Stories of Impact with Points of Light and Good Deeds Day

Journeying through inspiring initiatives for 2024 and beyond.

(Photo courtesy @ Points of Light)

In a world often overshadowed by challenges, there are unique beacons of light that remind us of the power of compassion and collective action. Good Deeds Day and Points of Light stand as shining examples, igniting a spirit of empathy and empowerment across communities worldwide. These initiatives are not just about doing good; they embody the essence of humanity's capacity to uplift, inspire, and create positive change. The collaborative initiatives of these groups reveal the profound impact of unity and volunteerism in shaping a brighter, more connected future.

Inspiration to do good
Good Deeds Day, spearheaded by the visionary leadership of businesswoman and philanthropist, Shari Arison, has blossomed into a global movement since its inception in 2007. The simplicity of the idea to dedicate one day a year to doing good, belies the monumental ripple effects it generates. Through strategic partnerships, Good Deeds Day orchestrates events, engages volunteers, and sparks a wave of inspiration that transcends borders. “Their message is simple, to do good, but the long-term impact is big. Their work with NGOs and companies on event planning, volunteer engagement and recruitment, provide inspiration for many to get out and do good during April and year-round,” Kristin Whitaker, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Communications at Points of Light, told Goodnet. 

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The transformative power of volunteerism
Global Volunteer Month, an initiative run by Points of Light, that dedicates the month of April to volunteering,  serves as a poignant reminder of the transformative power of volunteerism. It's not just about the impact on communities but also the profound personal growth and connections forged through service. 

According to Whitaker, “Global Volunteer Month is a call to action to thank volunteers and inspire volunteerism across the globe. We want everyone to get involved in causes that are important to them in their communities and lean into volunteering – because there are tremendous opportunities, needs and benefits – not only to the community but to oneself. Volunteering helps increase social connection, improve mental health and reduce loneliness.”

In 2024, Global Volunteer Month has evolved into a collaborative effort with over 200 organizations, uniting people from diverse backgrounds under the common goal of creating positive change. 

“April 1, 2024 was our second social surge day where we asked everyone to thank a volunteer on social media and talk about volunteer needs in their communities. We ended up reaching 2.7M people just on that day!”

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Catalyst for change
An individual who embodies the impact of volunteerism is Destiny Taylor, whose journey from a challenging upbringing to empowering youth is nothing short of inspirational. “Destiny was named as a Daily Point of Light in 2021 for her work empowering youth to thrive and break the cycle of poverty through education, mental health and transformative programs. Since that time, she’s been lifted up across the country to showcase her programs and connect with other cities through presentations about what’s possible,” Whitaker stated.  

Destiny's dedication to breaking the cycle of poverty through education and mental health programs has not only transformed individual lives but also served as a catalyst for change on a broader scale. Her story is a testament to the boundless potential of one person's passion to ignite a flame of transformation in others. “Because of my experiences growing up in poverty, [I wanted] to give back to my community and create something positive. I wanted to keep kids off the street and keep them from falling behind grade level and expose them to career opportunities that can help them navigate the world,” Taylor said. 

Building connected communities
Reflecting on these stories of compassion, resilience, and empowerment, reminds us of the immense power people possess as individuals and as part of a global community. The future envisioned by Points of Light,  is one where volunteerism is not just an act but a way of life — a path towards building stronger, more connected communities. 

“Points of Light will celebrate our 35th anniversary in 2025 and we’re excited to be a driving force in the increase in volunteerism across the globe. We envision a world where every individual will engage in their community through volunteerism in a deep and meaningful way and see volunteerism as a core part of their life, ultimately strengthening communities across the world,” Whitaker explained. 

Moving forward, the spirit of Points of Light and Good Deeds Day, and the countless stories of impact their efforts inspire, are weaving a tapestry of hope and change for generations to come.

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