Act Locally

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Welcome! Whether you're a community leader, a seasoned advocate, a young person looking to turn your concern into action or somewhere in between, you'll find guides, tools and ideas to help you make a difference.

For more resources, inspiring stories and online tools, please visit the homepage of our Action Center.


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Volunteer Opportunities

America's great natural heritage, including our parks, forests, refuges, and coastlines, face three major immediate and critical needs:
   • A multi-billion dollar backlog of maintenance work. $9 billion in jobs wait to be done
     in the National Parks alone.

In the past few years, America has experienced tremendous excitement about the potential of  the green economy and its ability to provide avenues to success through employment and careers for low-income young people.

This video shares voices from those working to inspire bolder and brighter visions of what is possible for black men and boys in America. The central message: We need more models of what effective, successful, positive, collaborative leadership looks like.


A project of Youth Service America and iBelong Networks, mobilizes and empowers the volunteer service community to tackle some of the toughest challenges facing local communities.

2-1-1 is an easy to remember telephone number that, where available, connects people with community services and volunteer opportunities. 2-1-1 implementation is being spearheaded by United Ways and comprehensive, specialized referral agencies nationwide.

President Obama recently announced a new summer service initiative in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service. Local service projects can find volunteers and volunteers can find projects in education, health, energy, the environment and more.

FRAC's recently released report outlines the following key provisions it deems essential for the nation to meet President Obama's goal of ending child hunger by 2015. Those provisions include: 

A top priority for national health reform is to ensure that everyone has access to high-quality, affordable health insurance, especially the 45 million individuals, mostly adults, who are uninsured.

The World Youth Movement for Democracy (, a youth network of the World Movement for Democracy (, is pleased to announce the launch of its Global Essay Contest.

The Witness to Hunger program armed 40 mothers with video cameras and set them out to document their lives and what it takes to feed a family in tight times. "These women are the experts on what it's like to deal with the consequences of what our lawmakers decide," says the program's creator Mariana Chilton. On June 2, 2009, these experts shared their stories on Capitol Hill.

Tools to Improve Communities

August 9, 2011
Produced by:
U.S. Department of Education
There are two Summer Seminars at Six--the Department of Education's summer seminars--left this year.  ED's Summer Seminars at Six are designed to share information about education policy that will help teachers to be engaged and participate in policy discussions at the federal, state and district level.
August 3, 2011
Produced by:
Every Child Matters
While most Americans—and many citizens around the world—are breathing a sigh of relief that the debt-ceiling ‘crisis’ is over, the damage it could cause to U.S. children is just beginning. Few mainstream economists believe the bill signed by the President will do anything to jumpstart a sluggish economy or create jobs.
August 3, 2011
Produced by:
September is National Recovery Month.  The month of action increases the understanding of substance use and mental disorders to achieve the full potential of prevention and treatment support services. It also helps people recognize and seek assistance for these health conditions with the same urgency as any other condition and aims to reduce barriers to recovery.
July 26, 2011
Produced by:
Were you or someone you know saved by a Pell grant?  With the Federal Pell Grant program in danger, EdTrust, Young Invincibles, and U.S. PIRG teamed up to throw a training for interns and other young people on what they described as one of the most powerful ways to advocate for Pell grants (or, really for any issue): Letters to the Editor.
July 19, 2011
Produced by:
Just like all large organizations, universities have their fair share of problems. These problems come in all shapes and sizes and can sometimes seem unrelenting. The usual method of attack for solving these problems involves sending out surveys, forming committees, setting up forums or hiring consultants.
July 13, 2011
Produced by:
National Inclusion Project
Let’s ALL Play brings an inclusive recreational experience to children with disabilities. Through training, staffing, and scholarships, Let’s ALL Play gives children with disabilities the same experience as those without.
July 13, 2011
Produced by:
Families USA
Sharing across the States: Strategies for Engaging Young Adults is designed to help state advocates tackle this demographic and reflects the best thinking of the experienced organizers we interviewed. It includes framing the issue, organizing on and off campus, and using traditional and social media.
July 12, 2011
Produced by:
Idea Encore
This paper discusses a recent grassroots campaign that has had widespread success and duplicability.   
July 12, 2011
Produced by:
The Huffington Post, The Corps Network
The Corps Network President Sally Prouty provides an introduction to Corps and also highlights the Planters Park Project in Washington, D.C. in this Huffington Post article.
July 7, 2011
Produced by:
Idea Encore
Grassroots organizing has long been key for nonprofits to meet their mission and fundraise. Nonprofits across the globe continue grassroots organizing with a 21st century twist to build support for their organization, ignite social change and generate revenue. Check out these great resources shared on IdeaEncore for helpful advice on starting and managing grassroots campaigns.