Blog Archive

Blog Archive

Startups Get $50,000 Each for Ideas Serving the Greater Good

A San Francisco company that teaches people how to raise money and a Chicago nonprofit that brings science, technology, engineering and math education (STEM) to students in low-income neighborhoods, were chosen by their peers to receive $50,000 each at the close of the spring 2014 Points of Light Civic Accelerator. Check out these innovative startups.

Are You Part of the Unprepared 85 Percent?

“We want to engage people to get them to think about a hurricane,” says Gus Rodriguez, an Allstate insurance agency owner in Belleair Bluffs, Fla. “Everybody’s complacent.” Rodriguez was one of the Allstate agents taking part in a disaster preparedness event last Saturday in Tampa, Fla. The event was part of a 14-city tour brought to town by the Allstate Foundation and Points of Light. On the same day, the tour also stopped in Indianapolis and Baton Rouge, La.

What Is a Happy Childhood Worth?

Maria D’Angelo grew up in a family with little means after immigrating to the United States from Italy at age 13 and settling in Los Angeles. Witnessing the plight of other immigrant families moved her to start volunteering at a young age. As an adult D’Angelo founded the Children’s Lifesaving Foundation to serve homeless and at-risk children.

Hear From the People Who Inspired Thousands at the Conference on Volunteering and Service

Missed the Points of Light Conference on Volunteering and Service last week? Thousands of leaders from the nonprofit, corporate and civic sectors came together in Atlanta to celebrate and shape the future of volunteerism. Now you can feel like you were there. Or if you were fortunate enough to join us, you can relive some special moments. Check out these videos.

A Foster Mom to 100 Kids Over the Years, and a Source of Support

Patricia Boles has a unique perspective on the difficulties of being a foster parent. She and her husband have personally fostered more than 100 babies – adopting 10 of them. As she discovered the many burdens facing foster parents, she also found serious shortcomings in the support available through the foster care system.

A Teen’s Suicide Inspires Mother’s Quest to Erase Stigma of Mental Illness

Often overwhelmed with anxiety, Tricia Baker's teen-aged son Kenny would disappear for days. And because of the social stigma surrounding mental illness, he hid his condition from friends and classmates. Shortly before he would have graduated from high school, Kenny committed suicide. Now Baker is educating youth about mental health and suicide prevention.

Points of Light Unites `House of Service’ in Rousing Closing Session

We are all united in the house of service. That’s the message Points of Light Chairman Neil Bush delivered to a packed closing plenary session today – joined by volunteer service leaders and award-winning entertainers – to wrap up the 2014 Conference on Volunteering and Service in Atlanta.

8-Year-Old Who Lost His Dad in Iraq Inspired a Flood of Goodwill With a $20 Bill

When Myles Eckert, son of an Army soldier killed in Iraq, gave a $20 bill he found to a Air National Guardsman, it sparked a chain of events that has yielded $1.6 million for an organization that provides vacations for children of U.S. military personnel who have died in the line of duty.

Remembering Her Own Struggle, She Leads Others Out of Debt

Donna Mahon knows financial adversity. In her youth, she worked full time at a bank – and three part-time jobs on the side – to put herself through college. She eventually earned an MBA and achieved a success, but she never forgot the hard work it took to build her career in banking. For the past 25 years Mahon has volunteered her time conducting free financial workshops through a variety of community organizations to help others overcome economic obstacles.

`Service Unites’ as Conference Sessions Encourage Cross-Sector Collaboration

Today Conference for Volunteering and Service attendees witnessed "Service Unites" in action, as dozens of educational sessions and forums focused on creating cross-sector alignment and new alliances to help address pressing community issues.

`Overwhelmingly Blessed’ and Inspired

Actor Lamman Rucker says his work with young people has saved his life. As his career was taking off, he co-founded The BLACK GENTS – an all-male, African-American theater company in Los Angeles – to resurrect and redefine the positive image of the black male through programs for young people and service to the community.

Tyler Perry, Chelsea Clinton and Other Powerful Voices Open the 2014 Conference on Volunteering and Service

Tyler Perry told his story of overcoming abuse to become a point of light. Chelsea Clinton explored the commitment of young people to volunteer service. Three civil rights legends discussed what the volunteer movement could learn from the civil rights movement. And that was just the start of the Conference on Volunteering and Service.

How Tyler Perry Went From Struggling Playwright to A-List Filmmaker to Philanthropist

Though one of the most successful figures in entertainment today, Tyler Perry’s early life was one of struggle. But he has never forgotten what it meant to live in need and has donated generously to charities that focus on helping the homeless, victims of disaster and more.

A New Facebook App for Finding Volunteer Opportunities

It’s all about The Ask. Now your nonprofit can make The Ask on Facebook with All for Good Volunteer – the first app for finding volunteer opportunities right on Facebook.

Birthday Wishes for President George H. W. Bush and Your Chance to Give a Meaningful Gift

It’s our founder’s 90th birthday today, and lots of folks have something to say about that. Read the birthday wishes and see how you can give President Bush a gift that he is sure to love.

Better Living Through Technology

After Haiti’s earthquake in 2010, with critical medical infrastructure in ruins, the country’s Ministry of Health asked Partners in Health, a U.S.-based health care organization, to expand plans to build a community hospital near Port-au-Prince. To help, HP provided what the company knows best – technology and IT infrastructure to support all the applications needed to run a modern hospital.

40 Million Puppy Adoption Fees, Clean Water for 160 Million People and More – the Possible Result of This Small Business Practice

When I was 16 years old, I took on my first pro-bono project. I found myself in a skate park in the Silicon Valley. You could find me there on most weekends, but this particular weekend, something spectacular happened.

Turning Complacency Into Action When it Comes to Disasters

Barbara Moss-Hogan hears a familiar complacency among friends and coworkers living in Savannah, Ga., a coastal city that's been spared by major hurricanes for more than a century. Their talk brings back memories of the bizarre items she and her friends took while evacuating New Orleans ahead of Hurricane Katrina. Volunteers from the Allstate Foundation and Points of Light last week paired up to help inform Savannah-area residents about what to do in the event of a disaster.

Why AmeriCorps Alums Should Matter to Colleges and Employers

Maya spent 1,700 hours serving her country with AmeriCorps. And now, she’s ready to launch a career that will change the world. Or, she’s out of luck, out of work and about to join the estimated 6.7 million “disconnected youth” who cost taxpayers an estimated $1.56 trillion dollars over their lifetimes. Which will it be?

When Your Team Has Competing Priorities, Do This

Collaborations are a lot like families. There can be a number of competing opinions and priorities and often times each family member thinks he or she knows how best to get something done. But at the end of the day, you’re passionate about what you’re doing so you try to make it work. Does this sound familiar?

When Socks Are `More Important Than Food’

Socks are among the most needed items at homeless shelters, yet among the least-often donated. According to Tom Costello Jr., founder and “Chief Sock Person” at the Philadelphia-based nonprofit The Joy of Sox, even regular donors of clothing such as coats and pants will usually wear their own socks until they have holes and then throw them away.

What Can You Learn About Entrepreneurship in Three Days? Plenty.

When you bring entrepreneurs together, ideas fly, networks grow and partnerships emerge. We got to see all three happen recently in New York during a three-day gathering of the spring 2014 class of the Points of Light Civic Accelerator.

What Do You Get a President on His Birthday?

Whenever I see President Bush, he asks me about points of light. And I know he’s not asking about the organization. He’s asking about the volunteers who are tackling tough community problems and finding lives of purpose and meaning through serving others. On June 12, President Bush will celebrate his 90th birthday. Starting today, you can give him the one present he’s sure to love: your pledge to serve.

He Writes the Shows Your Kids Love and Shares His Talent With Kids Eager to Learn

You might not know Eric Friedman by name, but if you have tween or teen kids, you most likely know his work. As a successful television writer for the past 18 years, he has written for roughly 25 shows, including the Disney XD show “Crash & Bernstein” – which he created – Nickelodeon’s “Drake & Josh” and Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally.” When he’s not working on scripts, Friedman is helping the very school kids who love his shows to learn the creative writing process, develop their own scripts and eventually see their creations performed by the professional TV actors they idolize.

The True Value of Employee Volunteerism

In recent years we've seen a steady rise in the quantity and scale of corporate volunteer programs in the U.S. After gaining considerable momentum during the global recession as a fiscally responsible way for companies to supplement and expand upon their existing community giving initiatives, employee volunteerism has become a mainstream business practice.