In 1972, mathematician Edward Lorenz transformed how we view change. “If the flap of a butterfly’s wings can be instrumental in generating a tornado,” he observed, “it can equally well be instrumental in preventing a tornado.” Lorenz’s famed Butterfly Effect, whereby nature is impacted by the smallest changes, went on to inspire generations.
At Wonderful, we agree that small, individual actions can add up to tremendous good. That’s why, alongside our partners at California State University, Fresno, we created the Wonderful Butterfly Project—empowering the university’s graduates to help improve the world through local community service projects.
In her commencement address to the graduating classes of 2020 and 2021, Lynda Resnick offered each graduate a $500 grant in exchange for volunteering a minimum of 16 hours for a local organization. More than 450 volunteers took her up on the offer, working nearly 11,000 hours and serving more than 450,000 community members.
One volunteer, Elaine, dedicated her time to Poverello House, which works to enrich the lives and spirits of those in need of temporary shelter, meals, and social services. Since graduating, Elaine has accepted a full-time position at the organization.
Working at Poverello House brought me back to life. It gave me a purpose to want to help people.
Fresno State Class of 2020
Another graduate, Ivan, volunteered at the Central California Food Bank, helping serve healthy meals to 500 Fresno residents.
My hope is for the program to grow bigger each year to where we can end hunger and homelessness. I am thankful to be part of the change and promise to help this community now and in the future.
Graduate volunteer at Central California Food Bank