June 7, 2009, USA TODAY — Chad Pregracke, 34, still has a love affair with the Mississippi River. He grew up on its banks, collected mussels in its waters as a teen, and now trolls its coasts collecting garbage to put on his barge.
April 23, 2009, USA TODAY — Michael Yuhas' lasting memory of Pearl Harbor is seeing Japanese pilots smiling as they dropped bombs on the U.S. naval base on Dec. 7, 1941. Yuhas, who says he lost 40% of his hearing that day, never thought he'd see Hawaii again after leaving the Army in 1945.
LANCASTER, Pa., April 15, 2009, USA TODAY — The Community First Fund has spent 17 years proving that lending to poor people is good business. It may soon get millions of dollars in fresh capital to help press its case.
April 10, 2009, USA TODAY — Vital Life Services, a non-profit established in Oakland 24 years ago to assist low-income and homeless residents dealing with HIV/AIDS and related problems, is facing a do-or-die scenario, executive director Peggy Bush says.
MCLEAN, Va., April 14, 2009 — USA TODAY, the nation's top-selling newspaper, will publish an eight-page special bonus section focused on philanthropy on Tuesday, April 14. The section focuses on a new and growing civic generation and how the current economy is affecting service organizations. An essay by First Lady Michelle Obama highlights the need for more youthful volunteerism than ever.
President Obama's call to community service is getting a big boost from the recession. Applications are soaring at government-funded service programs, the stimulus package includes $200 million to boost those efforts and Congress is looking for more ways to expand opportunities to help others.