Blog Archive

Blog Archive

After Losing Her Mother, She Set Out to Make a Difference for Those Suffering from Lung Cancer

After her mother died of lung cancer in 2008, Andrea Ferris and her family decided to make a generous gift to support research on this devastating disease. But the organizations they found were either young and not very large, or established nonprofits that didn’t specifically focus on lung cancer research. So they started their own nonprofit.

Connecting Through Service, Friends Give Back to Their Community Together

When Karen Bryant and Becky Bongiovi met at a New Jersey high school decades ago, they probably didn’t realize how intertwined their lives would become – at one point even working in the same field at the same firm. Although they’ve since moved on, their friendship has remained steadfast. One of the things that has bound them together is a shared commitment to volunteering.

Daily Point of Light and Women of Worth Honoree Named to Time ‘100 Most Influential People’

Jaha Dukureh was named to Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” List, honored alongside such leaders as Barack Obama, Christine Lagarde and Angela Merkel. A survivor of female genital mutilation, Jaha created Safe Hands for Girls to support other survivors, as well as raise awareness and fight for an end to FGM. 

5 Ways to Do Good for the Environment Through Volunteering

Warm weather has arrived and if you’re like us, you can’t wait to get outside and soak up some sunshine. The best part? You can get your daily dose of Vitamin D while making a significant and lasting impact on the environment, your community, and the world! Here are 5 ways to give back in the great outdoors, as told by Parks and Recreation.

How Volunteers Make a Difference During Tax Season

Donald Spano enjoys doing something most of us don’t: taxes. In fact, he likes doing taxes so much he’s devoted 21 years post-retirement to volunteering as an AARP tax preparer. Now a regional coordinator for the service, Donald manages logistics for a team of about 4,000 volunteers who spend the season helping senior citizens complete their tax forms for free.

A Recipe for Taking Action Against Hunger

What can a kid do to fight hunger? That was a question I asked myself when I was 7 years old. I saw a man on a street corner holding a sign that read, "NEED A MEAL."  It made me realize that I needed to do something about it. But what could I do? Well, it turns out a kid can do a lot.

National Volunteer Week Celebrates Individual Changemakers and the History of Service

Norman Hurns mentors elementary school boys on “life skills and character education” through Brothers Making a Difference. Kathy Koenigsdorf works tirelessly to raise money for people battling substance abuse and want help but can’t afford it. It’s National Volunteer Week, and you may have already seen these individuals in the news. So many of you have stories about neighbors and friends making a difference through volunteer service.

How Volunteering Helped One Man Find His Wife and Build Lifelong Connections

People who volunteer like to say they enjoy giving back to their communities. But what if you move every few years and you’ve only just arrived in your community? It takes a special drive, a special motivation, to be able to jump right in and start “giving back” to a new place where you have no history and don’t know a soul. But that’s what Doug Graves has been doing for more than 40 years.

Tired of Food Going to Waste, She Created an App So We Can Waste Less and Feed More

A food pantry volunteer since childhood in rural Iowa, Maria Rose Belding grew frustrated at the uneven nature of food donations. One day when Belding was 15, a well-intentioned donor gave her local food pantry a year’s worth of macaroni and cheese. “They didn’t ask us if we needed it,” she said. “But they gave us 5 tons of it.” After several months, clients at the food pantry were begging for something else, and after a year, the boxes were expiring. Belding was tasked with lugging the excess out in the snow to the dumpster. “As I did, I saw people outside, waiting in the cold for hours before we opened because they needed food so badly,” says Belding. “I thought, there has to be a better way.”

Service-Minded Chess Club Inspires Kids to Play with Purpose

When nine-year-old Rishi Sethi started a chess club at his elementary school, he got the idea to teach the game at a nearby nursing home. Buoyed by the sense of helping others, the club branched out into other local community service projects, mostly chosen and managed by Rishi and his young classmates. Now the club, Chess Without Borders, is about a lot more than chess. The Illinois-based club, started in 1998, has grown into an organization that helps causes around the world.

After Losing Her Son to Heroin, She Helps Addicts – and Families – Along the Road to Recovery

Kathy Koenigsdorf is not addicted to drugs and never has been. But she learned how quickly it can happen and how tragic the results can be, after her 21-year-old son, Jake, died in 2013 from a heroin overdose. Today, Kathy works tirelessly to raise money for substance abusers who want help but can’t afford it. She created The Jake Koenigsdorf Foundation, and since 2013 has raised $156,000 and funded 172 people into facilities to start on the road to recovery.

Teaching Life Skills Through Mentoring and Service

As a high school teacher in Detroit’s troubled public schools, Norman Hurns saw a need to inspire and motivate youth growing up in a city hit hard by changing economics and the shrinking auto industry. But when Hurns transferred to an affluent suburban school district, he found no less of a need for his mission.

How the Desire to Help Took This Woman to a Refugee Camp in Greece

Last winter, Kathy Hertz and her cousin, Joanne Feinberg, began discussing a vacation together, looking to echo the Mexican holiday they had enjoyed the previous year. “Nothing was quite speaking to us, though,” Hertz says.

Songs and Stories with a Purpose – What's Yours?

A friend emailed me this week, asking if I had watched the Academy of Country Music Awards the night before — and specifically what I thought of Tim McGraw’s show-stealing performance of “Humble and Kind.” According to my friend, it was “very Points-of-Light-y.”

Women Making History, Building Stronger Communities and Changing Lives

Between my news feeds and my faith traditions, I’ve thought a lot this week about suffering and hope; darkness and light. In recent months, images and accounts from every corner of our world have told of the horrific human suffering caused by war, poverty, hatred and injustice.