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Point's of Light

Exactly 3 weeks ago, I was at Point’s of Light 2013 Conference on Volunteering and Service, convened in our nation’s capital; Washington D.C.   Reflecting on this incredible gathering, I feel especially inspired and motivated to continue my service work.  Here are the top lessons I learned while at the conference:


  1. Keep the end in mind.  As Jeremy Heimans, Purpose founder, explained in a workshop, “Movements aren’t Internet memes, build for long term.”  Whether you’re trying to create a movement or just starting a service project, it’s essential to look toward the future.  Make plans for what the next steps are so you’re not caught off guard.
  2. Take time to reflect.  Through America’s Sunday Supper movement, conference attendees were able to discuss and reflect on the education of American students.  Reflection is key in any service project.  Talk with other volunteers about what went well, what could be changed, etc.
  3. To expand, engage an entire community.  To take your service to the next level, engage your friends, your family, your school, anyone!  With a diverse group of people, everyone has something different to offer that can strengthen a service project as a whole.
  4. Service brings us all together.  As I watched Donna Brazile and Karl Rove, political strategists, dance with one another, I was certain of one thing:  despite our differences, service brings us all together.  It was incredible to watch political rivals unite, but we need to do that across the country in our own communities.  Bring together unlikely pairs in your service work.  Teenagers and the elderly?  Rival high schools?  We are stronger when we work together, united, and service is a great way to initiate unexpected partnerships.


I urge you to keep these lessons in mind during your next service activity.  For more tips and suggestions related to service, check out