Blog Archive

Blog Archive

Change Notes: In good times and bad, demonstrating the best of the American spirit


As millions of people along the east coast begin to mourn those who died and assess the damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy, I find comfort and reassurance in one thing: Americans have always pulled together after disasters to lend a hand, help our neighbors and rebuild our communities. As Sandy recedes, we will unite in volunteer service once again.

Just a few days ago, three million people gathered across the country on the nation's largest day of service, Make a Difference Day. They donated food for military families. They cleaned up neighborhoods, parks and schools.

Fall Volunteer Opportunities

October and November months offer plenty of volunteering opportunities. Now that it’s fall and the weather is changing it’s a great time to clean out your closets and give back to goodwill. Before buying new fall clothes, take some time to give away items you don’t need any more. You have to clean out your closet anyway right, why not give your clothes to a great cause?

Three Central Benefits of Volunteering as a College Student

Nadia Jones is an education writer who teaches students how to find affordable online colleges, as well as how to make the most out their experience in school. She welcomes your feedback.

Volunteering simply out of the goodness of your heart should always be your first motive when deciding to feed the hungry, help the homeless or assist a family in need. Yes, you may need to fulfill a certain amount of community service hours each semester in order to qualify for membership in a particular organization on campus, like a fraternity or sorority, but you should really volunteer because you want to improve the quality of humanity and the environment. Those who actually enjoy helping others are the ones who will reap the most benefits from volunteering

Friday Volunteer News Round Up!

Happy Friday! Here's a fun friday halloween joke: How can u tell if a vampire has a cold?
By his 'coffin'!

Here are the volunteer news from the week:

Time to Make A Difference

What will you be doing this Saturday?

For millions of people across the U.S, the answer is one in the same: volunteering in their community.

There are so many kinds of projects that will be under way across the country as part of Make A Difference Day, the nation’s largest day of volunteering.

GenerationOn Volunteers for Annual New York Cares Day

Today's guest post is written by Mark Moravits, director of partnerships and global initiatives at generationOn—the youth service enterprise of Points of Light.

It makes sense that those who make a career out of helping people around the world to be better volunteers would themselves volunteer as often as possible.  The staff of generationOn—the youth enterprise of Points of Light—is no exception. We need to keep our skills sharp, and if we’re working with tens of thousands of people to help them be the best and most impactful volunteers possible, doesn’t it make sense for us to grow our skills by doing?

2012 Women of Worth Honorees Announced

“Celebrating women making a beautiful difference because they’re worth it.”

Yesterday the L'Oreal Women of Worth program announced their amazing group of women who make a difference in the lives of others. Read the inspiring Women of Worth honoree stories.

I Wish My Own School Had A Service Component

Today's post is written by Lance Trebesch, CEO of & Ticket River, which offers a variety of event products and ticketing services. After 19 years of Silicon Valley experience, Lance found the key to happiness is helping customers worldwide beautify and monetize their events with brilliant print products and event services.

In a recent Points of Light guest post, Samantha Gray asked a question: should community service be a graduation requirement? This question stuck with me for many days. On my drive to work, I'd find myself thinking about it and pondering the many arguments for or against. Instinctually, I felt against such an idea. After all, volunteerism should be about intent, not coercion. But then another idea struck me.

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

It's a great time for fall volunteering! Halloween is coming up, do you know what you are going to dress up as? Start planning! Carve those pumpkins, make those pies, and drink that cider :-) We hope you have a great weekend volunteering. Always feel free to post in comments what you are up to or post photos to our facebook page.

World Food Day was Oct. 16

The Story of HandsOn Bogota

Today's post is written by Marcela Campos, founder of HandsOn Bogota. Founding board member of HandsOn Tokyo is now striving to make a difference in Bogota by establishing HandsOn Bogota, the first HandsOn Action Center in Colombia.

The world is my community. Born in Germany of diplomat Argentine parents, I was raised in the U.S. and Canada, where I was introduced to volunteering at an early age through school and Girl Scouts activities. As a teenager in Argentina, I continued my volunteer work through school and then made sure that my life travels did not stop there. My six-month trip to Asia turned into 11 years in Tokyo, Japan, where I met my Colombian husband and had two daughters. I also met the most amazing group of friends who became the founding board of directors for HandsOn Tokyo.

Make a Difference with Your Story

John Capecci is a communication trainer and the co-author, with Tim Cage, of “Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference.”

I met one of my best friends, Tim Cage, in graduate school, where we were enrolled in a course about the power of stories. Little did we know at the time that, more than 20 years later, we would end up in careers that allowed us to witness that power nearly every day.

Nominate for Board Member of the Month

Today's guest post is written by KaCey Venning who serves as the manager, Cause Programs of Points of Light. She is excited about encouraging people to become more active in their communities.

Serving on the board of directors for any organization is a scary thing. When I joined my first board, I had the assumption that it would be easy work. There wasn’t much to it… you write a check, attend a few meetings and make a decision or two. I could not have been more wrong. 

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

We are 2 weeks away from Make A Difference Day! Have you been planning your project? Find projects to volunteer with and register your project to recruit volunteers to help you out on the Daytabank. Check out the Make A Difference Day mobile app! We had a Community Blueprint launch this week in D.C to launch our initiative to help veterans and military families. Learn more about it on our new military initiative website section.

Change Notes: Stepping Up to Support Veterans

After serving nearly nine years in the Navy, Liz Perez returned to civilian life in feeling good about a new job and a fresh start. Unfortunately, she faced challenges she never saw coming. Perez and her young daughter found themselves homeless. Luckily, a property manager at the San Diego construction firm where she worked helped her find a place to live, and she slowly found the resources she needed to get back on her feet.

Finding Fearless: the Search for America’s Most Fearless Changemakers

In order to find solutions to the chronic and complex social challenges we face as a society, we must Be Fearless

The Case Foundation is launching a new campaign — Finding Fearless — to identify the undiscovered social innovators who are dreaming big and taking risks to change their communities and the world.

From Charitable Giving to Strategic Philanthropy – The Advisory Board Makes An Impact

Today's post is written by Yvonne Siu, marketing manager, A Billion + Change.

Imagine receiving a new brand identity your nonprofit could use to launch a rebranding of your organization – for free. Or imagine engaging a team of your best and brightest employees to research and create a pitch presentation for a high-performing charter school – with 24-hours notice.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is not just Fair Trade month, but also Breast Cancer Awareness month and people all over are rallying around the cause. Breast cancer awareness is an issue for anyone who has 8 female relatives, 8 female friends, or 8 female co-workers. Every day in America, over 500 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer: more than 200,000 wives, mothers, sisters and friends every year. There is a 96% survival rate for breast cancer detected at an early stage. You can help in the battle through donations, volunteering, and taking action, and by learning about the disease and the options available to those who fight against it.

Friday Volunteer News Round Up!

Today is World Teacher's Day #wtd2012 and World Smile Day. Find out how you can send a fun ecard to your teacher and celebrate in other ways. Do an act of kindness today :-) We've found so many great articles throughout the web this week- check them out:

American Volunteers Debut Their Video about the 2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service

American Volunteers is an idea hatched by three AmeriCorps Alums, Aaron Frumin, Brendan Gordon, and Michael Ward who are hoping to make a reality TV show (think somewhere between Anthony Bourdain’s ‘No Reservations’ and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition). Their show would follow the trio across the country meeting the individuals that are getting things done through volunteering/service and exploring the cities they live in. For example, a New Orleans episode might start with volunteering with St Bernard Project in the morning then proceed to drink whiskey and enjoy local jazz music on Frenchman Street that night.

Hasbro generationOn Clubs Start-Up Grants

Three Quick Steps to Youth Service Funding Early funding can make or break a youth service club. In fact, a lack of seed money is often the biggest obstacle kids and teens have to overcome when they want to make their mark on the world. Thanks to Hasbro, generationOn is making it super-easy for young people to get new service groups off the ground. GenerationOn is giving out 50 start-up grants of $300 each to support newly registered generationOn Clubs as they complete their first service projects.

October is Fair Trade Month!

News and Recaps From the Clinton Global Initiative

The Clinton Global Initiative annually convenes a community of global leaders to forge solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. The mission of the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) is to turn ideas into action.

I am convinced that cooperation, not conflict, will define this century

-- President Clinton, 2012

Internet Highlights from the Social Good Summit

The Social Good Summit was this past week; such a great conference bringing together change agents and leaders all over the globe to share new initiatives and ideas.  Here is a compilation of highlights from mashable, bloggers, YouTube and Pinterest we found over the internet. 

Philanthropy is about using the resources you have at your fingertips to improve the world.