Raised by parents who were heavily involved in the nonprofit sector, Rafael Babilonia learned early on the power of volunteerism and civic engagement. So it is no surprise that, as Hurricanes Irma and Maria threatened the Caribbean, the Puerto Rico native wasted no time in stepping up to help.
There is a steady drumbeat of stories that focus on our differences. No matter how you consume your news, you’ll see or hear stories about intolerance in our daily lives and political stalemates at every level of government. At the beginning of the year, the Pew Research Center released a poll and said that Americans predicted the country’s deep political divisions to persist – with 86 percent saying the country is more politically divided than ever. Shortly before that poll was released, however, Points of Light affiliate New York Cares reported that, just a week after one of the most divisive national elections in our country’s history, there was a 137 percent increase in people who came to them with an interest in volunteering.
Jen Nash joined the HandsOn Network team 11 years ago, after Hurricane Katrina devastated her home town of New Orleans. She started as part of the disaster response team, supporting brand new Points of Light affiliates HandsOn Gulf Coast and HandsOn New Orleans. Jen now serves as senior director of affiliate corporate engagement in our Atlanta office, leading a team of corporate activation managers working with Points of Light’s affiliate network and our corporate partners. While her role within the organization has changed, her commitment to volunteerism and New Orleans remains the same.
Organizations around the country do incredible work. They focus on a variety of causes and important mission work. And while they use volunteers to achieve their mission, the mission is the main focus. Hands On Orlando does incredible work in their community, but they have an additional goal – to provide the highest quality volunteer experience possible.