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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
This summer, Sierra Club’s Cool Cities program launched its Home Energy Ambassador Training program in partnership with United We Serve
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.
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."
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
"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.
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.
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.
Family honors daughter lost to ovarian cancer through service and creating awareness around the disease.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Regardless of her disability, Blair has always loved community service.
California Lutheran University students partnered with the City of Ventura for a Ventura Riverbed Cleanup.
The Mid-South Lions Club donates a life changing surgery to a little girl who was attacked by a pit bull.
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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