Jul. 30

Service Sprouts in Columbus, Ohio, With Launch of National One America Tour

T.J. Vance and his sons, Anthony, 12, and
Derick, 7,share a lighthearted moment at the
One America tour launch.

To help kick off the national One America tour in Columbus, Ohio, today, T.J. Vance brought his sons, Anthony, 12, and Derick, 7, to Ohio State University – ready to serve.

Sharing some family togetherness, the three Vances rolled a mixture of water, soil, vegetable seeds and clay into “seed balls” for the Franklin Park Conservatory’s Growing to Green program, which promotes community gardening.

“If you serve when you are young, you will continue to serve as an adult,” said T.J. Vance.

That commitment to service drove the event, the launch of the nine-city One America tour. Points of Light and JPMorgan Chase have teamed up for the yearlong One America campaign, which will bring together rivals in politics, entertainment and sports to inspire Americans to unite in service for their communities.

The Columbus event drew 200 volunteers from the John Glenn School of Public Affairs Student Association and HandsOn Central Ohio, who shoveled the ingredients for the seed balls from green, yellow and blue plastic buckets, assembling hundreds of the meatball-sized nuggets.

The gathering marked the opening of registration for the 2nd annual Columbus Volunteer Challenge, coming to the city Sept. 7 to 11. The local call to service, co-sponsored by HandsOn Central Ohio, will engage 20,000 volunteers throughout the city during those five days.

Today’s volunteers heard from local leaders including Philip Pikelny, chairperson of the Columbus Zoological Park Association board and David Chesebrough, president and CEO of COSI Columbus.

James Malz, Chase market president, motivated the crowd, highlighting One America’s theme of unity: It's all about coming together, whether you believe in the right or the left, or the rain or the sun."

Delores Morton, president of programs at Points of Light, echoed his sentiment: “When we face some of our toughest challenges, what do we do? We turn to each other."

Meanwhile, the Vances just appreciated the opportunity to give back to their community. And the chance for some meaningful family time.

To find out more about the One America campaign, visit, where you can sign up for updates. Help us spread the word on Twitter by using the hash tag #1America. 

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