When My’Kah Knowlin was 10 back in 2011, she heard about the devastation in Joplin, Mo., after a tornado tore through the town, killing more than 150 people and leaving thousands of families with nothing.
She persuaded her parents to help her bring care packages to people rebuilding their lives in Joplin, thinking it would be “a one-time service event.” Since then, through the organization she created, Boxes of Love, My’Kah has also put together packages and other donations for Marines in Afghanistan, families of the children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School and students whose schools were destroyed by tornadoes in Moore, Okla.
Today My’Kah, now 13, is challenging you to fill a box with items you would want if you were away from home. “You can take the box to a military base near you and ask that it be given to a family that may be struggling or a veterans’ hospital,” she says. “If we all fill just one box we could be the difference in many military lives. After all, they have all worked hard to make a difference in our lives.”
On Memorial Day, as the nation faces controversies over the care of veterans, Points of Light is proud to laud those like My’Kah, who strive to be part of the solution. And year-round at Points of Light, we mobilize volunteers to improve the lives of veterans, those still serving and their families.
The Points of Light Community Blueprint provides tools and resources that help communities coordinate services for veterans and their families, with the help of volunteers and veterans themselves. The Community Blueprint has engaged roughly 300 organizations across more than 600 communities.
Our Veteran Leader Corps program recruits veterans to serve as AmeriCorps members to support the needs of veterans who have recently left the military. The program focuses on helping veterans prepare for and find jobs and reconnect with their communities. (Organizations interested in becoming a Veteran Leader Corps host site can apply here.)
And our VetSuccess AmeriCorps Program is designed to help student veterans on college campuses across the country feel more welcome and connected to their campus and peers. The program guides student veterans toward the services and resources available to them.
On Memorial Day, we join the nation in saluting those who have served. For more on the Community Blueprint and other Points of Light programs serving veterans and their families with the help of volunteers, go to www.pointsoflight.org/veterans. And to find more volunteer opportunities visit All for Good.