Blog Archive

Blog Archive

Coney Island Hot Dogs…in Detroit

Michelle Nunn continues her cross-country trip and writes about her time spent in Detroit, Michigan.

The Lafayette Coney Island Hot Dog Stand in downtown Detroit hasn't changed much since it was founded in 1929. Menus aren’t really necessary – you can get hot dogs, chili, "loose" hamburgers and pie, and the servers take your order and yell to the kitchen how many "coneys" have been ordered.

The Employee Volunteer Program – Putting the CSR Puzzle Together

Today’s guest post is written by Cristina Andoni, ATLAS Corps Fellow from Republic of Moldova, serving at Points of Light as Corporate Institute coordinator.

It’s not surprising that employee volunteer programs (EVPs) benefit businesses in a variety of ways. Companies with engaged employees experience 26 percent higher revenue per employee, a 50 percent higher market premium and 3.9 times the earnings per share growth rate compared to organizations with lower engagement (Gallup). Engaged employees feel more connected to their organizations and communities, and have overall higher productivity, ROI and job satisfaction rates. Add in the societal benefits and the return on investment is even greater.

A Journey of 2,300 Miles Starts with Cooperation

Candace Karu is the lifestyle commentator and favorite foodie for Cabot Creamery Cooperative. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and at She lives and bikes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Inspiration is not always easy to come by in today’s busy world, but recently two people have inspired me, and thousands of others, by making the trip of a lifetime – on bicycles.

Friday Volunteer News Roundup


Do you feel like there aren't enough hours in the day? Volunteering could make you feel like you have more time.

Addressing Medical Needs in Rural Ghana with Blue-Med Africa

Today's guest post is written by Laura, a second year pre-med student from the UK. During the summer of 2012 she chose to volunteer with Blue-Med Africa in Ghana, and volunteered on several medical projects while out there. She writes for Degree Jungle, a resource for college students. Across the world, billions of people suffer from health inequalities that lead to untimely and unreasonable deaths. In the developing world health care is not accessible for many, and the basic living standards needed in order to fight off diseases can also not be achieved. During the summer of 2012 I chose to broaden my view of health care across the world by spending a month in Ghana.

POL News Flash: CEOs Urge Companies to Join The Civic 100

The Civic 100 is a national initiative to survey, rank and recognize corporations on how they engage the communities they serve and institutionalize these practices as part of their corporate culture. 

How an American Girl Helped to Promote Literacy

Today's guest post comes from Mary-Grace Reeves, founder of The American Girl Book Club. Last month marked a significant milestone for the members of the Pensacola High School Class of 2012, as well as high school seniors across the country: graduation. This ceremony embodied both a celebration of our diligent academic efforts and the start of a new chapter in our lives, as we continue to pursue our education. As the familiar tune of “Pomp and Circumstance” echoed throughout the auditorium and the proud graduates entered with their shining caps and gowns, I could not help remembering discussions I had held just days earlier with my classmates about our intended careers. Dreams of becoming nuclear engineers. Neurosurgeons. Biochemists. Physicists. And myself, a pediatric ophthalmologist.

Let's Feed Our College Students

Today's post is written by Lisa Thomas-McMillan, who runs a small nonprofit food bank, Calisa, Inc., and restaurant in Brewton, Ala. Seventeen years ago when I moved back to my hometown of Brewton I had no idea where I was headed in life or what I was going to do. After a few months at home I noticed a lot of elderly people were struggling with food issues and other problems that they needed help with. I had no funds for the more costly problems, but I did manage to put money together to prepare hot meals and food boxes for people and deliver them. They were ever so grateful and as word spread so did the demands for the meals and food boxes.

Michelle Nunn's Be The Change Book Is Reissued

Points of Light is thrilled to announce the reissue of “Be The Change,” an inspirational book by CEO Michelle Nunn that showcases the ways in which people find meaning and transform their lives by helping others.

Friday Volunteer News Round Up!

We made it to Friday! We hope you have a great start to the weekend.  Have you been following along with our CEO Michelle Nunn's trip across country? Read her latest blog post about her visit in Columbus and Cincinnati. We will continue to post more stories from the trip on the blog. 

This past Wednesday was Nelson Mandela's birthday- read CNN's article below on how people are inspired by him still. Please comment below to share what Nelson Mandela means to you.

A Retired Mailman Re-Discovers Life at Give Kids The World

Joseph “Joe” Koch began volunteering at Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) in 1990 and to date has completed more than 20,000 hours at the “storybook” resort for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. A retired postman from Philadelphia, Joe is 83 years young and volunteers three times a week with the charity. A survivor of prostate cancer and four bypass surgeries, Joe decided he wanted to give back and help others who might be fighting life altering illnesses. Over the last 20 years, Joe has volunteered in nearly every role at Give Kids The World—from serving meals in the Gingerbread House Restaurant to operating the Enchanted Carousel to delivering daily gifts to the families.

Community Action Heroes Needed to Fight Hunger!

Jorge Betanzos is a summer intern at generationOn and rising senior at Columbia Engineering studying chemical engineering. His interests include education and pre-Columbian history.

Before last summer, I never imagined that hunger issues could exist in New York City. Had you asked me to define issues tied to food and hunger, my mind would quickly think of global issues such as food scarcity and availability; problems that could only exist in a third world country and not in a metropolis. Working with the Mary Mitchell Center in the South Bronx opened my eyes to the food issues that affect so many and seem to be unheard of.

Michelle Visits Columbus and Cincinnati. Collaboration is Key to Collective Impact

Michelle Nunn continues her cross-country trip and meets Russ Porter, a Point of Light in Cincinnati.

My family has continued our cross-country journey to discover people at the center of change. As we have made our way from Buffalo to Columbus and Cincinnati, we have found a few common themes – collaboration across sectors is the essential ingredient for community success, organizations are increasingly focused on the idea of collective impact, and citizens have a great reservoir of compassion and energy for meaningful engagement.

Daily Point of Light Cassandra Lin on TEDx

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience to share inspiring stories and connect to spread new ideas.

For the Win: If You Build It, Change Will Come

Andrew CarloneToday's blog is republished from the White House For the Win Blog Series on Friday, July 13.  The blog is written by Andrew Carlone, who attended the generationOn Youth Summit at the

Beginning in Buffalo - Michelle Nunn's Trip Cross-Country

In today's blog Michelle Nunn describes her experiences in Buffalo as she journeys across the U.S. discovering people at the center of change. Read more about Michelle's trip here. Buffalo was a terrific place to begin our journey across the country to visit with volunteers and citizen innovators. I met with community activists, AmeriCorps members and Alums who are driving civic change in Buffalo with their energy and idealism.  

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

Sunny dayWe hope you all had some holiday relaxation last week for the 4th of July. We've been in stormy weather all week in Atlanta. Hope you all have a sunny, beautiful weekend for volunteering! Happy Friday the 13th! Here are the news from the past couple of days:  

Michelle Nunn's Reflections From Chautauqua Institute

Chautauqua Institute is quintessentially and uniquely American. In the words of David McCullough, "There is no place like it. No resort. No spa. Not anywhere else in the country, or anywhere else in the world. It is at once a summer encampment and a small town - a college campus, an arts colony, a music festival, a religious retreat, and the village square. It is all of these things and it's none of these - just. And there is no place - no place - with anything like its history."

Michelle Nunn’s Cross-Country Trip to Discover People at the Center of Change


For a month this summer, Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light, is taking a cross-country trip to learn from the people across the country who are rolling up their sleeves and tackling the critical issues before us. Across the nation, she will search out and share the stories of change agents – people who are creating new ways of using their time, talents, voice and money to address the problems they face in their communities. While the political parties are talking about the things that divide us, Points of Light will be

Collaboration Empowers Communities, Helps Motivate Individuals

Neil NicollToday's guest post is written by Neil Nicoll, president and CEO of YMCA of the USA, the national resource of the Y – a leading nonprofit for strengthening community through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility.

How Has Service Transformed Your Life Or Your Community?

Diana NguyenHow has service transformed your life or your community? How have others been a positive impact on you?

Today's guest post is written by Diana Nguyen, a summer intern at generationOn. Diana is a native of California, a college student in Boston and an urban city lover.

Schools Stop Idling to Save the Earth

Clay Today’s Turning Point comes from guest writer, Clay McMullen, a senior at West Geauga High School in Munson Township, Ohio where he is president and founder of the Wetlands Education Team. 

GenerationOn Nominated For the Classy Awards

The 4th Annual CLASSY Awards have nominated generationOn for the Best New Charity in the Northeast. We are so honored and proud to be in the running for this award. The Classy Awards recognize the greatest charitable achievements worldwide. Five months of nominations, voting and judging will culminate on September 21 and 22 in San Diego, CA.

Friday Volunteer News Round Up!

Happy Friday! Hope you had a great 4th of July! Did you partake in any holiday volunteering? Share with us in comments! Here are some of the top volunteer stories from the week:

2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service Reflections

Julie BurkToday's post is written by Julie Burk, director of Volunteer Services at the Center for Volunteer and Nonprofit Leadership.

Celebrate Your American Citizenship This Independence Day

Today is a day for Americans to celebrate our freedom, to reflect upon the history of our nation and to honor the brave men and women who continue to protect our freedoms today. We recommitted to be good citizens at our National Conference on Volunteering and Service closing session earlier this June – join with us to be active and engaged citizens.

My NCVS Thoughts – from the New CEO at CNCS to the 500+ Alumni Attendees

Ben DudaToday's blog is written by Ben Duda, executive director of AmeriCorps Alums. This blog is republished from the AmeriCorps Alums blog on June 27, 2012.

Momentous 2012 Conference and 2013 Location Revealed

More than 5,000 leaders from the service sector came together to create new ideas for service, discuss challenges and work together to create solutions through the power of people during the 2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service. Thank you to everyone who joined us in Chicago! In case you missed it, please see the following highlights and resources available to all.

Building Inspiration: The Ralph Braun Story

Joe BakerToday’s guest post is written by Joseph Baker. He enjoys volunteering in his community, writing, and baking. Read his work at