, please visit Serve.gov. This site is our year-round resource where you can find a service project near you or register your group's event.

You can also share your service experience with us on facebook.com/serve and on Twitter via @servedotgov.

I'm fired up, and I hope that you are too. Join me in making service an even bigger part of your life.

Keywords: AmeriCorps, City Year, CNCS, MLK Day, NCCC, Senior Corps, Wendy Spencer
Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, and Kathy Calvin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the UN Foundation educated students about malaria and encouraged them to work within their communities to help prevent the deadly disease.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I began my internship at the Department of Education this summer. I was aware of the great work that the department was doing to improve the quality of education throughout the country but I curious to see what my role would be in this greater mission.
Students at Woodmere Middle School on Long Island completed a service-learning project at the Town of Hempstead's Marine Nature Study Area in honor of the 16th Annual National Public Lands Day. They lent a helping hand to Long Island's tidal wetlands, which provide protection for shellfish, small fish, migratory birds, and other animals.
On the first-ever September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance, young people from across the nation planted trees in Keystone, Colorado, to honor fallen heroes and increase their knowledge of nature.
With the Citizen Corps Council/VOAD, RSVP hosted an informational meeting on August 24, 2009 - to kick off Safety and Security Week and also build up to 9/11.
United States Embassy staff and families in Tokyo, Japan have embraced the State Departments Embassy Community Action Program (ECAP) by leading book drives in local libraries.
Pratyusha Yalamanchi is making a difference locally and globally.
The Bronx Wash is a cement covered arroyo that is an uninviting eyesore in the Northwest Neighborhood in Tucson, Arizona. The goal of the Bronx Wash Mural Project is to encourage a sense of pride and ownership in the area, to reconnect the neighborhood and involve local residents in beautifying this shared space.
This August, a group of Girls Inc girls at our Brooklyn site volunteered at Rooftop Farms in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.
EducationWorks, which serves children and youth in urban neighborhoods, including Trenton in NJ, wanted to participate in a service event to recognize the new National Day of Service and Remembrance on 9/11/2009.
Mother organizes her community to knit 130 helmet liners for her son's fellow troops in Afghanistan.
Professional athletes in Austin, Texas answer the President's call on the first ever National Day of Service and Rememberance.
I am a senior and member of the varsity cheerleading squad at Stone Bridge High School. This year I helped organize my team to participate in a community service project to commemorate September 11.
UPS employees have completed a project that benefits both Atlanta residents and the environment. These employee volunteers transformed a small patch of unused land into a garden full of hearty produce: corn, onions, okra, squash, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, beans, sweet potatoes and watermelon now fill a space that was previously vacant and unattractive.
The Northeast Ecological Corridor, protected as a Nature Reserve in April 2008, lies between the towns of Luquillo and Fajardo on Puerto Rico's northeastern shoreline. Its 3,200 acres include forests, wetlands, beaches, coral communities, a bioluminescent lagoon and one of the hottest surfing spots on Puerto Rico's east coast: "La Selva" (the jungle).
Danielle talks about the challenges ("try getting a physically combative 60 lb. 5 yr. old in a car seat by yourself") and triumphs ("I could see him carrying himself differently") of mentoring 5-year old Tyler, a young boy struck by the instability and stigma of having an incarcerated parent.
Students from 11 New York City schools competed in the first Teen Iron Chef competition of culinary skills and talent organized by HealthCorps®, Family Cook Productions and Urban Assembly School of Music and Art.
Usher helps youth use their creative talents to address problems in their communities.
How one school got involved on September 11th by honoring our service members.
When I first found out I’d be interning in the New York City Mayor’s Office this summer, I resigned myself to a summer of desk work, with perhaps some filing thrown in for variety. So imagine my surprise when I began working at NYC Service, an office launched by Mayor Bloomberg in April in response to President Obama’s national call to service.
When I retired nearly four years ago, I never dreamed I would have so many interesting jobs and experiences.
Eastern Colorado experiences blizzard conditions every winter. Living snow fences are tree plantings strategically planned to provide protection along roadways by capturing wind driven snow, keeping snow and ice from creating driving hazards. In my career, I have coordinated or participated in 36 living snow fence plantings.
A Pittsburgh, PA couple takes time out every day to talk to the "Mayor of Main Street."
Mike L., a member with the American Red Cross’ AmeriCorps Together We Prepare program, has been making quite an impact on Washtenaw County in Michigan. Through his service with the county’s Red Cross chapter, Mike’s usual service has been organizing a youth service group called Youth Community Action Team (YCAT) and responding to local disasters. But following an AmeriCorps training session, another opportunity presented itself.
As the National Day of Service and Remembrance came to a close, Sprite renewed the urgent call for volunteerism across America by launching the Sprite Step Off Service Challenge on the Mall of Washington on September 12. As part of the Sprite Step Off, the largest college Greek competition ever, the Service Challenge presents an opportunity for young people to refresh their communities through volunteerism.
A retail store in Los Angeles opens its doors to help children read.
Boston-based rockers Thirteen Yards to Victory couldn't help but notice the headlines in the local newspapers and the announcements on social media sites that many arts and music education programs in their area were being cut severely. The bad economy was going to mean a poor education for so many students.
On September 11, more than a dozen Cabinet secretaries and senior administration officials commemorated the heroism of those who lost their lives on September 11th, 2001, and remembered their spirit of sacrifice by engaging in service and volunteerism as part of the first officially recognized September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.
I wanted to share some news with you that the First Lady and I are excited to share on this National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Employees at more than 500 Verizon locations donated over half a million dollars worth of school supplies in just three weeks.

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