Fired Up

Get a glimpse into the daily lives of Point Breezy's volunteer firefighters.

People we call upon in times of crisis, who aren’t in it for glory or fame or money, are truly the unsung heroes of today’s society. Volunteer firefighters across the nation dedicate their free time to unpaid positions, risking their lives for the good of their communities.

What does a day in their shoes look like? As part of Fire Prevention Month, in partnership with Nest, we became a fly on the wall at the Point Breeze Volunteer Fire Department, a small house with deep history, to observe the lives of these heroes, their camaraderie, and compassion for one other and their constituency.

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Why We Should Make It Easier for High School Grads to Take a "Gap Year"

When students take a year off before college to gain real-world experience, everyone wins.

Should more American students take a year off between high school and college to gain real-world experience, tangible skills, and some maturity? That's the thinking behind "gap years," a purposefully planned year of volunteer work and internships. Although they're growing in popularity in the States, they're still not as common here as they are in some other parts of the developed world. But after 12 years of studying, maybe encouraging graduates to take a year off and apply that book learning isn't a bad idea.

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Would You Volunteer More If You Could Do So in Your Pajamas?

Have a skill to share but can't find the time? A new website lets you do good for others from the comfort of your own home.

It is a lazy Sunday afternoon and though I haven’t left the house once, I’ve spent most of my day volunteering for a nonprofit. In the time that it would normally take to browse Facebook or clear out my Google Reader, I was able to help a Czech Internet nonprofit craft their social media strategy, right from the comfort of my own living room.

The site that made this digital volunteering experience possible is called Sparked, and it is the world’s “first micro-volunteering network.” With the tagline “Online volunteering for busy people,” Sparked is CEO Jacob Colker and CTO Ben Rigby’s answer to a problem that many working professionals face: finding free time in our chaotic lives to volunteer for the causes we care about.

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