Blog Archive

Blog Archive

When it Sounds Like a Baseball Team Is Pitching Balls Against Your House, Will You Be Ready?

Hundreds of shoppers who lined up at Mayfair Mall in suburban Milwaukee to assemble starter emergency kits admitted they would be unprepared for a sudden disaster, even though Wisconsin gets hit by tornadoes and blizzards. The Allstate Foundation teamed up with Points of Light in Milwaukee to raise awareness about preparing for disasters as the final stop on a 14-city nationwide tour.

A Child of War, Now a Woman of Peace, Serves Veterans by Writing With Them

In my birthday month, October of 1991, I lost my father, then my house and neighborhood, and my novel-in-progress, in the Berkeley/Oakland firestorm. My trauma was such that I lost my ability to read. I needed a shout-out, “Encore!” – or “Hana hou!” as we say in Hawai’i. A phoenix of an idea came to me: Gather around me veterans, who have been through fire, and let’s write together. Write our way home. Write Peace.

Would Your Organization Know What to Do With an Influx of Volunteers?

Amy Chapman is responsible for supporting 12,000 Capital One employees in volunteering, but she faced a problem. Though she had thousands of potential volunteers ready to use their skills for good in their communities, nonprofits weren’t necessarily able to receive them. So the company and the nonprofit HandsOn Greater Richmond crafted a partnership around the Service Enterprise Initiative that enabled each sector to play to its strengths.

Spreading Hope Aboard the World’s Largest Civilian Hospital Ship

Don Stephens has a profound way of drawing people in – and keeping them there. In 1978 he created Mercy Ships, which runs the Africa Mercy – the world’s largest hospital ship. The organization has provided specialty surgery and other health care at no cost to millions of people from the poorest nations of the world. And Stephens has attracted volunteers who have stayed with the nonprofit for years.

A Lesson in How Service Works on Make A Difference Day

On Saturday, a team of new AmeriCorps VISTA members – assigned to Covenant House to run ServiceWorks, a program that uses volunteer service as the primary strategy to help underserved young adults develop the skills they need to prepare for college and careers – showed they know a thing or two about how service works.

We Got the Billion +, Now It’s Time to Count the Change

Points of Light and its Pro Bono Collaborative have launched the first ever Pro Bono Benchmarking Survey to standardize reporting and measurement of pro bono and skills-based service. To assess whether pro bono service is really making a difference in tackling our communities’ most pressing problems, the survey will ask companies to think critically about systems and strategies for measuring social impact.

Celebrating Volunteer Service at Home and Around the World at the 2014 Tribute Awards

Under the soft glow of crimson Chinese lanterns, a retired NBA star-turned philanthropist, a young environmentalist, a nonprofit addressing hunger and a company with a strong history of employee volunteerism received Points of Light Tribute Awards last night at the Chinese embassy in Washington, D.C.

Mentor Instills Leadership Qualities in Youth Through Service

Today, Points of Light honors the exceptional work of volunteers at its Tribute event, hosted this year by the Chinese Embassy in Washington, D.C. In celebration of emerging opportunities for volunteerism that strengthen the bonds between Asia and North America, read the story of today’s Daily Point of Light, an Asian-American who leads 200 Dallas youths in service, teaching them how to become leaders.

Cyber Monday, Black Friday, Giving Tuesday – Start the Conversation Around Giving Back This Holiday Season

With Giving Tuesday coming up on Dec. 2, now’s a great time to make it easy to collect pledges of time and money for your cause this holiday season. If you haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, the All for Good Volunteer Facebook App allows any organization currently posting projects to either All for Good or a local Points of Light Affiliate to showcase their projects right on their Facebook pages. It's free.

Here’s What Can Happen When You Use Your Skills for Good

Miguel Guerra’s information technology career has taken him around the country, working with a team that builds wireless networks for food manufacturers, aerospace firms and professional football stadiums. But perhaps one of the most important destinations to him is a school classroom near the inner-city Chicago neighborhood where he grew up.

This Teen Saw Poverty and Created Her Own Way to Help

Most teens aren't interested in following in their parents' footsteps. “But it so happens that what they do is really cool,” said Caroline Sartorius about her own parents, who work in international development. Their work inspired Caroline, a high school senior, to seek out international service projects of her own.

My Office Is in the Middle of a Desert

Making hunger a thing of the past will require all of us to take action. The good news is there are lots of ways volunteers of any age can help. Here are things you can do to end food insecurity, food waste and hunger in your community and around the world.

What a Change in Perspective Can Mean for Your Volunteers

It’s time to get rid of our volunteer programs. It seems harmless enough, but calling our volunteer activities “programs” often sets them up to compete with our direct service programs. At budget time, it can be hard to allocate scarce dollars to volunteer support because it seems like we are taking them from client support.

Do Good for a Chance to Win $10,000 for Your Favorite Charity

On Oct. 25, millions of volunteers across the nation will unite with a common mission – to improve the lives of others. Will you join them?

Retired Investor Bets on Atlanta's Homeless Men

Stories of homelessness are interwoven with many of the same complications and setbacks: Lack of education, dependence on handouts, broken families, addiction and criminal records are all too common. Bill McGahan leads an organization that peels away those layers and helps restore men to self-sufficiency.

Make Your Volunteer Program More Effective by Considering New Roles for Volunteers

Recently, while facilitating a reunion of organizations that participated in a yearlong High Impact Volunteer Engagement project – which included coaching, mentoring and training – I was once again struck by the powerful potential that one strategic change can have on an organization overall.

How a Dose of Reality Made Me a Leader

I accidentally woke up today a leader. I suppose that seems about as accurate as saying I became an overnight success in Hollywood. But that’s how it feels. I had a moment this week when a member of my work team confronted me with a challenge – and I thought about it, made a decision and acted. That’s it.

Here’s a Great Way to Honor Families Who Volunteer

Points of Light, generationOn and Disney Friends For Change need your help to find the families in your community who are outstanding in their commitment to volunteer service. We’ll be recognizing at least 10 families for their great work in conjunction with Family Volunteer Day on Nov. 22, 2014 by presenting them each with a Daily Point of Light Award.

Here’s the Place, Now Save the Date for 2015 Conference on Volunteering and Service

Consider yourself invited to the biggest, smartest gathering of volunteer leaders from business, nonprofits and government – all under one roof. You’re going to meet fascinating people, learn a lot and have a great time.

Sandy Hook Teacher Spreads Joy to Students Across the Country

In the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, teacher Kaitlin Roig-DeBellis sought a way to teach children kindness, empathy and a genuine concern for the well-being of others. She launched a website and organization, Classes 4 Classes, that encourages K-5 students to undertake kindness projects that meet specific needs of students in other classrooms.

What Would You Do in a Disaster? Allstate Shows How Easy it Is to Prepare

Today, earthquake survivor Paula Solano makes sure her family is prepared, right down to having slippers next to her children’s beds, in case they have to run out in the middle of the night like she did. “You need to have a plan,” she said. “I call it a ‘clear path to safety.’” That’s the mission of the national disaster preparedness tour created by The Allstate Foundation and Points of Light.

Three Things You Can Do to Help During the Ebola Outbreak

People respond to crisis with action, and as the world faces the first Ebola epidemic and the largest Ebola outbreak in history, that desire to help has mobilized volunteers from around the globe to serve affected communities. Finding an effective way to help can be difficult when the epidemic and greatest need is in Africa, and you are not a medical professional nor in an affected area.