Baseball...and National Service

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Dear National Service Colleagues and Communicators,

This week, baseball fans marked opening day across the country. Although we may root for different teams, there’s just something about this tradition that makes us feel optimistic about what’s ahead.

For the national service community, that optimism is alive and well for many reasons. From City Hall to the White House to corporate America, the nation’s leaders are saluting the impact of national service.

Please take a moment to read through the list of home runs we hit this week!

Thanks and have a terrific weekend.

Ted Miller
Chief of External Affairs
Corporation for National and Community Service

P.S. – This week, we launched new accounts on Tumblr and Instagram! Share your stories and send us your photos and videos.

AmeriCorps at the White House: Our national service members help Americans lead healthier lives. On Wednesday, the White House recognized their efforts to promote healthy futures. AmeriCorps members serving with FoodCorps joined First Lady Michelle Obama and local students to plant the White House Kitchen Garden. Check out the photos on our blog!

AmeriCorps members with FoodCorps helped plant the White House Kitchen Garden alongside First Lady Michelle Obama on Thursday, April 3, 2014.

Mayors Love Service: Senior Corps volunteers and AmeriCorps members make a difference in communities every day. During the second annual Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service, more than 1,760 mayors in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico united to thank the national service members in their cities. These mayors represent 110 million Americans -- more than one third of the U.S. population.

Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service in Alton, IL

Celebrating a Service Champion: Throughout the month of March, communities across the country commemorated the life and legacy of civil rights leader Cesar E. Chavez. As part of a Champions of Change event this week, the White House honored Germain Castellanos, AmeriCorps alum and current program director of SHINE Educational Leadership Program in Waukegan, Illinois and Xavier A. Muñoz, an AmeriCorps member serving through the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia in Alexandria, Virginia. Chosen because they embody the spirit of Chavez’s legacy, Castellanos and Munoz, along with the eight other community leaders, have committed themselves to improving the lives of others in their communities and across the nation.

Germain Castellanos, an AmeriCorps alum, speaks on a panel at the White House. He was honored as a Champion of Change.

Launching A New Initiative: This week, we announced ServiceWorks, an exciting new partnership with the Citi Foundation. ServiceWorks, a $10 million initiative, will become the nation’s largest corporate-sponsored AmeriCorps VISTA program. It is set to engage 25,000 low-income youth and young adults in volunteer service in 10 cities --Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, San Francisco, St. Louis, and Washington, D.C.

National Service in the News

Senior Corps

NW Alabama Foster Grandparent Program Celebrates 40-Years
WHNT-TV (AL), April 1, 2014
A volunteer program is marking its 40th year of service in northwest Alabama, and it’s a group of unsung heroes who are shaping the minds of tomorrow. It’s called the Foster Grandparent Program and directors of the program said they fill a gap in today’s classroom.

Respite care volunteers help patients and caregivers
Pocono Record (PA), April 2, 2014
The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Monroe County has partnered with Compassionate Care Hospice to provide respite care volunteers to their terminally ill patients and their families. Some families are seeking companionship for the patients, while others are seeking respite or "a little break" from the demanding schedules of being a full-time caregiver.


First Lady Michelle Obama, School Children, and FoodCorps Leaders
The White House (DC), March 27, 2014
This year, Mrs. Obama is inviting the founders of FoodCorps and six FoodCorps service members to join her at the garden planting. FoodCorps is part of the AmeriCorps Service Network. This nationwide program is dedicated to teaching children about healthy food, how it grows, and where it comes from, and ensuring they have access to these foods each and every day. 

AmeriCorps NCCC

AmeriCorps NCCC returns to Saguache
Center Post-Dispatch (CO), March 28, 2014
On Monday, AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team “Fire 7” arrived in Saguache. They are the second team this year that has come to work in Mountain Valley School. The team will be in Saguache until May 8.

AmeriCorps VISTA

AmeriCorps…Why Everyone Should Know About This Organization
Goodhue-Bellechester Messenger (MN), March 28, 2014
A local nonprofit, CARE Clinic, is currently hosting its first VISTA. The Clinical Director, Julie Malyon, shares, “Our AmeriCorps VISTA has greatly benefited our organization.”

National Service Blog

Continuing His Legacy: Cesar Chavez Day of Service and Learning, March 31, 2014
Today would have marked the 87th birthday of the charismatic yet remarkably humble community leader and one of my personal heroes, Cesar E. Chavez.