Hot Topics     Home and Family    

How to make an impact through volunteering and civic engagement



Be a force for good

Be a force for good

If you’re like many people right now, you’re feeling a particular sense of urgency to roll up your sleeves and be a force for good.

“When we face difficult times, as we have during the pandemic and now with the war in Ukraine, we also see the best of humanity and it’s natural for people to want to help,” says Natalye Paquin, president and CEO of Points of Light, a nonpartisan, global nonprofit organization that inspires, equips and mobilizes millions of people to take action that changes the world. “During times of uncertainty, one thing we can be certain of is that the most powerful force of change is one person making a positive difference.”

That’s why Points of Light is leading a joint effort with Phillips 66 and The UPS Foundation to activate individuals, nonprofits and corporate partners to recognize individual action and inspire more people to volunteer in their communities.

“Throughout the pandemic and in recent months we’ve seen powerful stories of everyday citizens rising to the occasion to support their local communities and those abroad,” says Paquin.

Getting Inspired

Volunteers can come from all backgrounds, be of all ages and help in countless ways. Let these amazing stories behind Points of Light’s Daily Point of Light Award honorees inspire you to action:
  • 17-year-old Henry Morse of New Orleans helps run CultureAid Nola. “We are a no barrier, no stigma food distribution center that helps feed over 600 families a week.” Morse arrives at the center every Saturday at 5:30 a.m. and leads volunteers in packing and handing out food to members of his community. “I got involved in March 2020. It grew into something that I am extremely passionate about,” says Morse.
  • After a 30-year Navy career, William Hicks now volunteers in the AARP Tax-Aide program. In addition to personally preparing tax returns for senior and low-income individuals pro bono, he serves as training coordinator for the state of Maryland, leading efforts to train and certify tax preparation volunteers.
  • “A small drop in the ocean can make a big difference in the world,” says fourth grader Rayansh Boddu, who joined Recycle My Battery as a vice president and recruited more kids to spread the word. He’s also actively working on Smart Can, which will use AI technology to sort materials needed for recycling in trash. He’s placed over 20 battery bins in different locations and collected more than 25,000 batteries for recycling so far.

Getting Started

Motivation among Americans is high. In a recent Points of Light survey, a third of respondents said they plan to volunteer more than they did before the pandemic. But figuring out where and how to make an impact is not always straightforward and online resources can help. Points of Light Engage is the world’s largest digital hub for in-person and virtual volunteering and community engagement opportunities. 

There are also 177 innovative volunteer-mobilizing organizations in 37 countries that are a part of the Points of Light Global Network. They provide real-time information on pressing community needs. You can find these by visiting pointsoflight.org/volunteer. The site also offers tips for safely volunteering, along with inspiration for alternative means of getting involved through Points of Light’s Civic Circle, such as using your purchasing power, lending your voice to a cause or urging your employer to action.

“We hope you’ll take the time to look for volunteer opportunities and to thank a volunteer in your life,” says Paquin. “Every action, no matter how small, can have an impact and change a life.”

(StatePoint)


Other articles by HVP News Reporters


  • 5 tips to help you land a new job

    A solid interview can help you close the deal

    With so many job openings these days, you may think you’ll have an easy time sliding into a new role. Not so fast. Because of the huge number of options available and plenty of workers contemplating changes, you’re likely to encounter some competition to land the job you want. read more »
  • Healthy habits for your home

    5 tips to help you out

    If you’re like most Americans, health is an important aspect of your resolutions when each new year rolls around. While factors like diet and exercise are keys to healthy living, so are the ways you care for your home and belongings. read more »
  • 5 heart health tips for the holidays

    Keep your family safe during this festive season

    Food, drinks, gifts and time with family make the holidays a merry occasion for people across the country. However, all that celebrating can sometimes become a distraction from maintaining heart health. read more »
  • 10 health resolutions doctors encourage you to make today

    These actions you can take are some of the most important

    The New Year represents a fresh start and is the perfect time to invest in your health. However, you may be unsure what resolutions will have the biggest impact. Doctors say that the easy, tangible actions you take are some of the most important. read more »
  • 4 reasons to consider adopting a pet

    Pets can be a key source of comfort and joy

    More than 23 million American households added a four-legged family member over the last three years, according to data from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Through these trying times, pets have been a key source of comfort and joy – even improving pet parents’ overall wellbeing. read more »
  • Make a difference for children globally this holiday season

    Your gift can make a real impact for a child

    The most meaningful gifts are rarely the ones that can be wrapped and found under a tree. This holiday season, gifts can go beyond just thoughtful presents for family, friends and loved ones and can make real impact for children globally. read more »
  • Must-have tools for entertaining with ease this holiday season

    Having the right tools will set you up for success

    ‘Tis the season for gatherings galore. Whether you’re an all-star entertainer or a first-time host, having the right tools will set you up for success—meaning you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with loved ones. read more »
  • 5 tips to help families manage holiday stress

    The holiday season can make everyone feel a little overwhelmed

    ’Tis the season for holiday parties, travel, hosting and more. While it is a joyous time of year, the never-ending to-do lists and school being out of session can make everyone feel a little overwhelmed, children included. read more »
  • A foil packet meal for sweet fall simplicity

    Delicious and easy dinner with sweet potatoes

    Fall provides almost endless opportunities to gather friends and family around great food. From tailgates and family events to those precious last outdoor meals before winter sets in, the scenery of autumn is a perfect backdrop for sharing meals together. read more »
  • 5 steps for better meal prep

    Eat healthier and save time

    Eating healthier and saving time around the house are common goals for many families, and there’s one solution that can help attain both: meal-prepping. By planning and preparing meals in advance of each week, you can practice better portion control while creating free time for normally hectic mornings, afternoons and evenings. read more »