National Service Blog
Posted on May 10, 2013
All this week we have celebrated the extraordinary contributions of the 360,000 men and women who make up our Senior Corps.From coast to coast, elected officials and community leaders have recognized the value and impact of Senior Corps – including 45 Governors who have issued proclamations for Senior Corps Week.Last year Senior Corps volunteers contributed more than 80 million hours of service and improved the lives of more than 1.5 million Americans. They tutored or mentored 300,000 children, served more than 560,000 veterans, and helped nearly 800,000 older Americans live independently in their homes.Serving as Foster Grandparents, Senior Companions, and RSVP volunteers, these dedicated citizens are sharing their lifetime of skills and experience to make a difference in the lives of others.This week I met some of these amazing seniors and saw their impact first-hand.
Foster Grandparents: Shaping a Brighter FutureFor the past 19 years, Willie Piper has served as a Foster Grandparent at the Travis County Juvenile Detention Center in Austin, Texas. She serves 40 hours a week, offering love and guidance to teens in trouble, helping them get back on track in their lives.Chris Guzman was one of those teens. At a young age he started making some bad decisions and found himself at the detention center. At a recognition event in the center on Monday, Chris told me what Grandma Piper and the other Foster Grandparents meant to him.“They would come by every morning and show me love and compassion, the way my grandmother would. At the hardest time of my life, they made me remember that there are people who care. They showed me I still had the ability to make a change, to become a different person.” Chris took that lesson to heart. He is now serving in AmeriCorps with the Texas Conservation Corps and plans to become a firefighter.
RSVP: Leading with ExperienceIn the chaotic hours after the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas, last month, residents of the devastated town sprang into action, doing whatever was needed. RSVP volunteers were some of the first on the scene, helping bring the injured to medical stations. They have been hard at work ever since, staffing call centers, managing donations, and coordinating volunteers. While touring the area with Senior Corps Director Erwin Tan on Tuesday, we heard how RSVP volunteers rolled up their sleeves to help, even as they faced the loss of their homes or loved ones.We are committed to support the people of West in their recovery. We just awarded a new grant to nearly quadruple our annual investment in the Heart of Texas RSVP. This grant will support tutors for 450 at-risk students displaced from their schools after the explosion; help displaced nursing facility residents and their families; and support a disaster volunteer center to coordinate volunteers over the next year.
Senior Companions: Making Independence a RealityYesterday I had the honor of joining Utah's Lt. Governor Greg Bell in a Senior Companion site visit in Salt Lake City. We joined Senior Companion Larry Mills for his weekly visit to the home of Art Westover, a 91-year-old World War II veteran. Mr. Westover is in fair health, but was recently declared fully disabled, and at his age spends many of his days alone.In his weekly visits, Larry provides companionship and assistance that allows Mr. Westover to continue to live independently in his home. Larry – who is a veteran himself – enjoys talking with Mr. Westover about the war and his adventures in the Navy, and says his eyes just light up when they discuss these topics.For generations, seniors like Willie and Larry have been making a powerful impact in their communities, and their service is more important now than ever. This week, let us pay a special tribute to these remarkable seniors, who do so much to improve our communities and nation.Wendy Spencer is CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service
Posted on May 8, 2013
This week, the Corporation for National and Community Service, elected officials, and community leaders are marking the contributions of Senior Corps volunteers across the country. In fact, more than 40 governors have issued proclamations for Senior Corps Week. Senior Corps taps the skills and experience of more than 360,000 Americans age 55 and over to meet a wide range of community needs through the Foster Grandparent Program, RSVP, and the Senior Companion Program.
Posted on May 4, 2013
Welcome to the new online home for the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). You’ve probably noticed that we’ve made a few changes to the look and feel of our site, so we’ve put together this short guide to navigating the site and finding what you need.
Posted on Apr 29, 2013
Six months ago, Hurricane Sandy struck communities all along the East Coast.
Posted on Apr 26, 2013
In recent days, we have witnessed remarkable acts of courage and compassion in the wake of tragedy. From the first responders in Boston who ran into danger to treat the wounded, to the volunteers who built floodwalls to save their Midwestern towns, to the firefighters who rushed in to battle a raging fire in West, Texas, citizens came together to help when it was needed most. Time and again, we have seen the courage and heroism of first responders and ordinary citizens after tragedy strikes.
Posted on Apr 23, 2013
The following post was originally published on the White House Blog on April 22, 2013. Becky Fried is a Communications and Policy Analyst at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy.
Posted on Apr 22, 2013
Every October, millions of people across the nation volunteer their time during Make A Difference Day to make their communities better places to live. This week, 10 projects and three cities will be honored with Make A Difference Awards, and several national service participants – including two AmeriCorps members – will be recognized.
Posted on Apr 19, 2013
Don’t miss this year’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service… or the early-bird registration rate!
Posted on Apr 18, 2013
This month is full of volunteering and community impact. National Volunteer Week is April 21-27, followed by a weekend where millions of young people across the country will participate in the 2013 Global Youth Service Day taking place on April 26-28. These days of service are great opportunities for everyone to get out and volunteer in their own community. You can find volunteer opportunities at Serve.gov.
Posted on Apr 12, 2013
Posted on Apr 10, 2013
America is a nation of volunteers. Results from our annual Volunteering in America survey show how willing our friends and neighbors are to lend a helping hand. More than 64 million Americans volunteer each year, strengthening the nation's safety net and providing vital services to our communities.