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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
Find a whole new community at your local Veterans Administration facility. They will welcome you with open arms - and there is BBQ!
Another intense storm had hit in the night, filling the church’s window-wells with water that flowed over the roof’s rain gutters. For the next several hours all of us were mopping, vacuuming, and baling water to protect the reconstructed walls and flooring from the need to be demolished and replaced again. It brought back many difficult memories of fighting the 1993 floods, but this time we won.
Good nutrition is important for everyone, but incorporating high-quality food, especially fresh fruits and vegetables, can be challenging for people as they age and their appetites diminish.
As a communications instructor at Volunteer State Community College in Gallatin, Tenn., I am always looking for new ways to re-invent my communication courses for first and second-year students. In September 2008, I took 10 students to National Public Lands Day at our local state park, Bledsoe Creek State Park.
Once a month, Ed and his son, help prepare a hot meal for 35-40 men, women, and children at the 8th Street Mission in West Memphis, Ark. Every week, he stops by to serve desert and help with dishes. "I feel at home there as I cook, serve the tables, and wash dishes."
At Intel, we strive to be an asset to our communities around the world. Under the Intel Involved Skills Based Volunteer program, employees are encouraged to use their professional skills to make a sustainable impact in their communities.
It was our second day on the Thrivent Builds with the Habitat for Humanity site in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and already the house that my Thrivent Financial for Lutherans colleagues and I were constructing was taking shape. What was simply a foundation when we arrived the day before now had a floor and walls.
“We helped today by making it possible for the Sergeant to do a job that he otherwise had no way of doing. The fact that for the next two years he has one less thing to worry about is more important than we realize.”
"I believe the best thing we can do in life is give service to others and that is part of the mission of 4-H, to pledge our hands to larger service"
By simply offering their time and skills through pro bono services, two lawyers helped a senior citizen access benefits she desperately needed.
A group of "bored" of middle school students in Ames, Iowa, spend the summer planning a community block party and lay the foundation for a new service-learning club for youth.
As part of United We Serve’s Energy and Enviornment Week, the Community Action Agency of Delaware County in Pennsyvania conducted a two-week volunteer initiative.
Rachael, a former Washington, D.C. Public School teacher, volunteers with middle-school youth to help them strengthen literacy skills, develop civic values, and have fun in the process.
Just before the summer began, the Boys and Girls Club of the Emerald Coast learned that they would not be able to serve lunch to their youth club members for the first time in five years. This lasted for weeks, until Morgan Stanley stepped in to help.
Summer is a season of heightened hunger in America. As the school year ends and school nutrition programs end with it, many children lose an important source of food. Regular donations to local charities are also interrupted by travel and changed summer schedules. In 2009, economic troubles have made the challenges facing many families even greater.
Volunteers across the country are teaming with Islamic Relief USA in the annual 'Day of Dignity' effort to serve thousands of homeless and underserved people in 19 cities.
Family honors daughter lost to ovarian cancer through service and creating awareness around the disease.
In response to the President's call to service, members of Lajna Imaillah, the women's auxiliary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, are launching a "Feed the Hungry" program.
Every year in America, over 100 million new cell phones are sold at stores and malls. Of these sales, 95% are going to consumers that already have a phone. What do you do with your old phone? Secure the Call, www.securethecall.org, relies on volunteers to collect used and unwanted phones and then recycle them back to the community to be used as free 911 emergency-only phones.
Students from Laconia High School in New Hampshire are well on their way to the creation of a DVD that will contain blueprints and critical information to be used by emergency services. In addition to creating a new emergency brochure for parents, students are using state-of-the-art Computer Aided Drafting software and laser measuring tools to create detailed floor plans and 3-D views of each room in the high school.
Unemployment is around 10% in Wyandotte County, Kansas, so many families have a hard time getting all the school supplies their kids need to start the new school year. On August 1, a team of more than 100 volunteers from several community organizations distributed school supplies to nearly 4,000 students.
Regardless of her disability, Blair has always loved community service.
Capitol One Bank was so moved by the poster’s message - that domestic violence occurs at all ages and seniors are just as likely to become victims as any other age group - that it also donated $50,000 to the Not Forgotten Coalition to help fund training for volunteers working with seniors.
Dr. Angela began a community health program at Korean Resource Center (KRC) with a group of Korean American medical students. Monthly clinics are held that provide individual consultations to low-income uninsured Korean Americans, many of whom have been diagnosed with illnesses.
On Saturday, July 18, volunteers from Goldman Sachs and more than 130 volunteers from The UN Foundation’s second annual Youth Leadership Summit gathered to assist the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) with the reparation of northern Manhattan’s 119-acre Highbridge Park.
70 percent of the work at the Gaining Ground organic farm in the historic Concord, Mass., is completed by volunteers. In fact, volunteers of all ages, abilities and backgrounds harvest approximately 20,000 lbs. of organic produce at the farm each growing season.
Actor Charles S. Dutton, who was incarcerated in his youth, inspires more than 150 young people in Arkansas to take control of their education and to help strengthen their communities in an effort to keep these young adults from entering the criminal justice system.
California Lutheran University students partnered with the City of Ventura for a Ventura Riverbed Cleanup.
Eighteen volunteers put in 4,320 hours a year and serve approximately 25,200 meals at St. John’s Samaritans Table in Stark County, Ohio. The volunteers manage all aspects of the weekly program and make sure that no one leaves the table hungry.
It took a lot of time but the rewards of serving in the hospital and on the ambulance are well worth it.

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