Blog Archive

Blog Archive

How a Rowdy Dog Inspired a New Family Tradition

This week, many Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving by carrying forward generations-old family or faith traditions – or by creating new ones. Old or new, these rituals bring to mind the ideals and experiences that connect us to one another. Here’s a fun story about how a rowdy dog helped one family start serving together and the lives that changed – most of all, theirs.

How a Kindergartener Got Her Schoolmates to Feed the Hungry

When Jaylin Lee was in kindergarten, her mom read to her from the newspaper that the Salvation Army didn’t have enough food to give to families for the holidays. Jaylin asked, “How can I help?”

Movies to Muffins, These Kids Take Charge

Tim and Patty Howard wanted to introduce their children to community service, so they participated in a holiday program benefiting families in need. The kids enjoyed the experience so much that they began looking for new volunteer opportunities themselves.

Kids Play While Moms and Dads Get Cancer Treatments

As a 34-year-old mom fighting breast cancer, Amy Paterson often found herself scrambling for childcare for her 2-year-old son before many of her 144 medical appointments. So Paterson co-founded My Little Waiting Room, one of the first drop-in childcare centers in a hospital setting in the country.

Here’s One Way to Teach Your Kids to Respect Their Elders

When Steve Louie’s alma mater put out a call for volunteers, Louie decided to make it a family outing. The Louies headed to the Keiro Intermediate Care Facility, which serves elderly Japanese Americans. They've been volunteering there ever since.

Five Easy Ways to Teach Your Kids Values

The holiday season is filled with opportunities for children to be caring and compassionate. And for parents, it starts with showing your kids how it’s done! Let your children see you helping elderly neighbors rake their leaves, being kind to those around you in crowded stores, collecting canned goods for the hungry.

This Family Gives a Yarn

Years ago, Javier and Lori Campos promised themselves they would teach their two daughters the value of community service. But they wanted to wait until both girls were old enough so they could volunteer as a family. “We wanted to be good role models for the girls,” says Lori.

The Healing Power of Home-Cooked Meals

Lori Hall’s first son endured two heart surgeries when he was young, so the mom knows the pain and stress that comes with having a critically sick child. Hall’s cousin, Molly Flanagan, saw a friend face similar hardships when the friend’s daughter battled cancer and died at age 3. Now the moms are using the healing power of food to soothe parents of sick children.

Why Where You Don’t Work Is as Important as Where You Do

Startups that “dream” together grow together. That’s our hypothesis at the Points of Light Civic Accelerator, a 12-week boot camp-style program that supports and invests startups that engage people to solve pressing social issues.

The Greatest Gift

In the mid-1990s, when Mandy Kao began overseeing a number of apartment properties, she was troubled to discover that many tenants – often immigrants and refugees – were struggling with poverty, surrounded by crime and drugs. Mandy her husband, William, took action, later involving their three children.

Unruly Pooch Inspires Decade of Helping Others

Ten years ago, a dog in the Miscoe family’s neighborhood was making such a nuisance of itself that the dog’s owner was fined. He was offered the chance to perform community service, instead of paying the fine. He invited the Miscoe kids, and they've been volunteering ever since.

Why `Giving Away Stuff' Feels Good

After the birth of her daughter, Lizzie, Heather Jack wanted to become more involved in the community. She hoped her daughter, as she got older, would follow suit. The mom worried that kids were growing up more focused on themselves than others. So she founded The Volunteer Family.

For This Veteran, a Gift That Hits Home

Lindsey Kirksey’s childhood home is falling apart – two of the four rooms are literally separating from each other. As part of a series of volunteer service projects stemming from Veterans Day, soon volunteers will start demolishing the 82-year-old veteran’s house to build him a new one.

Eight Is Enough to Make a Change

An accidental discovery launched the Konkel family of eight on a journey of community service. Shawn Konkel, the mom, happened upon a building called Maywood Fine Arts in the economically struggling town of Maywood, outside Chicago. Curiosity led her inside and toward a solid commitment to serve.

These Parents Get Down and Dirty to Teach Their Kids Values

When the Bangilans volunteer, they like to get dirty. Since moving to North Carolina two years ago, the family of four – parents Rod and Serina and sons Kevin, 8, and Crisanto, 2 – has volunteered many hours at the Raleigh City Farm, composting, staking plants, and harvesting fruits and vegetables used to feed the community’s hungry.

Why This Family Leaves Home to Spend Nights at a Homeless Shelter

Natalie and Jonathan Silverstein have built a family tradition out of Jewish tradition. It started four years ago when Natalie and older daughter Emilia began volunteering at the homeless shelter run by their synagogue.

The Vision of a President and First Lady Comes Alive at One America Houston

Today in Houston – where one out of five adults is functionally illiterate – the focus was on the city’s children. President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush joined local child literacy advocates at the One America Houston tour stop to discuss what the community could do to help children succeed.

How Two Moms Are Pulling Kids Off a Dangerous Slide

Sandra Ahlhorn and Amy Barnes, longtime friends and mothers of school-age kids, were disturbed to learn that during summer break children from low-income families start forgetting what they had learned during the school year – often because they don’t have books at home to read. The moms set out to do something about it.

On Veterans Day, Three Powerful Stories of Service

This Veterans Day, I’d like to pay tribute to all veterans by telling you the story of three people – a boy who lost his dad on 9/11, an Army helicopter pilot and West Point graduate, and a Marine coping with PTSD. All three are making a difference through their service to America’s returning heroes.

I Help Struggling Vets, Because I’ve Been There

I tell vets who face joblessness and homelessness something I tell myself: “Every day you get up, make sure you do something that’s going to help yourself today.” In my own life, if I look at the big picture it gets overwhelming. Sometimes you have to go little by little, day by day.

His Dad Died Serving Others, Driving Him Toward Vets Who Have Served Us All

At age 5, Sean Egan lost his father, a New York fire captain, on 9/11. As a teenager, he came to appreciate how veterans, too, risked their lives for the well-being of others. After an informal visit to a veterans’ hospital, Egan felt drawn by the veterans’ stories and their reaction to him – happy that someone cared enough to listen.

A Blackhawk Pilot and Now a Civilian, She Knows How to Serve Those Who Serve

As a veteran and a volunteer, Erica Jeffries is clear on what matters: “To do good for others – it’s our purpose in life." On Veterans Day, Jeffries will be creating care packages for deployed troops with Exelis Action Corps, a program that encourages employees of the aerospace and defense company Exelis to serve veterans as volunteers.

Thousands have entered, but who will win? You decide.

It’s been a big year for Daily Point of Light Award winners Chad Pregracke and Estella Pyfrom. Over the summer, President George H. W. Bush and President Barack Obama celebrated them and fellow winners at the White House. This fall, with your help, one of them could become CNN Hero of the Year.

Think Differently: Use Your Passions to Give Back

Giving back and helping others is not only a gift but an opportunity for personal growth and, let's face it, a chance to feel good. As we head into the holiday season, why not personalize your approach and use your passions to inspire and help others?

Reaching Out to Dropouts By Ringing Doorbells

Concerned about high school dropout rates, Waterloo, Iowa, school officials decided to plead their case to dropouts face to face by going door to door. The school district has partnered with a variety of community organizations and local businesses to form Reconnect to Graduate, a program designed to engage community members in bringing high school dropouts back to school.