Monday, January 20, 2014

Points Of Light On A Day Of Service

Although the civil rights movement of the 1960s was a struggle for many — both black and white, side by side — Martin Luther King, Jr. has come to symbolize it. The reason is largely tied to his I Have A Dream speech, which was synthesized portions of earlier speeches that captured both the necessity for change and the potential for hope in American society.

But in doing so, Martin Luther King, Jr. didn't just speak to and for African-Americans. He spoke for all people, distinguishing himself from others who called for revolution over reformation. He believed, as some people do today, that in rallying people together, as opposed to pitting themselves against each other, we would work together as a community.

This idea, that life's most persistent question might be "what are we doing for others," has become the central focus of MLK Day, which honors his ideas and accomplishments. This is a day that calls on people from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to the most pressing national problems. It's an American holiday, but the sentiment ignores borders and barriers.

How The Points Of Light Becomes A Beacon For Service. 

While there are many organizations that work together to mobilize volunteers, Points Of Light has grown into one of the most successful to connect people and their power to create positive change in the world and their communities wherever those needs are greatest. The organization grew out of a vision shared by George H.W. Bush during his inaugural address in 1989.

"We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a Thousand Points of Light," He said. "We all have something to give."

In response, the Points of Light Foundation was established as an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization. And since then, it has merged and partnered with some of the nation's strongest volunteer advocacy programs in the world, including the National Volunteer Network, CityCares, and the HandsOn Network.

Since then, Points Of Light has grown to further develop action networks that engage people as positive changes agents, develop civic incubators to nurture new forms of civic action, and develop programs that specifically address national needs along with the needs of individual communities. But through it all, the organization is tied to the original idea that the thousand points of light can create a beacon.

Although much of its work is sustained throughout the year, its beacon burns brightest on days like today. It's not uncommon for Points Of Light to mobilize as many as 203,000 individuals to serve in honor of the MLK Day of Service, including the President of the United States and First Lady. Along with them, Points of Light also trains and activates more than 4,000 volunteer leaders supporting more than 2,700 projects across the nation. It engages 7,900 veterans and military families too.

There are many ways to volunteer. You can start here.

The amount of good these people do has a high impact because it empowers residents to find innovative, sustainable solutions for their local communities. Because of this approach, the number of programs and initiatives are as varied as the people who live within them, ranging from community gardens to neighborhood watch programs in high-risk residential areas.

Combined, this amounts to more than 32 million hours of service from more than 4.3 million volunteers. In any given year, they work together to complete as many as 260,000 service projects not just in the United States, but also in 20 different countries all over the world.

Points Of Light Is A Good Will Pick From Liquid Hip.

At least once a month, Liquid Hip highlights good will efforts undertaken by people with big hearts. We don't score them. That belongs to you.

We chose Points Of Light to expand the inspiring story of the Martin Luther Kin, Jr. Day Of Service. Not only does Points Of Light make a difference on days such as this, but all year long across all ages, races and ethnicities. To find out how you can become part of the Points Of Light or one of the 77,000 partnerships it has developed since its inception, visit the organization's website.

As one light, joined by thousands, you too can make a difference in the world by volunteering your time and serving others. This year, Points of Light is working to reach more than 50 million people annually and access more than 1 million projects with the help of 10 million people who use their time, talent and money to make big changes.
blog comments powered by Disqus