Blog Archive

Blog Archive

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

Happy Friday! With more holidays coming up right around the corner check out the HandsOn Blog for ways volunteering can help deal with holiday stress. Today's volunteer round up features stories from Giving Tuesday and more:

Giving Tuesday Doesn’t Have To Be Just Tuesday

Today’s post is written by Chelsea Murphy, Communications Coordinator at Points of Light. She loves neon colors, ultimate frisbee, photobooths, and social good, with an off and on obsession for pinterest. Find her on twitter @chelsmurph.

I love the holidays. A time for eating a lot and hanging out with family and friends and appreciating the people who mean the most in your life with the act of giving and receiving gifts. It’s the season of giving so why not give back to meaningful causes at the same time?

Volunteer and Unite in Service This January to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year, in partnership with Target and the Corporation for National and Community Service, we will create new and meaningful ways to harness the passion of our nation’s citizens in honoring the memory and promoting the vision of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 21st.  

With the election over and in the aftermath of another significant weather event, we believe we have a unique opportunity to unite Americans in volunteer service and to issue a call to action to do what we, as Americans, do best – lend a hand, help our neighbors, and build better communities.

Why IBM Is America's Most Community-Minded Company

Today's post is republished from Citizen IBM on Nov. 19. This blog is written by Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light, the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service.

You may have suspected that IBM was the nation’s most community-minded company. Now you have proof. Last week, BloombergBusinessweek published the first-ever Civic 50, a groundbreaking national initiative to identify the 50 companies having the greatest community impact. IBM was ranked No. 1.

Change through Volunteerism: About Maine’s League of Young Voters

Today's guest post is written by Teddy Burrage, 23, a writer at

Over the past year, I’ve been volunteering a lot of my time to Maine’s League of Young Voters based out of Portland. It’s a progressive, nonpartisan group dedicated to engaging young people in politics on the local, state and national levels. Made up almost completely of volunteers, the League has only two permanent, paid positions: the executive director and Portland organizer. The rest of the organization consists of about 20 members serving in leadership roles on a range of committees.

Enjoy Your Thanksgiving Holiday!

Our offices are closed, enjoy your holiday time off! Hope you are spending time with friends and family. There is so much to be thankful for.

Dreams, Grit, and Trust: Foundations of a Civic Startup Accelerator

Ayesha Khanna is president of the Civic Incubator at Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service. She and her colleagues are about to launch the nation’s first accelerator to invest solely in civic ventures that inspire, equip or mobilize people to create positive change. Here she reflects on why.

Celebrate World Fishery Day and Combat Fishery Declines with New Mobile Applications

On Nov. 21, you might be preparing for Thanksgiving – thinking about turkeys and pies. But, you should be thinking about fish. Why? Because Nov. 21 is World Fisheries Day – a day dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of the world’s waterways and fisheries.

Today, these fisheries are under more pressure than ever before because of factors including increased fishing, the loss of essential fish habitats and increased plastics pollution in the oceans.

November Board Member of the Month: Mr. Ethelbert Miller

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.

Points of Light and BoardSource are proud to announce the first Board Member of the Month for November 2012, Mr. Ethelbert Miller.

2012 Election: Implications for the Service Sector

Today’s guest post is written by Julie Murphy, vice president of government affairs and public policy at Points of Light.

On Wednesday, Nov. 7, the nation awoke to a familiar political scene: the re-election of the incumbent President and Congress still split between a Democratic Senate and a Republican House of Representatives. Here are some trends and opportunities for the service and volunteerism sector:

Cooperation, Compromise, Common Purpose

“What makes America exceptional are the bonds that hold together the most diverse nation on earth, the belief that our destiny is shared, that this country only works when we except certain obligations to one another… That's what makes America great.”  President Barack Obama on election night

Hilton Champions Community with Global Week of Service

Today's post is written by Jennifer Nash, Points of Light’s senior manager for HandsOn Network affiliate-corporate engagement. Over the past week, Hilton Worldwide’s Global Week of Service has united Team Members and volunteers to extend the “light and warmth of hospitality” to the world. I was proud to join Hilton’s efforts and see our HandsOn Network affiliates working side by side with Team Members across the country; dedicating their time, talent and resources to make this a successful program.

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

Happy Friday! This is an exciting weekend with Thanksgiving coming up and Family Volunteer Day tomorrow. Are you planning on volunteering with your family ? Haven't thought about it? There's still time to find resources and project ideas at generationOn. Share with us what you did in comments! Family Volunteer Day is a great lead into National Family Week, find more information here.

Volunteer for Family Volunteer Day on Saturday Nov. 17

Family Volunteer Day, a Points of Light signature day of service, demonstrates and celebrates the power of families who volunteer together, supporting their neighborhoods, communities and the world. For 22 years, Family Volunteer Day has been held on the Saturday before Thanksgiving to “kick-off” the holiday season with giving and service. This year Family Volunteer Day takes place on Nov. 17 and is being powered by generationOn and sponsored by Disney Friends For Change, a global initiative that inspires kids and families to take action to help people, communities and the planet. To learn more about family volunteering find resources on generationOn.

KPMG Supports Family Volunteering with Family for Literacy

Today's guest post is written by Abby Fennewald, on the Corporate Institute team at Points of Light.

KPMG’s Family for Literacy program began in the same way Harry Potter did – scribbles on a napkin. Just like bestselling author J.K. Rowling, the idea for one of KPMG’s signature volunteer programs came to Beth Veihmeyer, spouse of KPMG’s current chairman and CEO, and her friend, Susan Flynn, spouse of then-chairman and CEO Timothy Flynn, as they brainstormed one afternoon in 2007. Today, KPMG’s family volunteering program is five years old and operating all around the globe.

Civic 50 Award Shines Light on AT&T Community Engagement

Today's post is reposted from the AT&T Consumer blog published on Nov. 8, 2012.

It’s been quite a week, hasn’t it? With Hurricane Sandy still fresh in our minds and recovery crews and volunteers feverishly at work, current events remind us of the importance of community. I’m continually inspired by the passion AT&T employees bring to efforts like these.

That’s why I’m humbled to share that AT&T has earned the No. 3 spot in The Civic 50, an inaugural list of America’s most community-minded companies. Sponsored by the National Conference on Citizenship, Points of Light, and Bloomberg, LP, the survey ranked S&P 500 companies committed to using their time, talent, and resources to empower the communities they serve.  

Jackie Norris: Creating a Standard for Doing Well by Doing Good

Today's blog is republished from the Ideas Lab on Nov. 9, 2012.

The executive director of the Points of Light Corporate Institute highlights the 'Civic 50' a yearly list of companies that improve their communities alongside their business.

Ben Franklin knew – without the aid of economic modeling, PR professionals, public opinion polls or the 24-hour news cycle – that companies could succeed by doing good. Today we have the benefit of all of these things to confirm Ben Franklin’s intuition.

Service to Help Veterans Get Back On Track

When Kelly Landry met Capt. Juan Fernandez, he was lost. After retiring from 20 years in the Marine Corps, including time in Afghanistan, he was facing a disease that left his vision impaired, depression and feelings of isolation. To help him get back on track, Kelly knew what she had to do.

Honor Our Veterans

I am a U.S. Marine Corps veteran. I continue to serve out of uniform at Points of Light, working to create initiatives that will help veterans. Around Veterans Day, so many people are thinking about causes and ways to help. I wanted to offer a few things to think about.

Turn a Sea of Goodwill to Action for Veterans Day

In this guest blog post, Gen. George W. Casey Jr., former Army chief of staff, writes: "One of the most common pleas I hear as I go around the country is, `I want to help our veterans, but I can't figure out how.' Having worked in the government for 41 years, I can understand that. The government is a big bureaucracy and sometimes it can be hard to help."

The Next Greatest Generation

Post written by Michelle Nunn, CEO of Points of Light and author of Be The Change.

Over the next five years, more than one million veterans will transition out of the military and rejoin communities and families across America. Many politicians speak of them as people with needs, but that’s only half the picture. 

Our veterans – steeped in discipline, steeled with the hardships of serving in two overseas wars and equipped with vital skills and broadly applicable experiences – offer the nation an extraordinary reservoir of human capital and talent.

How can the nation capitalize on veterans’ talents? Take a look at these three initiatives, led by veterans, for some of the answers.

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

Happy Friday! Today has been an eventful week! Lot's of opportunities to do social good, using your voice to exercise your civic rights, and there are still plenty of opportunities to help with Hurricane Sandy relief. See below for an inspiring story of the week and an amazing spirit of giving.

Dreams, Grit, and Trust: Foundations of a Civic Startup Accelerator

Today's post is republished from on Nov. 8, written by Ayesha Khanna, president of the Civic Incubator at Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service.

Whenever I’m looking for inspiration or a reminder of the impact a few committed people can make, I go back to the time I spent in India after college. I was part of a small group made up of women from the villages of Dayalpur (outside New Delhi), health professionals from the United Kingdom, village elders, an innovative nonprofit and Mother Teresa’s order of nuns. Together, we worked to improve access to education and build a health center.

Give Back on a Budget

Do you want to give back, but don’t have extra money to do so? Don’t worry, giving back is something we all can do, and it can be cheap and easy, here are some ideas:

Give Back When You Buy Holiday Gifts

Buy your new items and give back at the same time at the clicktogive website.  Many large charities, like The Nature Conservancy, The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and The United States Fund for UNICEF, have online shops that will save you an in-person trip. When you buy from a charity you are supporting the company values at the same time you fulfill your gift giving needs.

Working with Teens and Mental Illness

Today's guest post is written by Sara Dawkins, a nanny and freelance writer. She is a frequent contributor to

When volunteering becomes the topic of discussion, most people assume that means one volunteers at the local soup kitchen or the animal shelter. Those are the more common and easier ways to give back in your community; you help helpless animals and feed those who are hungry. But for those looking for more of a challenge and want to take their assistance up to the next level, try volunteering with teens.

National Family Literacy Month

Setting an Example for Ourselves and the World

Today's post is written by Barbara Bush, Honorary Chair of The Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy. Find more information on twitter @BarbaraBushFdt and Facebook Barbara Bush Foundation.

Americans reacted with shock and sadness when they learned of the Taliban’s attempted assassination of young Malala Yousafzai, a brave, visionary 14-year-old Pakistani girl whose only so-called offense was to advocate for the education of girls and women in her home country.  The outrage is justified and has resulted in Malala becoming the central figure in an international demand for the educational rights of women and girls. 

Happy International Volunteer Manager Day

Today's post is written by Lori Jean Mantooth, Director of Training Programs at Points of Light.

I was active in Tennessee 4-H Youth Development for most of my life. It was fun, I learned new things and occasionally we got to take trips to exciting places like Daytona Beach, Washington, D.C., and Martin, Tenn.

One of my main 4-H activities was food and nutrition judging. Our four-person team would evaluate menus for nutritional value, judge home-canned goods like green beans and tomatoes, compare unit prices on groceries and determine which homemade loaf of bread was the best. (Sounds fun, right? It really was.) If we judged all those things better than the other teams from around the district, we won top honors for the year. My sophomore year, we actually won the state contest.

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

Happy Friday! What a busy week we've had between Make A Difference Day, the largest day of service last weekend, and supporting Hurricane Sandy relief efforts however we can. We hope all are regaining power and staying safe up north. We are working with our HandsOn Network Volunteer Action Centers and partners activated across the northeast to help coordinate the volunteer response. We are currently supporting the American Red Cross and 211 operations throughout the region. Visit our HandsOn Network disaster page to register your interest to volunteer.

Here are the volunteer news from the week, including some great recaps from Make a Difference Day:

Veterans Day Changed My Life

Veterans Day is an important day for me and one that changed my life.  Three years ago, I was at a Veterans Day banquet watching my sister receive an award for her volunteer efforts with "Hats of Hope," an organization she started to make hats for cancer patients.  I saw her doing something really incredible and was inspired to make a difference.  That day, I looked around the room at the brave men and women willing to sacrifice so much for me, and realized that I wanted to give back.  I remembered hearing about dialysis patients needing to control body temperature and that's how my Girl Scout Gold Award Lap Pals project was born and my passion for veterans was inspired.