Inspirational Quote

Do not be too moral. You may cheat yourself out of much life. Aim above morality. Be not simply good; be good for something.
Henry David Thoreau


Throughout the 17th century and the 18th century and the 19th century, this continent teemed with manifold projects and magnificent purposes. Above them all and weaving them all together into the most exciting flag of all the world and of all history was the triumphal purpose of freedom. It is in this spirit that all of us are called, each to his own measure of capacity, and each in the widest horizon of his vision, to create the first great American Century. (Excerpt from a 1941 Life Magazine editorial by Henry Luce, publisher of Time Magazine)

The 20th century is now widely recognized as the American Century, in large part due to the capacity, vision, and spirit of the great Americans who helped establish enduring American institutions. These leaders include:

These organizations were established in response to the needs and injustices found in America’s communities: substandard housing, treatment of the mentally ill, juvenile delinquency, racial and intellectual discrimination, and the high school dropout epidemic. The organizations continue to address these issues today, and the vision and spirit of their founders has extended beyond the horizon to touch every corner of the globe. In sharing their stories, we begin to see the extent to which voluntary association – the building of healthy, diverse, inclusive community – lies at the heart of our national character.

The Human Spirit Initiative, a program of the National Human Services Assembly is dedicated to collecting and sharing stories to mobilize the human spirit; to inspire awareness, commitment, and transformation of 21st century Americans. We believe that the stories found here, stories of ordinary individuals doing extraordinary things, will motivate others toward realizing their potential; each to their own measure of capacity, and each in the widest horizon of their vision. We invite you to join us, to allow your story to broaden our impact, and to be part of the next great American Century.