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.
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.
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.
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.