Points of Light

Friendship Inspires One Girl to 'Light Up the World' for SMA Awareness

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“In elementary school, my best friend, Kale, was in a wheelchair and I didn’t know why,” said Bailey Walter, of North Tonawanda, New York. “It took me a long time to ask about it, but in fourth grade I talked to his mom and found out he was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy at 18 months old.”

Bailey told her mom she wanted to help Kale. Her goal? For them to dance together by the sixth-grade dance.

Passion for Public Health and Commitment to Service Helps One Volunteer Find Her Fit

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Sydney Lawrence graduated from University of Colorado at Denver in 2013 with a degree in biology. She was working as a scribe in the emergency department of a hospital and just about to begin graduate school to pursue a certificate in public health when, in a chance meeting, she heard about an organization called HOLA.

Country Music Star Shares His Heart and Voice to Lift Up Nation's Wounded Heroes

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Country music legend Lee Greenwood has a voice, and a heart, for service. As the national ambassador for Helping a Hero, he flies all over the country to perform and present wounded soldiers with keys to new, handicap-accessible homes. He is also a spokesperson for Disabled American Veterans, “Products for Good” and the Honor 1 Campaign. Lee has performed his iconic 1983 hit, “God Bless the USA,” at numerous charitable events throughout his career, including a performance at New York City’s Yankee Stadium just a few days after 9/11.

Turning Passion into Action, Skilled Cook Empowers Young People to Make Healthy Food Choices

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Kim Doyle Wille, a Colorado native, has been passionate about cooking since she was a young girl creating meals in her childhood home. Over time, she became skilled enough to be a winner of the 46th Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest in 2013. Creating a nonprofit focused on healthy food options for the students and families in Garfield County was a natural way to turn that passion into action.

At Michigan Retirement Community, Volunteer Records Memories to Last

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As Gwen Joseph revisited hours and hours of family memories – Christmas Eves spent with her extended family celebrating their Swedish traditions with performances, a family choir and food – the familiar sounds of joy brought her back to those moments, captured by her grandfather, who would hit record on the tape player at the start of the night and let the tape roll.

Through ServiceWorks Program, Citi Employee Finds the Perfect Opportunity to Serve

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Robert McGhee, vice president of community development at Citi, has been a part of the Chicago banking community for more than two decades, with roles in retail banking, mortgage banking and community affairs. He supports the Citi Foundation’s partnership with Points of Light and the Corporation for National and Community Service to bring a groundbreaking initiative, ServiceWorks, to help underserved youth in U.S. cities where the economic downturn has intensified their struggles.

Frontline Families AmeriCorps Member Serves Veterans, Local Community

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Wendy Samples may have been the only Frontline Families AmeriCorps member in the entire state of Mississippi over the last year, but her friend and colleague, Heath Dearman, said she has been the perfect fit for this role.

Former VISTA with Persistent Passion for Service Helps Feed Denver’s Hungry

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Barbara Motichka has spent the majority of her life giving back to the communities where she’s lived, not just through volunteerism, but also by helping those around her become stronger and more successful volunteers.

In her 20s, Barbara left her home in New York to become a VISTA, now AmeriCorps VISTA, helping migrants in Utah before eventually moving to Colorado. Volunteering has always been Barbara’s passion and it only made sense for her to return to it full force after she retired.

College-Bound Girl Scout Starts Nonprofit to Save the Bees

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Two years ago, Elizabeth Klosky was brainstorming ideas with her father on what to do for her Girl Scouts Gold Award project when she had the idea to do something to protect bees. She and her father had just begun to keep bees in the yard, but when she realized how important they were to the environment – and that certain bee populations around the world were struggling – she wanted to help.

Initially, her idea was to go to events focused on nature and environmental issues, reach out to people there and set up a few native bee houses.

Air Force Veteran Uses Her Own Brand of “Magic” to Serve Her Community as a Frontline Families AmeriCorps Member

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When it comes to serving her community, Angela Collins speaks about the “magic” – or individual talents – of each person involved. One’s “magic,” she explained, is his or her natural talent, an ordinary thing that he or she does better than most. Angela believes that each person’s skills are magic to everyone else. “So when you figure out what people’s magic is and you put it to use in the community, to build community, to create community, to bring people together, that’s where the magic happens,” Angela said.

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