What if more people raised their hands to help young people succeed?

To protect our environment?

To ensure the economic well-being of our friends and neighbors?

To help our communities prepare for and recover from disasters?

Surely we could collectively achieve incredible impact on some of our most pressing challenges.

If you’re here, reading this, chances are you already recognize your own capacity to organize projects that create change.

Are you willing to challenge your friends to step up their service game and become the leaders they’ve been waiting for?

Let’s Get HandsOn…

Let’s start with something fun…

“volunteer”Let’s play Service Tag, the biggest game of virtual tag ever played.

Different than the game we played as kids, this game of Tag has a much higher purpose – community impact.

How does it work?

Sign up to play by making a pledge to volunteer in your community. It can be something you are already doing or something you have always wanted to do. And if you don’t know where to get started we can help.

Tag two (or more) friends that you know could be active volunteer leaders because they have shown a commitment to giving back.

Get serving by starting (or continuing) your volunteer activity and share your story with the online service leaders community.

You can also see what others are doing and join other people’s projects!

So… TAG!

You’re it!

Gowalla Adds Volunteer and Service Category – arc community services

Back when there was only one popular location-based check in service, I thought it would be a great idea to be able to use it to check in where I was volunteering.  Not only would it have been a nice little feature, but I saw people making plans to get the different prizes that the location-based service gave for different kinds of check ins, why not for volunteering?  If it inspired someone who had never volunteered before to go out and do it at least once, it would be great.  If that person discovered a passion for what they did and continued to volunteer, that would be even better!

Gowalla StampGowalla has answered the call.  In conjunction with the Get HandsOn Tag! campaign, Gowalla is rolling out a “Volunteer and Service” category within its Events section  that encourages people to create and check into volunteer projects to receive a custom Gowalla Passport Stamp.  By engaging with Gowalla, community members can post their check-ins to Facebook and Twitter, exchange comments with friends and upload images to raise awareness and share their experience.

How do we do it?  It’s not so hard.  Here’s how I do it on my Android Incredible. (click the images for larger versions)

First, I go to my Gowalla app.  I start up the app and go to Spots.  Then click the menu button, then ‘Add a Spot’.  I type in the name of the Spot I’m at, then click ‘Choose a Category.’  I pick the ‘Event’ Category.  Then scroll down to the new Volunteering and Service Category and click it to add it to your Spot!

generationOn: A New Global Youth Service Movement – arc community services


Imagine the power of young people such as Hasbro Community Hero Cole Layman, 12, who started the Paws for Thumbs up for servicePeace Kids Care Club in Tampa. Cole led this group in 20 service projects in his community.  Then, when he moved to Virginia, he volunteered to tutor younger students who needed academic help and urged his school to establish its first annual Random Acts of Kindness week.  In his “spare” time he composes songs to play at local senior centers, and he and his family have formed a band, “In Layman Terms,” to play those songs.

Imagine thousands of such creative, energetic kids, committed to service that resonates with their passions.

That’s why this past Saturday was such a momentous day for Points of Light Institute as we launched generationOn, a global youth service movement.  generationOn aims to ignite the power and potential of young people to solve real world problems through service. Under the umbrella of Points of Light, it gathers a variety of leading youth service resources under one umbrella.  Its innovative new Website, generationon.org, offers tools and inspiration for kids, families, teachers, and nonprofits.

New Resources for Kids, Families, and Schools

generationOn’s assets include the programs of “Children for Children,” The League, and the philanthropy curriculum “Learning to Give.”  It also includes 1,800 Kids Care Clubs and thousands of schools that reach more than two milllion students in all 50 states and around the world.  Its efforts are supported by a generous $5 million gift from The Hasbro Children’s Fund, the philanthropic arm of Hasbro, Inc.

During Saturday’s launch, young people walked the Points of Light Extra Mile Pathway honoring such past service heroes as Harriet Tubman, Cesar Chavez, and Martin Luther King Jr. Political commentator Cokie Roberts told them they each had the power to change the world. Then the kids rolled up their sleeves and put together hats and scarves for the homeless, wrapped 200 toys to donate for the holidays, and wrote 375 letters to the military. Actors Corbin Bleu and Madison Pettis, 12, joined us, encouraging the kids to get involved.

Finally, each young person pledged a commitment to service to fulfill over the next year.  They pledged to “feed the homeless and sing”, “inspire”, “create a recycling program”, and much more.

generationOn and The Hub

On Sunday, the brand-new generationOn announced its partnership with The Hub, the network and online venture from Hasbro, Inc. and Discovery Communications which is available in 60 million U.S. cable and satellite homes. The Justin Bieberpartnership will include televised messages supporting community service, an annual youth service event, strategic linking between generationon.org and hubworld.com, and a new “Hub Hero Award” recognizing youth who create meaningful change in their communities. The first winner is Allegra Valdivia, 12, from California, who was honored at the star-studded “Variety 2010 Power of Youth” event in Los Angeles for her efforts to help those in need. Young Hollywood activists and philanthropists attending included Justin Bieber, Bow Wow, and Shailene Woodley.

Get in the Game

We will shortly be announcing an innovative twist to our multi-year Get HandsOn Campaign to mobilize 500,000 volunteer leaders to complete 2 million projects.  You can whet your appetite for a special game of Tag by clicking on this video.

In Service,

Michelle Nunn

CEO, Points of Light Institute and Co-Founder, HandsOn Network