Blog Archive

Blog Archive

Employee Spotlight: How a New Orleans Native Found Her Calling in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina

Jen Nash joined the HandsOn Network team 11 years ago, after Hurricane Katrina devastated her home town of New Orleans. She started as part of the disaster response team, supporting brand new Points of Light affiliates HandsOn Gulf Coast and HandsOn New Orleans. Jen now serves as senior director of affiliate corporate engagement in our Atlanta office, leading a team of corporate activation managers working with Points of Light’s affiliate network and our corporate partners. While her role within the organization has changed, her commitment to volunteerism and New Orleans remains the same

Building a Stronger Community by Connecting Residents with Meaningful Volunteer Opportunities

Organizations around the country do incredible work. They focus on a variety of causes and important mission work. And while they use volunteers to achieve their mission, the mission is the main focus. Hands On Orlando does incredible work in their community, but they have an additional goal – to provide the highest quality volunteer experience possible.

Volunteer Travels to Disaster-Affected Areas to Rescue Animals, Reunite Them With Their Owners

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, Cheri Deatsch returned to her hometown to help rescue pets that were impacted by the catastrophic storm. In the years that followed, Cheri has continued to travel to communities affected by natural disasters to rescue animals in need – stepping up to volunteer in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, the Fukushima earthquake in Japan, severe flooding in Thailand, the Oklahoma tornadoes, and many more.

Loukoumi the Lamb Inspires a Good Deeds Movement, Encouraging Children to Make A Difference

Some 15 years ago, Nick Katsoris was inspired to write a series of children’s books featuring Loukoumi, a cuddly lamb named after the sweet Greek candy. And in 2009, he released “Loukoumi’s Good Deeds,” which encourages children to make a difference by pledging to do good in their communities. The book blossomed into a movement, with the launch of the Loukoumi Make A Difference Foundation, which engages thousands of children each year to make a difference in the lives of others.

6 Service Projects That Made a Big Difference for the Community

Volunteers across the country come together each October for Make A Difference Day, united with a common mission to improve the lives of others through service projects. And each year, TEGNA recognizes 14 outstanding project leaders, awarding $140,000 in grants that are donated to the charities related to the winning projects. As we prepare for Make A Difference Day 2017, Points of Light is recognizing these extraordinary difference makers with Daily Point of Light Awards.

During Hurricane Harvey, He Helped Shelter Residents Survive the Night Until Help Arrived

Zachary Dearing was living with his father on a houseboat in Rockport, Texas, when Hurricane Harvey hit. After his father evacuated to Houston, Zachary sought cover at the Live Oaks Learning Center. Upon his arrival at the city-designated shelter, he found that there was no one in charge to help evacuees or even to distribute supplies. With a team of volunteers, he helped more than 200 shelter occupants make it through the night, and worked with local law enforcement agencies to organize evacuation to Austin.

Points of Light Tribute: Honoring Extraordinary Individuals Who Take Action to Improve the World

From the White House more than 25 years ago, President George H. W. Bush gave voice and direction to a movement that’s steadily grown ever since — changing countless lives in communities across the country and around the world. No president in American history has advanced with greater clarity and consistency this belief: that voluntary action to help others is inseparable from human freedom and America’s pursuit of what is right and good. Each year, Points of Light honors individuals who embody the vision of “a thousand points of light” that President Bush first invoked during his acceptance speech at the 1988 Republican National Convention. Their extraordinary contributions to volunteering and service have made their communities, and the world, a better place.

After Hurricane Harvey, Houston Wedding Planner Coordinates Recovery Effort Powered by Volunteers

Wedding planner Kat Creech was watching the development to Hurricane Harvey closely, worried about an upcoming wedding scheduled for Labor Day weekend. With doubts about the weather, Kat and the couple, Sarah Samad and Mohsin Karedia, decided to postpone – knowing that they wouldn’t truly enjoy their wedding while so many people were suffering through the impact of the storm. And at Kat’s suggestion, Sarah and Mohsin invited members of their wedding party, family and friends to instead come together to volunteer in support of families impacted by the flood.

Veteran Leads Platoon of Volunteers in Hurricane Irma Prep and Recovery Work

After leaving the U.S. Army in 2015, Derek Auguste struggled to find purpose outside of the military – but he found his place with The Mission Continues, as a volunteer leader of the Miami 1st Service Platoon. As Hurricane Irma moved towards Miami, Derek didn’t hesitate to mobilize his platoon to help residents prepare.

South Florida Resident Uses Tech Skills to Support Harvey, Irma Relief Efforts

After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Leah Halbina reached out to friends in the Houston area to see how she could help. When she found out about Sketch City, an open, nonprofit community of technology advocates and civic hackers that used technology to organize rescue efforts, help victims locate their nearest shelter and satisfy other pressing needs, she jumped in to help. Shortly after, Leah had to use the same technology in her home state of Florida as Hurricane Irma approached and made landfall.

Ismaili Muslim Leader Gathers 2,500 Volunteers for Hurricane Harvey Response

As devastating as Hurricane Harvey has been, it continues to bring people together around one common goal: help Houston. When Murad Ajani saw the toll Harvey took on his hometown, he seized the moment to bring together a community of more than 2,500 volunteers to help with recovery efforts.

Actress Advocates for Diabetes Awareness, Health Care and Research

At age 12, she was the voice of Nala in Disney’s “The Lion King” movie. Since then, she has appeared on Broadway, in TV shows, stage plays and commercials. But Niketa Calame-Harris found that developing a chronic illness – in her case, Type 1 diabetes – came without a script.

Houston Resident Uses Volunteer Coordination Experience, Tech Skills to Help After Hurricane Harvey

When Ronnie Devries realized how many Houston residents were in need following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, he knew he could help. With experience as the volunteer coordinator, Ronnie helped create a makeshift command center at Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center – which quickly became a shelter for thousands of residents displaced by the storm. Working overnight, he helped set up a system for volunteer coordination to ensure volunteers were matched with all aspects of shelter operations.

How Will You Make A Difference on Make a Difference Day?

Coming together to make a difference is a great way to not only improve your community, but deepen ties to your neighbors and have fun working together to do good! Join tens of thousands of volunteers across the country on Saturday, Oct. 28, to unite with common mission – to improve the lives of others through community-driven service projects.

In Memory of Yeardley Love, Family Seeks to Educate Young Adults on Warning Signs of Domestic Abuse

In memory of Yeardley Love, a victim of domestic abuse, Sharon and Lexie Love founded the One Love Foundation to help make sure that this avoidable tragedy never happens to anybody else. The Loves hope to educate people, especially young adults, on the signs of unhealthy relationships so that they or their loved ones can get out of an abusive relationship before it’s too late.

Once You’ve Worn the AmeriCorps 'A,' You’re Always Ready to Answer the Call

As Hurricane Harvey moved across Texas, causing massive flooding and damage, AmeriCorps Alums partnered with the American Red Cross to mobilize skills-based volunteers from the organization's national service alumni network – specifically those who have served with FEMA Corps or NCCC, had experience with disaster response, and who could travel to Texas to assist with immediate recovery. Volunteers, like AmeriCorps alum Lindsey Earl, quickly responded and helped provide on-the-ground support in Houston.