Blog Archive

Blog Archive

Good Conversation and `a Little Light’ From a Volunteer Lead to Better Money Habits

In February, I met Linda R., a divorced mother who works full time as a preschool teacher and part time in a low-wage service job. Linda lives with her adult daughter, who was recently laid off from her job. Linda enrolled in the Financial Opportunity Corps program to get help with managing her household finances. All she needed was some good conversation, a little light and the confidence to get started on the pathway to her goals.

Know a Woman Serving Her Community in Big Ways? Nominate Her for Women of Worth and a Chance for a $10,000 Grant

Stephanie Decker lost her legs to save her kids and found her calling, helping children missing limbs play sports. And, remembering her struggles as a single mom, Rachel Jackson-Bramwell rallied her community to prepare low-income women for success. They are 2014 Women of Worth. Will you help us find the 10 women who will take the honor in 2015?

A Brutal Lesson Leads to a Strong Sense of Purpose

By the time I graduated college, I was frustrated. I didn’t feel like my direct-service work did more than put a Band-Aid over a festering wound. I was eager to start applying my skills to help create effective change, but I wasn’t ready to jump into a career. I needed to find an opportunity that would let me build upon what I knew while simultaneously giving me the confidence to safely test my personal boundaries to see what I was capable of.

Here's What a Boy Did When He Found Out Kids Were Going Hungry in His Affluent Community

Living in one of the country’s most affluent areas – Orange County, California – Alex Triestman was shocked when he learned in elementary school about the plight of one of his friends. That child was struggling in school, in part because he did not have enough food to eat. “It’s ridiculous that we have kids who are hungry,” said Alex, now 13. “The U.S. has enough resources to feed citizens, but we are not.” Last Saturday, Alex led a student-run nonprofit fair at his school, an interactive day of projects to teach students how they can help combat hunger and homelessness.

Join Us in Honoring Military Children Through Volunteer Service

In April, millions of Americans are celebrating the Month of the Military Child. To support the volunteer work of our youth and military, Points of Light is teaming up with the Travis Manion Foundation to serve communities with school volunteer projects you can join in New York, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles. 

These Girls Turned a Twist on the `Three Rs’ Into a Vital Lesson for Kids

One day, about five years ago, three Oklahoma City Girl Scouts – all avid writers – had an idea for serving their community. They thought: Why don’t we use our love of writing to help make a difference? And so began the saga of these three young friends, who together wrote a book called, “Bob Has an Idea.”

This Teen’s Life Changed When a Volunteer Financial Coach Helped Him Get Smarter About Money

Erik Murudumbay didn’t need a lecture. He needed help. The 19-year-old college freshman hoped to change his money habits, and he wanted advice while still maintaining control. That’s what he found with the Financial Opportunity Corps.

This Boy Found a Way to Feed the Hungry With His Favorite Food

When Miles Lin was 3, all he could think about was fish – how much he enjoyed eating them and how he loved going fishing with his grandfather. Now 10, Miles is helping to feed hungry kids his favorite food.

In a Struggling City, He's Building a Community That Cares

Tony Heath grew up watching his parents serve their community. Volunteering became a way of life for him, too. He helped found the Better Living Center in Chester, a struggling city in Pennsylvania. The center – which assists low-income residents – provides food in an area with no grocery stores, helps with job searches, provides clothing, offers health education and screenings, and strives to provide individual solutions to individual challenges.

Stories of Service

The year was 1974. Hank Aaron had just broken Babe Ruth's home run record and UPC codes were introduced as a major new technological innovation. America was in an energy crisis, and in the midst of the Watergate scandal. And on April 20, 1974, President Richard Nixon introduced the first National Volunteer Week with the words above, in an address to the nation. Seventeen years later, President George H. W. Bush ushered in what many have long recognized as the birth of the U.S. service movement, when he shared the following words, also in a presidential address.

Bollywood Actress-Turned-Activist Draws From Her Own Experience With Abuse to Rescue Other Women

At 5 years old in her native Pakistan, Somy Ali was sexually abused by a domestic worker. Growing up, she witnessed severe domestic violence in her household. She speaks candidly about those traumatic experiences, in the hopes that others will speak out, too, unashamed. And she founded No More Tears, which provides individualized assistance to victims of domestic violence.

When Veterans Don't Feel Like Heroes, This Vet Steps In

“One of the hardest things a vet faces when they come home is the stigma of hero,” says veteran Krystol Stinson. “A guy who went to combat and saw two of his buddies blown up and he comes back whole – he doesn’t think he’s a hero.” Those feelings are alienating, and – for the vets dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD – they can be terrifying. Now retired from the Navy, Stinson works with returning veterans who struggle with mental health and finding employment.

As a Girl, She Got 100 Men Reading and Launched a Movement

Imani Henry used to cry at night because she couldn’t read well. Now 14, Imani is the proud CEO of 100 Men Reading, a Wilmington, Delaware-based program designed to bring positive male role models – like the men in her family – into preschools, childcare centers and elementary schools for story time and book giveaways.

Looking for Femininity, Volunteers Unearth Stories of Strength

When 100 volunteers took to the streets of São Paulo, Brazil, to interview ordinary women, they found stories of courage, resilience and perseverance. Dona Francisca, a 57-year-old rural worker who used to “work like a man” in the crops told one volunteer: “My dream was to be a truck driver. My father would not let me. For him, it’s a man’s job."

The Strengths of Community-Minded Companies

Data from The Civic 50 – a Points of Light initiative that recognizes the 50 most community-minded companies in the nation – suggest we’re living in a world in which companies increasingly play a positive role in meeting community needs, through the power of their people and the power of their financial contributions.

A Champion and a Hero – Bearing Gifts

After figure skater Jason Brown competes, fans show their adoration by tossing stuffed animals on the ice. With those keepsakes in hand, the 20-year-old Olympic bronze medalist recently showed his admiration for sick kids. He visited Chicago and Winston-Salem, N.C., locations of the Ronald McDonald House to donate the stuffed animals and visit the children. From renovating schools in need with Chicago Cares to spending time with Alzheimer’s patients at nursing homes, Brown’s loyalty to volunteer service began when he himself was a kid.

Prepare Your Family for Disaster and You Could Win a Prize

Disasters affect every community. Are you Good & Ready should something happen to yours? Make a commitment to yourself and those you care about – pledge to be prepared. If you take the pledge in April, you’ll automatically be entered in drawings for prizes.