Dedicated to volunteer service


Message About Recent Severe Weather

On August 24, a 6.0-magnitude earthquake struck near the Napa, Calif. Approximately 200 were injured and thousands were left without power. This was the largest earthquake to hit the bay area in the past 25 years.


Points of Light is coordinating with HandsOn Network affiliates in the affected areas and connecting with Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) chapters across the U.S to access the situation and offer support. HandsOn Network is the local expert in volunteer engagement and often the lead in managing spontaneous unaffiliated volunteers throughout the response and recovery effort.

If you would like to support the recovery effort, here’s what you can do to help:


  • Don’t self-deploy at this time. The situation is still critical and travel is extremely difficult or impossible throughout much of the affected area.
  • Don’t bring supplies or donations to fire stations, police departments, etc. First responders need to focus on immediate needs and emergency situations.


  • Do donate to help Points of Light and HON network affiliates support the mobilization of volunteers in ongoing response and recovery efforts.
  • Do register your interest to volunteer on and check this page often for the latest updates on how you can help.
  • Do be prepared! As the devastation caused by these tornados reminds us, disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. Please take steps now to help your family and community recover more quickly from disasters. Visit to download an emergency preparedness checklist and create a disaster readiness plan for your family.

How Points of Light Responds to Disasters

Points of Light and its affiliates around the world work to activate, mobilize and engage people’s time, talent and resources to meet critical needs in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. We continue to take a lead role in long-term recovery efforts related to many recent disasters, including Hurricane Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes.

In 2012 HandsOn Network affiliates engaged 43,000 disaster volunteers who served 263,000 hours, producing an economic impact of $5.7 million. These volunteers were engaged through disaster partnerships, such as American Red Cross and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

Fifty-nine percent of affiliates partner with American Red Cross and 41 percent of affiliates partner with VOAD to coordinate and mobilize volunteers.

To help individuals prepare for disasters, Points of Light provides training to its affiliates and nonprofit partners to manage spontaneous volunteers through disaster boot camps and webinars, and executes the Good & Ready program to educate and mobilize individuals and families to prepare their own homes and communities.

Disaster Volunteers

Corporate engagement is a key driver in this initiative with a focus on engaging employees and consumers. The focus on making sure “you and your community” are ready includes preparing volunteers to be ready to help in disaster response and in long-term recovery work. This helps build a ready corps of volunteers and volunteer leaders in a community and builds neighborhood connectivity that contributes to community resiliency and faster recovery after disaster.

When a disaster strikes and throughout the recovery phase, Points of Light helps direct corporate resources to impacted communities and provides technical and management support to affiliates and partner organizations in affected areas to recruit, train and deploy volunteers. It also provides technology support to manage volunteers and works with partners to implement effective volunteer engagement.