Lisa Colella is dedicated to connecting caregivers of U.S. veterans with essential support as families face transitioning from active duty to the civilian world. When Lisa’s husband was forced into a medical retirement after he suffered a brain injury during deployment, the mother of two was forced to confront some issues that threatened to break up her family. Realizing there were others like her in the veteran community who needed critical resources, Lisa started a Facebook group for families of veterans in an effort to strengthen the family foundation through support – a network that bloomed into Healing Household 6.
As the first volunteer for Refuge Coffee in Clarkston, Georgia – an area that hosts the most diverse square mile in the country and is home to over 60 native-spoken languages – Karen Guess brings together people from all walks of life over the universal language of coffee and tea. She moved to the area at the same time as Refuge Coffee founder Kitti Murray, who had a dream of creating just such a communal place.
Raised by parents who were heavily involved in the nonprofit sector, Rafael Babilonia learned early on the power of volunteerism and civic engagement. So it is no surprise that, as Hurricanes Irma and Maria threatened the Caribbean, the Puerto Rico native wasted no time in stepping up to help.
There is a steady drumbeat of stories that focus on our differences. No matter how you consume your news, you’ll see or hear stories about intolerance in our daily lives and political stalemates at every level of government. At the beginning of the year, the Pew Research Center released a poll and said that Americans predicted the country’s deep political divisions to persist – with 86 percent saying the country is more politically divided than ever. Shortly before that poll was released, however, Points of Light affiliate New York Cares reported that, just a week after one of the most divisive national elections in our country’s history, there was a 137 percent increase in people who came to them with an interest in volunteering.