Blog Archive

Blog Archive

She Heard About a Child Digging Through the Trash for Food and Set Out to Feed Hungry Kids

As a social worker and food bank volunteer, Mary K. Hoodhood was generally aware of hunger in the community, but not among children. She learned that local kids were going home from school every night with empty cupboards waiting for them. So in 2001, she helped found Kids’ Food Basket in coordination with local schools.

The Cost of Doing Nothing

Employees have stopped writing #RaceTogether on cups at Starbucks, and critics have mostly stopped sneering at the effort. Will other companies now become wary of promoting or discussing social change? That question weighed heavily on my mind last week, as I headed to Boston for the annual meeting of the Points of Light Corporate Service Council. Representatives from 60 of the nation’s largest companies gathered to share lessons from and leadership of the corporate volunteer service movement.

Starting Young – Middle School Students Become Seasoned Volunteers

It’s 4 p.m. on a Tuesday, and the halls of Webb Middle School are growing quiet. However, three students aren’t part of the stampede of their peers racing for the exits. They’re in a classroom, making phone calls to local business owners to enlist help in putting on a pancake breakfast for families staying at the Ronald McDonald House. These are the students of United Way for Greater Austin’s Volunteer Project Leaders program, and this isn’t their first rodeo.

His Unique Background Helps Him Create Fresh Ways for Volunteers to Get Involved

Back in the late 1980s, Feldman helped launch an innovative, group-oriented volunteer model that has become the centerpiece of myriad volunteer centers throughout the country. People who had just a few hours to volunteer could participate in group volunteer projects that were done in a day. Both on the job and as a volunteer, Feldman has spent almost three decades developing fresh ways to engage volunteers in the nonprofit, public and private sectors to create social change.

See How This Sixth Grader Is Tackling Child Hunger as a FROG

A grumbling stomach. Headache. Hard time paying attention and focusing. Low energy and motivation. Poor academic performance. This is hunger. Hunger is here, and it is hurting children. When I was 7, I founded Friends Reaching Our Goals, FROGs. It's a kid-run service organization with the mission of inspiring youth to make a positive difference in their community.

This Teen Is Helping Doctors Diagnose Breast Cancer

When Brittany Wenger was 15, her cousin was diagnosed with breast cancer. She saw firsthand the effect the disease has on a woman and her family. By combining medical research and a passion for computer science, she created Cloud4Cancer. The cloud-based computer program helps doctors diagnose breast cancer.

Her Infant’s Sudden Death Led to a Movement to Check Kids’ Hearts

At just 13 weeks old, Phyllis Sudman’s second child, Simon, died in his sleep from sudden cardiac arrest. “No parent should ever have to bury their child,” Sudman says. “And we knew we were going to do something. So my husband and I started Simon’s Fund.”

Buy Diapers or Food? This Mom Is Keeping Families From Having to Make Such `Heartbreaking Decisions’

When Corinne Cannon had her first child, Jack, in 2009, she felt the way many first-time parents do as they try to make sense of parenthood. But she realized those feelings were magnified exponentially among families in the Washington, D.C., area who had far less than her family. Cannon began to reach out to nonprofits in her community asking how she could help, and they all voiced a similar need for one item in particular: diapers.

Looking for Purpose, She Found Compassion

Rachel Jackson-Bramwell was a 25-year-old single mom and full-time college student trying to keep afloat. Many mornings on her drive into work, she would see homeless people asleep on the side of the road. That could have been her out there. In 2005, she felt moved to create So she started Project Compassion in 2005.

From Drug-Addicted Prostitute to Dream Weaver

Shaaron Funderburk knows what it feels like to regain consciousness in a daze after taking drugs. She knows what it feels like to be in a jail cell and see a loved one pleading with her to change. She’s turned her life around after having been a homeless, drug-addicted prostitute. And now she’s helping other women do the same.

Join Us Online to Learn the Best Ways to Serve After a Disaster

Have you ever wanted to help after a disaster? There are many ways to get involved after a disaster – whether you have just one day to volunteer or can commit to a longer stint of service. Join us Tuesday, March 17, from 11 a.m. to noon Eastern, for a special discussion on Twitter about disaster volunteerism

She Lost Her Legs to Save Her Kids and Found Her Calling

Seeking refuge in her basement – a tornado headed toward her Henryville, Indiana, home – 37-year-old Stephanie Decker found herself in a life-changing moment. Decker’s children were unharmed. But she had cracked ribs, a punctured lung, and her legs had to be amputated. Drawing on the values she learned through her lifelong involvement with sports, her will to overcome and a new realization that she could make a difference – she started The Stephanie Decker Foundation.

Giving Women Entrepreneurs a Place to Refine and Expand Their Civic-Minded Ideas

Through summer camps, one-day programs and mentoring and volunteer opportunities for women and girls, Sandy Marshall is bringing like-minded girls together for education, mentoring and encouragement. Just like she got from the Points of Light Civic Accelerator, which is focusing on women and girls for its spring 2015 session.

Here’s What Your Kids Can Do About Child Hunger

Think about this: 16 million kids in the United States aren’t getting the food they need. Help your kids become part of the solution by joining generationOn and the ConAgra Foods Foundation for the Make Your Mark on Hunger campaign.

Her 8-Year-Old's Fight With Cancer Led Her to Reach Out to Sick Kids

Watching her 8-year-old son, Max, battle brain cancer was all the motivation Audra DiPadova-Wilford needed to bring accessible, whole-body wellness to kids in their own battles with cancer and other life-threatening conditions. Through her volunteer-driven nonprofit MaxLove Project, DiPadova-Wilford supports cancer research, provides nutrition coaching and runs a fun camp for kids fighting illness, among other programs.

Broken-Hearted and Angry, This Woman Set Out to Heal Children Rescued From the Sex Trade

Jenny Williamson discovered there were few services to rehabilitate children rescued from the sex trade. So she set out to help those children by learning about how best to serve them.

A Birthday Gift for the Imagination

When Cara McCollum was 10, she started volunteering for Toys for Toys. “Over the years I got to be known as the ‘book lady,’” she recalls. “We got all these book donations and I took to the task of organizing them like a serious librarian.” Later, while in high school, McCollum founded the Birthday Book Project – a nonprofit that sends new, gift-wrapped books to children in need for their birthdays.

This Retired Teacher Brings a Community Together in Learning

Retirement didn’t sit well with Jeannette Winkelman, who taught French and English as a Second Language, or ESL, for 20 years. Volunteering had always been a big part of her life and most of her volunteer activities had been through her church. She felt that would be a good starting place to seek out her next role.

A Power Lunch With Third Graders

Every week Nina Nelan hops on a school bus with her coworkers for a power lunch unlike any other. Through the Power Lunch program – a collaboration of the Denver Public Schools Foundation, Mile High United Way and Denver Public Schools – area workers are matched with second- or third-grade “reading buddies.” Coworkers visit weekly as a group – sometimes aboard an actual school bus – to meet with their buddies for 45-minute reading sessions.

This Volunteer Taught His Dogs a New Trick – Helping Kids Read

Personal experiences with dogs have shaped the volunteer work Terrance Brown does today, helping kids enhance their reading skills.

On Read Across America Day, See How This Mom Gives Kids a Gift Her Own Daughter Treasures

Tiffany James thinks about her daughter when explaining why she is so passionate about teaching kids to read: “My daughter’s favorite book when she was little is all taped up and half the pages are gone. It was so loved, she sort of made it her friend. I just want more kids to be able to love reading as much as my daughter did.”