Women Making History, Building Stronger Communities and Changing Lives

Apr 1, 2016

This post is by Tracy Hoover, Points of Light’s CEO.

tracy_hoover.jpgTracy Hoover

For this past month, I’ve loved learning more about power-women in history and the mark they’ve made on the world. It also has me thinking a lot about the many women I get to meet through this work who are changing lives and communities, every day. These are the women who are making history by serving others.

It’s become a wonderful tradition: every year in March, we celebrate women who have changed history. Their rosters (see: #womenshistorymonth) include CEOs and seamstresses; soldiers and civil rights activists; athletes, autoworkers and astronauts; artists, educators and inventors. And this year, the UN’s International Women’s Day heralded the accomplishments – and struggles – of women around the globe. Companies like Microsoft have added their might to the call for gender equality in opportunity. I loved this piece – that honored women inventors and asked, “What are you going to make?” It’s a powerful message from a powerhouse brand, and it made a difference.

Another powerhouse brand making a special mark this month, is L’Oréal Paris, who announced this year’s call for nominations for their Women of Worth program. From now through April 29, you can nominate a woman who is igniting social change on a local, national or global level. Following a rigorous review of thousands of nominations, 10 women are recognized with grants of $10,000 each to benefit their causes and get the opportunity to share their stories with the world. Over the last decade, L’Oréal has recognized 100 Women of Worth and awarded more than $1 million to advance their programs. This inspiring roster includes college students and CEOs; activists, attorneys and athletes; soldiers, educators; moms, daughters, and sisters, too.

Women like Lisa Williams, whose work has saved lives and whose advocacy has helped to change laws to combat human trafficking in Georgia. And Maria Rose Belding, a college student who created MEANS and has changed the way food pantries get food to 1,800 community agencies in 15 states. And Teri Kelsall, who, after losing her son Jonas, a Navy SEAL killed while serving in Afghanistan in 2011, started the Jonas Project to help veteran entrepreneurs develop business plans, pursue startup capital and launch new lives and careers. And Kathy Koeningsdorf – a New York mother who lost her son Jake to heroin, and then devoted her life to finding and funding lifesaving treatment for substance abusers who want help but can’t afford to go to a treatment center. “That’s what keeps people healthy – connection,” Kathy says. These women are changing lives and laws, they’re making a difference and they are making their mark on history.

I’m so proud that Points of Light has partnered with L’Oreal on this incredible program for more than ten years, and I hope you’ll nominate a Woman of Worth in your life.

For more information about Women of Worth, to nominate a woman making a difference and to learn about past honorees, visit www.womenofworth.com.

Amanda Knowles