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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
In Detroit, MI, parents expect crowded schools and budget cuts. So they're stepping up to make sure kids in the Detroit area get a solid education. Here's what one mother of four is doing.
It took a lot of time but the rewards of serving in the hospital and on the ambulance are well worth it.
As part of their Leadership Morgan Hill class project, the Class of 2009 is organizing a community Volunteer Fair in September that will connect organizations with community members looking for opportunities to volunteer. Their goal is to make their new organization, Volunteer Morgan Hill, and the Volunteer Faire a permanent part of the community.
I am a summer intern in the Office of the Mayor of New York City, and I am a proud member of the brand new NYC Service team. NYC Service is a new municipal initiative by Mayor Michael Bloomberg to answer President Obama’s national call to service, and its primary goal is to increase volunteerism and civic engagement in the city
I know that volunteering makes our community a better place to live and extends a helping hand to those in need.
If you are reading these words with your eyes scanning across the screen, you might forget that there are many for whom that is not possible. Nancy wants to make sure all people, whether blind or sighted, have a chance at a great education.
Approximately 1,500 global Cisco employees and contingent workers volunteer their time to train and respond to a variety of emergency situations through Cisco's Emergency Response Team (ERT).
Veterans First Executive Director, Deanne Tate, was moved to tears thanking volunteers for volunteering and spending the day helping veterans in need. It was an honor to participate on this rebuild project and help honor the service men and women who have given so much to our country.
Mary was weary of responding to the President's call to service, but during an afternoon working with special needs children at a local pool, she quickly discovered that volunteering offered much more.
Among the many difficulties facing the Appalachian communities of Southwest Virginia is the quality of education. With limited funding, many primary and high schools struggle to meet the Standards of Learning (SOL), set forth by the state of Virginia in accordance with the No Child Left Behind Act. In recent years, the rural elementary schools of Russell County have sought to incorporate an environmental education aspect in their curriculum. They’ve experienced difficulty in implementing the project due to lack of resources and few qualified instructors.
Right To Play sponsored an exchange program between athletes in Jordan and the United States. The program recognizes the universal appeal of sport as an ideal vehicle to inform, educate and empower entire communities.
Kids and teens with behavior problems often fall far behind in their academic development. Mary knew this because of her own son. She decided to get involved with a local literacy program to help youth involved in the juvenile justice system get a solid education.
The local Czechoslovak Society of America group in North Riverside, IL, volunteered over 300 hours at the town library to complete a special project.
This community event provides our entire community with heightened crime and drug prevention awareness; generates support for and participation in local anticrime programs; strengthens neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and sends a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
On August 6th, nearly 40 volunteers - some as young as 7, donned gloves, grabbed shovels and rakes, and hauled trash to help beautify and revitalize Milwaukee's 30th Street Industrial Corridor. Many of the community's industrial sites are underutilized and volunteers hope that clean-up projects like this one will help attract new business and revitalize the community.
Linda Loi has been volunteering in the Golden Gate National Park for the last five years. First in the Urban Trail Blazers Program and most recently with the program Inspiring Young Emerging Leaders, Loi has dedicated hours of her time each week to giving back, not just environmentally but also as a youth leader and role model to others in her programs.
Health Corps strives to help stem the crisis of child obesity through school-based health education and mentoring, as well as community events and outreach to underserved populations.
Summer Advantage USA, a national non-profit that provides summer learning opportunities for youth in grades K - 8, led its young scholars through a process of identifying community challenges and implementing service projects. Here, these young people reflect on their work.
Keeping the veterans community active is the best way to honor those who have served.
For her July birthday party, Cara M. told friends and family to forget the usual gifts and leis. Instead, she asked guests to bring cans of food for her church's food pantry, reminding them that even in idyllic Honolulu neighbors were struggling with hunger and homelessness.
What started with a single vegetable garden on the grounds of USDA headquarters in Washington, D.C. has grown into global movement. In their offices across the country and all over the world, USDA employees are volunteering their time to create community gardens, demonstrate sustainable agricultural techniques that everyday people can incorporate into their homes and lives, and showcase the importance of preserving the environment and conserving energy.
These citizens will be especially active during National Health Center Week, August 9th - 16th, 2009. Visit NACHC’s site www.healthcenterweek.com to find out about Health Center Week events near you.
This young man learns that putting his still-struggling second-language skills to work in his community parent education role is a win-win.
We found a solution to help military girls fight low self-esteem, grow in leadership, and unite with those who understand their struggles. The Sisterhood of the Traveling BDUs will bring together 500 military girls from across California for the first ever weekend conference for military girls to empower one another in sisterly support.
Busy working mom Kenya was driving home from her children's little league game when she wondered, "why don't we have this for service?" To teach her children and others in the community the importance of service and time with family, Kenya came up with the Family Service Team Program.
The YMCA Earth Service Corps joined forces with the Washington Trails Association to get dirty at Mount Saint Helens for a week of environmental restoration.
A Community Health Corps member shares their story of service.
I am not done serving yet but I have slowed down since I turned 80.
Stephanie explained how she would be reading a large print book and described her visual limitations. We stopped after each page for interactive comments and even corrections in the reading of the material! These kids were avid readers and didn’t miss a beat...
United We Serve to Save Energy & the Earth!! I organized a home energy efficiency event in Battle Creek, Michigan. The overarching goal was to reach out to the Battle Creek community to help lower their energy costs and decrease carbon pollution emissions.

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