Many years ago now, President George H.W. Bush talked about the importance of community service, calling America’s volunteer groups a thousand points of light. From that idea, the nonprofit Points of Light – the largest organization in the world dedicated to volunteer service – works to mobilize millions of people to take action that is changing the world.
This holiday season Points of Light is sponsoring the Joy Maker campaign. It’s easy for everyone to be a Joy Maker by doing something as simple as watching a video and sharing an ecard posted on the Joy Maker website. Families can also create their own campaign like wrapping gifts for military families or homeless shelter residents, writing cards to U.S. service members or delivering surprised to hospital patients. These are among the hundreds of thousands of actions that kids across the U.S. will be performing this holiday season.
For each action a child or teen takes to help others, Hasbro, Inc. will donate a toy or game to Toys for Tots — up to $1 million dollars’ worth. In one of the largest mobilizations of its kind involving dozens of young celebrities flexing their social media prowess, the “Be a Joy Maker” campaign runs through December 20 so there is still time for your family to participate. The effort to turn acts of service into donations to Toys for Tots is organized by generationOn, the youth service division of Points of Light. GenerationOn inspires, equips and mobilizes youth to take action through generationOn service clubs, schools, youth organizations, campaigns and youth leadership initiatives. It also provides tools and resources to youth, families and educators to help kids change the world and themselves through service.
Additionally, to inspire more kids to volunteer, dozens of young actors and celebrities are participating in service projects and sharing the opportunity to be a Joy Maker through Twitter, Facebook and a special video featured on the Joy Maker website and on YouTube. Young actors such as Nolan Gould, Karan Brar, and Tyree Brown will tweet messages such as “#GiveJoy to a kid in need! Share the @generationOn video” and @HasbroNews donates a game or toy to a child in need!”, or convey video messages such as “Volunteer! You have the power to change the world.” A significant online response is anticipated, Saulitis said.
Kids and teens interested in being a Joy Maker in 2013 can still get involved. The website offers a range of project ideas as well as an easy way to download a holiday card and send it to a child needing joy. GenerationOn also encourages kids to check the website to find projects in their communities. How will your family be a Joy Maker? It’s a great conversation to have at dinner tonight.
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