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Service Programs

Million Acts of Service and Kindness Campaign Spreads

USA-2008-11-26-Million Acts of Service and Kindness Campaign Spreads

The Global Peace Festival in Washington, DC, on August 9, 2008 was a kick-off to a sustained US campaign in many other cities. A key theme and challenge to those mobilized by the Festival campaign was a call to “A Million Acts of Service and Kindness.” The event was organized by many groups, and led by the Universal Peace Federation. The Points of Light Institute was a founding partner and has led the Million Acts efforts, along with its many Kids Care Clubs and Volunteer Centers. Across the world, it is the efforts of unsung individuals who catch the dream and seek to change their communities who really make the difference.

Thanks to the generosity of the Universal Peace Federation and the Points of Light Institute, Kids Care Clubs, a program of Hands On Network, offered $500 grants for clubs to participate in A Million Acts of Service and Kindness, as part of the Global Peace Festival held in Washington, DC, in August 2008 by implementing the Kids Care Clubs Back to School Backpacks for impoverished children. Since 1990, Kids Care Clubs, a program of Hands On Network, has been developing compassion and the spirit of volunteerism in elementary and middle school age youth. Kids form clubs in schools, faith based organizations and community centers, led by adult facilitators. There are currently over 1800 clubs in the United States and overseas.


On September 24, The Challenge Charter School Kids Care Club in Glendale, Arizona, assembled 35 new backpacks complete with school supplies and some with lunch boxes for the Arizona Children Association. This agency serves children in foster care. Eighty-two club members participated in the project. Facilitator Bridget Schumacher said, “I think this project really impacted the kids. Some of our elementary school children did not even know what foster care was. It helped them to develop compassion for children in this situation. They really thought about how it would feel to be away from their families and without their belongings.“

Two quotes from club members were: “I feel bad for those kids who have to be in foster care.” And, “I really liked the backpacks. I think a girl like this will like this Hello Kitty one.” Leah Stegman, from the Arizona Children Association, said, “I can’t thank you enough for your dedication to these children.”

The club reported their project and grant in their school newspaper (circulation 600 families).


The Wilson Elementary School Kids Care Club in Ft. Benning, Georgia, chose the Mother Mary School in Phenix, Alabama, as the recipient of their Kids Care grant. The school struggles to provide a Pre-K through 8 education for children in a very impoverished area. The school is lacking in supplies, amenities and computers.

The Wilson Elementary School Kids Care Club, facilitated by Evelyn Montgomery, started the project by shopping for the school supplies. After speaking to the administration of the school, the Club decided to package all of the supplies in gift bags, since the need for school supplies was greater than purchasing individual backpacks. They collected gently used books and beanie babies to serve as reading buddies for the students. They gave 40 “gift bags” to the Pre-K through 2nd grade students and provided additional school supplies for older students. Eighty children were served. They purchased new instruction books for the classrooms in addition to purchasing project boards and ink cartridges for the school.

To present the bags of supplies and books, the Club planned a Celebration Education Party at Mother Mary School on October 25th. Forty-three club members and 13 adults participated in the project. They provided the party refreshments out of the money the club earns at their “school store.” One of the club members said, “It was fun for us and it was fun for them, since they have little.” Both schools enjoyed the Celebration Education Party where they could share refreshments and play games together.

During six weeks of preparation for the Global Peace Festival in Atlanta, Georgia, organizers created civic service for hundreds of young people. Organized by former Federal attorney and founder of "Brother to Brother," Sheila Arnum, a service event took place every Saturday prior to the event. These included writing encouraging letters, mentoring opportunities for young people, and a park clean-up in collaboration with Hands On Atlanta. There was also a vocational meeting where young women met with television news personality and former State Senator Steen Miles to learn more about her profession.

New York

As a result of a Global Peace Festival tree-planting project in Harlem, coalitions were formed between those working with gangs and those working with the parks that would serve as a force to protect the community from negative elements.

Young people also collected 300 canned goods during the Global Peace Festival in Flushing, Queens, and midtown Manhattan, for the Million Acts of Service and Kindness food drive. Based on the inspiration drawn from the food drive, participating churches have launched subsequent holiday food drives


On the Saturday before the Chicago Global Peace Festival, a very diverse mix of around 50 Global Peace Festival youth joined a group of about 200 volunteers in a school renovation project. The venue was an elementary school on the South side that was being completely renovated, and the principal had formed a team of the school’s students to oversee the service projects on that day.

The service project itself was overseen by Points of Light Institute Action Center, Chicago Cares. In one interesting assignment, room numbers were made out of mosaics to form individual and completely unique classroom numbers.
Other projects included re-surfacing blackboards and turning them into white boards, painting classrooms and hallways. The local NBC news affiliate was there to record the event and will broadcast it in December.

The GPF team is planning to keep its new connection to Chicago Cares, with projects now being developed with GPF core partners for service efforts around Martin Luther King Day, January 2009.


Here is a roster of service events performed by the Los Angeles team. Several hundreds of volunteers and helpers served in these events.

  • Clean Slate abstinence education at the Christian Light Missionary Baptist Church
  • “Honor Thy Father” Awards Program for exemplary fathers
  • Peace Bell Event at Macguire Garden in remembrance of people who died in a Metro accident)
  • Kites for Peace in support of the Brahma Kumari’s efforts
  • Peace Concert in Pasadena
  • Making Pinwheels for Peace and cards for terminally ill children
  • International Day of Peace, with special guest Swami Paranhans Maheshwarananda
  • Art contest for children on the topic of world peace
  • Speech contest on the topic of world peace
  • Red Cross blood drive
  • Peace vigil with Iman Ali Sedighi
  • “Pro Felicitas” project raising money to purchase chickens and piglets for a Mexican village
  • Prayer for Peace at the Pasadena City College on 9/11/08 (now a weekly event)
  • 1000 Men in Black Prayer Rally (march in the Watts district against drug abuse)
  • Women’s Federation for World Peace Tea raising funds for nine schools in Africa


The November 6-10 Global Peace Festival in Seoul, Korea, was a huge success and strongly featured the theme of service and the Million Acts of Kindness and Service. Prominently involved was the leadership of Kang-Hyun Lee, the President of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE). The Global Peace Festival-Korea team helped plant the Million Acts of Service and Kindness seeds and let them grow.

Subsequent to the Korea event, Points of Light wrote to President Lee inviting him and IAVE to join as a member of Million Acts. This would help multiply and sustain the recent Korea effort. Equally important, it would bring the global work and credibility of IAVE to the long-term efforts of the Global Peace Festival and Million Acts. He agreed to take it to an upcoming board meeting of IAVE. (Happily, President Lee credits his introduction to IAVE through a meeting at the Points of Light Foundation.)

It was very heartening to see Million Acts’ efforts at the GPF. A wonderful Million Acts of Service and Kindness and Charity Exhibition was staged, complete with glossy brochure of artwork whose proceeds went to help those in need. A website has been set up to continue the work in country.

There was also a Million Acts of Service and Kindness-Global Family Bazaar (Glo-Market) service project. Points of Light has received the report and analysis of this project. More than 800 young people were involved. The project delivered clothing and health care products to multicultural families and those in need of the resources. Some 30 associated organizations were involved.

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