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JUMPSTART THE AMERICAN DREAM

OPPORTUNITY NATION WEEK OF ACTION (OCT. 8TH-15TH) - Fewer Americans are likely to earn a high school diploma than their parents, a distinction not shared by any other industrialized country. We know that when students drop out of school, communities suffer. About one quarter of all students – one million students a year, 3,000 a day – fail to graduate on time. It’s no wonder that our trust in the power of the American Dream is wavering.

What Would Gandhi Say?

October 2nd is a national holiday in India commemorating the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. It may have another designation soon, as Indian business, government and nonprofit leaders recently signed a petition to President Pranab Mukherjee to establish October 2nd as "National Volunteering Day".  These leaders recognize that India’s future depends on volunteers, whose time, minds and muscles can speed the pace of development in their country of more than one billion people.

Let’s Play

“Education.” Many of us automatically think “school” when we hear that word. But learning happens everywhere, especially for young children. And in our effort to cut the number of high school drop outs in half, United Way supports early childhood learning in diverse ways: through reading programs, book drives of course, but also in parks and on playgrounds.

On 9/11, Do a Good Deed

The National Day of Service & Remembrance is observed on 9/11 each year. Last year more than 30 million people volunteered or found other ways to connect with their communities and loved ones on 9/11 Day.

Labor Days of Action with United Way

In the United States, we celebrate Labor Day on the first Monday in September to recognize the economic and social contributions of working men and women. This Labor Day, I’d like to recognize two groups of union members who are volunteering in support of United Way initiatives.

Be a Champion. Serve the Community.

I like soccer, and I like RFK, but here’s what I really like: huge signs, visible from every angle in the stadium, that prominently display the core of D.C. United’s mission statement: WIN CHAMPIONSHIPS. SERVE THE COMMUNITY.

High School Hoops Stars Give Back

On Friday, July 13th 2012 United Way had the pleasure of coordinating a service project for a great group of high school basketball players. The 10 young men were in the Washington, DC area to take part in Nike’s Global Challenge, an international tournament featuring the best high school players from around the world.

Any Day is Volunteer Day

July 18 is Nelson Mandela Day – when we’re asked to spend 67 minutes in service in honor of Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of fighting for human rights. The concept is the same as United Way’s Day of Action (June 21) and International Volunteer Day (December 5) and many other days United Ways participate in: choose a meaningful day and issue a call to volunteer on that day.

Life Changing Anniversaries

As I write this we’re expecting our 6th day of 100 degrees or warmer this summer – part of a nationwide heat wave. Appropriately enough, NBC Nightly News recently reported on the 110th anniversary of the air conditioner and how it “changed our lives forever.”

Thanks, Dad (and other men who care about kids)!

Father’s Day is coming up. No doubt lots of kids will be going on a special outing with their dad, or creating gifts, or even giving their father the old stand-by gift, a necktie. But since so many children don’t have the means to celebrate like this with their fathers, United Way of Northern New Jersey hosts an annual gift drive.