In the News

February 15, 2010
Thomas O. Staggs, the Walt Disney Company’s new theme parks chairman, hopped onto a circular stage built to resemble an enormous can of tuna on Thursday. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he said to the audience gathered at Epcot in Florida, “the world’s largest structure of canned food!”

With that, a stage hand crawled through some fake fog and pulled a rip cord that sent an enclosure of white balloons skyward. Sure enough, volunteers had arranged over 115,000
February 15, 2010

Washington, DC – The U.S. Senate confirmed the nomination of Patrick Corvington by unanimous consent today to be the new Chief Executive Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service. Corvington, a recognized expert on nonprofit management and leadership, joins the agency at a time marked by unprecedented social need and support for national service.

February 12, 2010
The allure of a free ticket to a Disney park has spurred people across Northeast Ohio to sign up for local volunteer activities, bringing a welcome spike in help for a broad range of organizations.

The "Give a Day. Get a Disney Day" program began in January and aims to both celebrate and inspire volunteers by providing a one-day ticket to a Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort theme park to the first million people who sign up and complete a day of volunteer service.

January 25, 2010
University of Mississippi student Sharita Washington decided not to take the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend off.

Instead, Washington, 22, and 26 fellow students from the university's Oxford, Miss., campus joined about 3,000 others for volunteer community service in Chicago. Saturday, they spruced up a South Side elementary school where 97% of the students are low-income, according to Chicago Cares, which coordinated the effort.

January 25, 2010
Many Americans, both young and old alike, will be enjoying a day off today, Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

But instead of sleeping in and watching TV reruns the entire day, most folks and schoolchildren will be engaged in some form of volunteer service on this "national day of service," especially in light of Tuesday's catastrophic earthquake in Haiti.

MLK Day wasn't always known as a "day of service." Signed into law by President Reagan in 1983, this federal holiday was originally created to honor King's life. Fast forward
January 18, 2010
Chicago will hire a full-time “chief service officer” to craft a citywide volunteerism plan, in part to help at-risk youth, thanks to a two-year, $200,000 grant awarded today.

Mayor Daley accepted the Rockefeller Foundation grant on the National Service Day created by Congress to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King.

He was joined by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who already has a chief service officer to coordinate disparate groups of volunteers.

January 18, 2010
Today we celebrate the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s contributions to the world with a day of service. Increasingly, millions of Americans view his holiday as “a day on, not a day off” — an occasion to volunteer with a nonprofit, make a New Year’s commitment as a mentor, or create a dialogue around the unfulfilled legacy of King.

A part of King’s dream has been realized with the election of a transformational president and significant progress in our nation’s journey toward true equality of opportunity.
January 18, 2010
For a decade and half, Harris Wofford has taken what Americans do on the national holiday marking the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s legacy personally.

During his single term in the U.S. Senate, Wofford (D-Pa.) partnered with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) in 1994 to pass the King Holiday and Service Act. Both men, veterans of the civil rights movement who were friends of King, were fed up and disappointed with what the holiday had become. Rather than a day of unity and service as they had
January 17, 2010
As the nation celebrates the 80th birthday of Dr. King and welcomes the historic presidency of Barack Obama, we remember all the acts of change and sacrifice of those who have contributed to our national pilgrimage to a more perfect union. We remember the foot soldiers of the movements for social justice and we celebrate the every day heroes who combat malaria around the world, serve in our military, teach our children, and build homes for those without shelter. It is exciting to see the dream and vision that Coretta
January 17, 2010
In the words of Coretta Scott King, “Martin Luther King Jr. Day is not only for celebration and remembrance, education and tribute, but above all a day of service … it is a day of volunteering to feed the hungry, rehabilitate housing, tutor those who can’t read, mentor at-risk youngsters, console the broken-hearted and a thousand other projects for building the beloved community of his dream.”

In the wake of this week’s tragic earthquake in Haiti, I can almost hear Dr. King’s voice asking us to serve this Monday on the day that we remember this great man’s life.
January 16, 2010
If it weren't for the distinctive 1960s fashion, it would be easy to mistake the picture of the 1963 March on Washington for 2010. The placards in the grainy photo of the thousands gathered on the national mall express the concerns of the day: jobs, access to quality education, housing.

Fast forward some 45 years and we are a nation that has made remarkable progress on some dimensions of Dr. King's dream, but we are also a nation grappling with the upheaval
December 14, 2009
As America struggles to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, the nation's top priority is finding jobs for the 10 percent of men and women out of work. An even more staggering figure often gets lost in the debate: four million unemployed people between the ages of 16 and 24, and record teen unemployment of 27%. If the U.S. wants to make a real dent in unemployment, young people are the place to start - and a sweeping call to national service may be the answer.

December 3, 2009
When Cami Walker of Los Angeles learned three years ago that she had multiple sclerosis, her health and her spirits plummeted — until she got an unusual prescription from a holistic health educator.

Ms. Walker, now 36, scribbled the idea in her journal. And though she dismissed it at first, after weeks of fatigue, insomnia, pain and preoccupation with her symptoms, she decided to give it a try. The treatment and her experience with it are summed up in the title of her new book, “29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change Your Life” (Da Capo Press).

December 1, 2009
There's no surprise that charitable giving is down this year. A recession can make even the most altruistic person pull back.

Fifty-one percent of charitable organizations responding to a poll by the Association of Fundraising Professionals reported lower fundraising totals so far in 2009 compared with the same period last year.

The next several weeks are crucial for the charities; most of them receive anywhere from one-third to half of their overall contributions in the last three months of the year.

December 1, 2009
A year after the global economy teetered on the verge of collapse, a recession -- a lingering and unwelcome guest -- has settled in at dinner tables across the land.

And while plates are empty at some homes, the lines grow long at organizations like Martha's Table, a nonprofit in the District where a record number of people wait each day for a bit of something -- food or clothing or educational programs -- to see them through.