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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
A Francophonic team of expert planners has developed a free, ultra low-tech, easy-to-make solution for students with the "I forgot my homework again" blues. Read the story and check out the video.
Volunteering at the Chicago Christian Industrial League was the first time I have ever worked side-by-side with someone who was in need. As we worked together, she showed me more than how to size up men with proper amounts of chili. She also showed me the heart of CCIL.
“Number 3, number 3 number 2, number 2 number 9, number 9 number number 9, number 9 number 5!” The Student Conservation Association (SCA) youth crew chants out their rhythm game to warm up before hiking into National Park Service land to perform trail work at the Phleger Estate.
As a tornado touched down a few blocks away, volunteers from the Twin Cities Interfaith Youth Leadership Coalition gathered in the basement of a church, and without skipping a beat, continued their work with Groveland Food shelf.
The Mission Continues…even after the military. David has been awarded a Mission Continues Fellowship that will allow him to continue his work as head coach of the Baltimore Broncos. In this role, he not only teaches the game of football, but also strengthens the lives of his players. This non-profit football team focuses on providing an outlet for underprivileged youth, through football.
As a professional athlete, Rams linebacker Chris Draft has had to deal with many challenges on the field. No challenge may have been bigger than trying to tackle asthma through every stage of his career. Chris knows the challenges of having asthma as an athlete, and that’s why he’s partnered with the National Lt. Governor’s Association to challenge coaches across the country to educate themselves about the challenges and dangers of asthma to athletes.
Jim Thome of the Chicago White Sox talks about the White Sox Volunteer Corps and how his team is "stepping up to the plate" in the Chicagoland community.
Our Western Fraternal Life Association Lodge 236 members have done community services for decades and plan to expand our volunteer efforts - reminding present and future generations of historical events so that, hopefully, we can help prevent them from occurring again.
I'm a member of a couple of Tucson, Arizona groups that bring the barn-raising model to community greening projects.
The US Department of Health and Human Services partnered with Safe Shores on a back to school supply drive and flu educational event.
First-year students at American University participated in the school's largest-ever Freshman Service Experience.
I know cancer all too well. It robbed me of my father, aunt, grandmother, and grandfather. Because of that, I know how important a helping hand can be for cancer patients and their families.
All across the country, humanities scholars partner with national service members to engage in critical discussions of service, justice, and more. Here's one example of a parks crew in Montana that moves from cutting trail to digging deep into questions of community and social change.
The US Department of Commerce is answering the President's call to service through an all-volunteer "Green Team" at our headquarters building in Washington, DC. The Team is comprised 134 volunteers with representatives from the Office of the Secretary and all seven Operating Units located at, or nearby, the Herbert C. Hoover Building (HCHB).
Despite growing up in New Orleans, David never thought there was a reason for him to stay, especially when so much of what he loved about the city had been destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and crime. David's work with the Gulfsouth Youth Action Corps and Desire Street Ministries camp this summer, however, has made him realize that he plays a big part in the rebuilding of his hometown.
Operation Homefront, military families and local volunteers teamed up to take part in the President’s call to service during the Baseball Hall of Fame induction weekend. On Saturday, July 25, Operation Homefront hosted a project to prepare care packages for deployed service members and back-to-school backpacks for New York’s military children.
“It’s a good feeling to use my skills to volunteer and help the school," said Anne, a retired nurse serving her community.
It's never too late to start helping others.
Yesenia was taking filmmaking classes at Raw Art Works (RAW), in Lynn, MA, where she was learning to get creative. As she thought about applying for college – she would be the first in her family to go – she found the support she needed right at RAW.
I decided since I can't throw away things from my toothbrush to computers, to microwave or deck furniture; one thing I sure can do is to use reusable grocery bags to reduce the toxic trash.
Two weeks ago, Oregon residents came together with Clackamas County Volunteer Connection Center, RSVP and local service agencies to discuss who is homeless in the county and why, what is being done to support them and how local individuals and groups could help meet the needs of the community.
Voluntary organizations, governments, are working together to rebuild flood-damaged homes before winter.
Ella M. was restless during a brief period of retirement in Florida. Looking for new purpose in this phase of her life, she returned to her home state of New Jersey and started volunteering at the local hospital. It turned out to be the perfect fit. Now 93 years old, and after having battled and defeated cancer twice herself, Ella has volunteered nearly 32,000 hours at the hospital and has no plans to stop.
This was the first I’d even heard of a Duck Drop Race, so I was intrigued and wanted to participate. It was a chance to bring together community youth, families, the Chamber of Commerce who started the event, and the community watershed organization with which I work: the Shamokin Creek Restoration Alliance (SCRA).
While completing certification for mediation and facilitation, Rebecca is volunteering as a mediator with the City of David, California's Community Mediation Services. During these tough economic times, she hopes to help those in her community who feel helpless and intimidated by small-claims court.
Our first mission was to inform the local community, who for the most part, were unaware that the purpose of the USO was to make a ‘Home Away from Home ‘ for our military service members and their families many of whom were away from home for the first time in their lives. Deployments for six or more months at sea or years in the war zones were highly stressful for both they and their loved ones. This was what the USO was created to support during WW ll.
Because of the time, talent, and treasure of the Foresters, more than 600 children impacted by cancer will have a summer camp experience to remember.
A public school and a charter school in NYC put on the gloves and battle it out. Not boxing gloves, though - work gloves. And they're in the same corner.
This summer, Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program launched its Home Energy Ambassador Training program in partnership with United We Serve
With the help of 800 Dow Chemical Company volunteers, local Bay City, Michigan, volunteers and homeowners, as well as the support of over 30 organizations, 38 homes were revitalized in the Rexer-Jablonski neighborhood in just one week.

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