Blog Archive

Blog Archive

How to Safely Participate in Community Activism as a Business

Today’s post is written by Vincent Clarke, an outreach specialist for USB Memory Direct, a socially conscious business in South Florida. In his free time, Vincent loves to travel, watch far too many movies, and spend time with his family.

Volunteering has the ability to create substantial value for your business and community. Below I will briefly discuss the process of choosing volunteer opportunities that fit within your core business values. In addition you’ll discover how to encourage employees to donate or volunteer within the same organization and find tips on creating good publicity for your company activism.

Guess Who’s Coming to Supper: Points of Light America’s Sunday Supper

Today's post is written by Bethany Hamilton, JD, NACHC Community HealthCorps Program Officer and AmeriCorps Alums NAC Member. This is reposted from the AmeriCorps Alums blog published today on 1/30/13.

5 Lessons As We Launch Civic Startups

Today’s post is written by Ayesha Khanna, president of the Civic Incubator, which incubates and nurtures emerging civic ventures.

Points of Light has partnered with Village Capital to launch the first national startup accelerator program focused on “civic ventures” – enterprises that inspire, equip and mobilize people to create positive change. In November 2012, our inaugural class of 10 nonprofit and for-profit civic ventures started their term in the Civic Accelerator, and they are preparing to graduate at the end of January.

5 Tips for A Successful Kids Care Club

Today’s guest post comes from Melissa Hirsch, Volunteer and Youth Programs Coordinator at HandsOn Broward, a HandsOn Network Action Center in South Florida. Through a partnership with generationOn, HandsOn Broward uses Kids Care Club as a primary method to introduce service to kids. In addition to managing Kids Care Club locally, Melissa developed and launched HandsOn Broward’s first Youth Leadership Academy for teens 13-17 years-old.  As a teen, Melissa was one of the first Youth Project Leaders through HandsOn Broward.

Serving for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service

Today's post is written by Joseph Michael Peterson, a strategic communications and CSR manager in Washington, D.C. In his free time, he organizes groups of friends and neighbors for service projects in the surrounding community, as part of his own fledgling social organization.

I used to live in a town. Within two blocks of my house was a Big Brothers Big Sisters office, a neighborhood garden, a homeless shelter, a local food bank, a soup kitchen, the YMCA and a service-learning center sponsored by the local university. I never went.

Then last weekend I hosted a Sunday Supper and used it to launch a social club for meaningful activities and community service. But it didn't start there.

Two years ago I stumbled upon the Conference of Volunteering and Service (which, you may find to be an interesting story by itself that I blogged about here). 

NCVS literally changed my life.

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Service Weekend was a great success! See this great AmeriCorps Alums photo to commemorate the day. We are thankful for all the people who came together on the National Day of Service. Check out our Points of Light MLK photos from our service project in D.C.!

A Visit to Asian Americans for Community Involvements Reinspired My Love For Service

Today’s post is written by Lohrie Arruiza, a public relations graduate from San Jose, California, who is serving with the HandsOn Tech in San Jose. HandsOn Tech is a national program focused on increasing the nonprofit sector's effective use of technology—ultimately increasing community resources and improving outcomes for low-income communities and families.

While serving as a VISTA, there have been many times in the last few months that I’ve felt touched by a nonprofit’s mission. However, it took a trip to the offices of Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) to realize why I truly wanted to serve. On the morning of September 11, we met Ann Im, Director of Development at AACI, for a guided tour of the agency.

This Year, Make A Resolution To Help Change A Young Life

Today's post is written by Kathy Witkowicki, the Founder and Executive Director of the Sonoma Valley Mentoring Alliance, a non-profit organization that provides one-on-one mentoring for at-risk youth in Sonoma, California. Over the past 16 years, the program has served more than 1,500 kids by matching them with long-term, committed volunteer mentors.

The Story of Hands on Panama

Today’s post is written by Carolina Freire, founder of Voluntarios de Panamá, an NGO committed to mobilizing and connecting volunteers to national causes and organizations. With United Way Panama and USAID she founded Ponte en Algo, the countries first online volunteer center.  She is a Central American Leadership Initiative Fellow of the Aspen Institute and Young Global Leader 2012 of the World Economic Forum.

Panama is known for its Canal, record breaking economic growth and rich biodiversity.  Less known is the fact that the country remains one of the most unequal in the world and faces important challenges when it comes to poverty reduction and expanding opportunities for health and education, especially for the less privileged.  Despite a burgeoning economy, 2 out of 10 children under 5 years old in Panama face chronic malnutrition and half of them live in poverty.

Change Notes: General Colin Powell, Alma Powell Kick Off Points of Light's Sunday Supper Series to Bring People to the Table


The word "supper" means different things to different people, but for me it evokes memories of a big Southern fried chicken dinner around my grandmother's dining room table with family and friends and lots of stories, arguments and jokes.

Gathering around a common table has always been central to creating community and finding solutions. Martin Luther King, Jr. dreamed of "the table of brotherhood." And there was a reason that one of the most potent acts of the civil rights movement was the simple insistence on having a seat at the table in restaurants across the South.

Change Notes: Vice President Biden Joins Points of Light on Day of Service

Vice President Joe Biden, Dr. Jill Biden and a dozen of their kids and grandkids joined Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and nearly 10,000 volunteers at the D.C. Armory yesterday to put together 100,000 care kits for U.S. military personnel, disabled veterans and civilian first responders.

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

Happy Friday! This weekend millions of Americans will come together during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, in a weekend of service and dialogue to honor the memory of Dr. King and the causes for which he gave his life. We believe that Points of Light, with the support of Target and the Corporation for National and Community Service, will be in a unique position 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.

Change Notes: For Leadership, Look Beyond Washington


This weekend, more than 250,000 individuals will honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. through hands-on volunteer projects in hundreds of communities nationwide, thanks to the combined efforts of Points of Light and its affiliates, Target, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

To Serve is a Lifestyle

Today’s post is written by Tess Pajaron, who is part of Open Colleges. As an advocate to systematic instruction and teaching, she can also be found working behind InformED, a blog about e-learning and education. In her spare time, she loves to travel and read about life, instruction and psychology.

The desire to live a serving and giving lifestyle is not something we are born with. Humans are selfish by nature and the instinct to put our own needs above those of another is decidedly strong.

For Leadership, Look Beyond Washington

Today's post is written by Michelle Nunn and published on the Huffington Post.

We are an optimistic people, but polls say we have become pessimistic about our nation's future. Congressional approval ratings are at their lowest since 1974. A recent poll suggests that more than three in four Americans say politics is causing serious harm to the country. And a majority of Americans think today's children will not be better off than their parents.

January Board Member of the Month: Sherri Anne Green

Points of Light and BoardSource are proud to announce Sherri Anne Green as the January 2013 Board Member of the Month.

Sherri is the Director of Business Development at LM&O Advertising in Arlington, VA.  She was nominated for her work with the DC Ad Club in Washington, D.C. by Carol Montoya, President of Potomac Management Resources, the DC Ad Club’s association management company. Carol was eager to share her thoughts about Sherri, “Sherri has served on our board for six years and was recently elected to a third year as president, a testament to how much we value her leadership.”

Eight Tips For Writing the Perfect Thank You Note

Today's blog is reposted from the HandsOn Blog published on Jan. 26, 2012. January is a great time to think about how you recognize your volunteers and employee volunteers - what worked last year? How can you provide more recognition this year? One can always learn more tips on how to make your "thank you" meaningful and appreciated. A "Thank you" can go a long way.

Recognizing Employee Volunteers – Another Way to Show You Care

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. If you’re interested in contacting her for more information, please e-mail

Coming from a country where employee recognition is often given in the form of end-of-year bonuses, occasional tchotchkes and certificates at corporate parties, recognition programs in American corporations are strategic and complex.

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

Happy Friday! There are 11 days until Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, do you know what you are doing to serve? Don't worry, it's not too late to host a Sunday Supper or find a project. Don't forget to save the date for our next Conference on Volunteering and Service June 19-22.

National Mentoring Month 2013

It's National Mentoring Month. Thanks to everyone who mentors, you are making a real difference in individuals lives! Here are ways you can you make a difference this month or take action to become a mentor:

Most Popular Blog Posts of 2012

As we continue to do some reflecting in the beginning of January it's nice to look back and revisit our most popular blog posts of 2012. Did you miss reading any? Now's your chance to revisit the most viewed blogs...

December Board Member of the Month: George Brymer

Points of Light and BoardSource are proud to announce December’s Board Member of the Month honoree George Brymer, who helped to establish the Mobile Meals Foundation and has been an instrumental board member for the Mobile Meals of Toledo in Toledo, Ohio, for a dozen years.

Top AmeriCorps Alums Stories of 2012

Today's blog is reposted from the AmeriCorps Alum blog on Dec. 31, 2012.

We heard many great stories of AmeriCorps service in 2012! From the first AmeriCorps Alum in the Senate to lists on the reasons Alums would make fantastic dates, you read and shared with friends and family why AmeriCorps Works and matters in your life.

Here are some of the top posts (based on views) from our blog:

Friday Volunteer News Round Up

Happy New Year! Here is the first volunteer round up of 2013. We hope we are providing you with content you enjoy, please let us know if there are other topics/articles you'd like to hear about in the comments!

We hope you all had a great holiday and are rested and happy going into 2013. Any social good new years resolutions you want to share?

Since it's been a while since we put together a round up we wanted to add a little more then usual, read highlights from the past two weeks we missed below:

30 Blogs With Family Themed Volunteer Ideas

Happy New Year! Thinking about what family volunteering projects you want to do this year? Find resources below, republished from blog on December 20, 2012. Volunteering as a family not only helps to make a real difference in the world around you, but also teaches your children a sense of civic responsibility, compassion and a desire to help others. Figuring out the best family-friendly volunteer activities, however, can be a bit overwhelming if you’re just starting out in the socially-conscious realm of volunteering. These thirty blogs are filled with valuable information and ideas for volunteering as a family, on a local and global scale.

Today's Daily Inspiration

Watch this inspiring TED talk from a volunteer fire fighter Mark Bezos who encourages everyone to be a hero through acts of kindness.