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Roadpost #1: Getting Directions

Sometimes, when on a journey, it’s a good idea to ask for directions. And who better to ask than someone who has been on the road for a while and understands where it might lead?

Margaret is such a person. She is very well-traveled on the ‘volunteer road,’ and her desire to help came early. Even as a small child of 4 or 5, she remembers an old man across the street who was limping along in obvious pain. She can still feel the strong impulse to run across the street, hug him, and make him feel better. That natural empathy led her to become a nurse and a volunteer in public health and prison ministry.

It’s the sparkle in her eyes that lets you know what she’s gained from the journey. After all those years of serving others, Margaret can sum up the power of volunteering in a concise yet profound way—“To be really happy, you have to give.” Margaret feels that any satisfaction found from acquiring things, especially possessions, is only temporary, and she attributes her excellent health and energy to her good fortune in learning how to give. (more…)

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68th! That means I didn’t get the funding to head out on Nevada’s roads, writing my blog. My Pepsi Refresh idea came in at number 68 out of 180 in my category! I needed to finish in the top 10 to get the Refresh Grant.

So, is the road closed? Not really.

I could see it as being closed if I wanted to, but journeys are often delayed by roadblocks. The solution is simple: find another route to travel.

And so I’ve found another way to get on the road. It’s a virtual road for now—just you, me, and the web. I’m grateful it can happen. The tools I’ve found are free, both WordPress (for the blog) and Animoto (for the video).

All I need are readers, people to comment, and volunteers with stories to tell. So talk to me, and remember to subscribe (it’s free). Plus, share the blog with your friends. (more…)

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The Volunteer Road

Hello. I’m Arlene Williams. I’m a VISTA volunteer, serving with Nevada Volunteers, Nevada’s Commission on National and Community Service.

Being a VISTA is a year-long journey of service, and I’m having quite a ride down this road I am traveling. One of the highlights so far has been doing interviews with local volunteers from wide-ranging backgrounds. I’ve come away from these conversations inspired by their insights. I’ve also become more certain than ever that volunteering is vital, not only for the community and those in need, but for those who serve.

Volunteering… it’s a diverse experience as varied as the people who do it. Each person travels their own unique ‘volunteer road.’ Some are on highways of accomplishment, straight, sure—they know where they are headed. Some are on expeditions of discovery, hiking unmarked trails, exploring new ways to serve. Some ramble down country lanes of giving, savoring the joyfulness of their trek. There are so many ways to make this journey, but whether you march, slog, saunter, or race down your own particular road, it’s a journey that is worthwhile to make. (more…)

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MLK Day 2010, Las Vegas

National Service members joined together in Las Vegas to make Martin Luther King Day a Day On, not a Day Off by marching in the MLK Day Parade and doing a service project for Habitat for Humanity. AmeriCorps members from LUZ Community Coalition participated and provided this PowerPoint. Thank you Luis Calderon for creating the slideshow and organizing these inspiring quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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