Love Atlanta Turns (and Builds) the Tables on Service

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Sometimes you just want to sit down on a picnic table and enjoy a little sunshine. Pull the lap top out, crank out some emails, drink an ice cold Coca-Cola, and enjoy a little peace and quiet. You know what I mean? 

Luckily for the staff at Hands On Atlanta, this fairy tale story is now a reality, thanks to our friends at Love Atlanta! As part of our big office renovation, (and some impeccable timing) their team chose to build 3 brand new picnic tables for our outdoor patio as a site project for their annual week of service. So, the organization that hosts and leads volunteer projects 24/7/365 has now been on the receiving end of one. Yes, the literal and proverbial tables were turned. Things felt pretty good from this side of things, a little too good...

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But we weren't the only nonprofit getting some help. Check this out, during the week of June 25 - 30, over 4,000 people signed in at almost 5,000 volunteer spots through 231 projects all over Atlanta. In total, their volunteers served over 14,500! Yo. 

Other projects included some of our nonprofit partners (#twinning) where they packed meals with Open Hand, got dirty with several beautification projects along the Beltline, and sorted and packed grocery donations at the Atlanta Food Bank Product Rescue Center.

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Congrats to the Love Atlanta on an awesome week of impact and we're sending the biggest virtual high five to the entire team (including the camera crew, task leaders, and members of our team) who helped give our hard working squad a fun and relaxing place to do something good! We hope to see you again next year.

For more information on Love Atlanta and to learn more about their week of service, visit their website at https://loveatlanta.com.

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5 Ways Volunteering Improves Your Life

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Everyone knows that volunteering is an incredibly giving action for your community. However, sometimes life keeps us too occupied and stressed to even think about it, even though we know it’s the right thing to do. It turns out that volunteer work not only helps your community, but it also improves multiple areas in your own life.

A little skeptical? Keep reading to learn the five ways it does just that.

1. Volunteering is good for your health.

It has been proven that volunteering reduces stress and combats depression. It does this by keeping you close to other people and helping you develop a solid support system. Not only that, but research has shown that it improves your happiness. Check out these and some more health benefits to volunteering here.

2. Volunteering helps boost your career.

Sometimes we feel our work keeps us too busy to volunteer. It turns out that volunteering can actually foster your career. Volunteering helps you learn new skills in a field you’re interested in, without making a commitment to the field. You can also create a positive impression for employers, and it gives you a range of useful and interesting skills to enhance your résumé.

Need a real life example of this working? The team at Hands On Atlanta has a ton (potential future post) to share! Shoot us a message and we'll share. 

3. Volunteering can lead to you making real connections.

Are you new to the city? Do you want to find more friends? You can meet other “do gooders” while volunteering. It is a great way to meet people who share some of the same interests as you, which is important for the foundation of any friendship. Get started with our TeamWorks! program for some fun, social, competitive, volunteering!

4. Volunteering allows you to give back to a cause or community you believe in.

Do you have a passion? Do you love your neighborhood? Volunteer work can be personal. You can do your part by improving those areas you believe in. Today you can decide to get involved in making this world a better place, and it's easier than ever to actually do it.

5. Volunteering is fun!

When you volunteer, you are able to learn fun, new skills you might not learn otherwise. If you’re looking for a project outside of work or school, volunteering is an opportunity to take advantage of your free time. Are you searching for an activity to do with your friends and family? See what’s out there to do something good with the people you care about.

Acknowledging the personal benefits of volunteer work isn’t selfish at all. There is more to it than giving back to others, even though that is a valid reason to get involved. Do something good for yourself by doing something good for Atlanta.

Ready to dive into volunteering? Find a local project you have a passion for at www.handsonatlanta.org/volunteer.


Heidi Risher has joined Hands On Atlanta from the University of Alabama for the summer, interning with our marketing and communications department. Heidi is doing a great job working on some fun projects for us, in addition to writing some informational blog posts. If you'd like to intern with Hands On Atlanta, keep an eye on our Careers page for openings!  

New Partnership Brings Online, On-Demand Volunteering to Atlanta

Hands On Atlanta and CareerVillage.org announce a new partnership at the Points of Light Service Unites 2018 Conference.  

Always looking to innovate and lead where volunteers can better serve the Atlanta community, we're excited to announce an impactful new way to help youth excel in college and career through CareerVillage.org, an online, on-demand volunteer platform. 

Looking Back: The 2018 High Five Party

Hands On Atlanta celebrates service at annual High Five Party, raising over $130,000 to help engage and mobilize volunteers, and support education and hunger programs.

The week of April 15, 2018 will go down in the record books for our team here at Hands On Atlanta. We kicked off National Volunteer Week with a weekend of service projects for Good Deeds Day, and highlighted 5 outstanding volunteer leaders (1 per day) on The Citizen. Over the course of the week, we filled 450 volunteer opportunities through our calendar, and on Saturday, April 21, we partnered up with the Coke Scholars for a Global Youth Service Day project - mobilizing over 150 youth in service. To cap off this exciting (and exhausting) week of service, we partied with 300 civic and service leaders at our High Five Party!

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Attendees arrived at The Gathering Spot and got things rolling with drinks, appetizers, and on-site service projects (including packing 125 literacy kits)! There was also a chance to bid on some of our awesome silent auction items, spread throughout the venue.

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The program kicked off with a little trivia from The Big Game show and really set the takeaway for the evening - FUN. Jay Cranman, Hands On Atlanta President and CEO (left) formally welcomed attendees and David Richardson, Hands On Atlanta Chairman of the Board (right), followed with a heartfelt and personal story about the impact volunteers recently made on his family.

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One of the highlighted moments of the night came with the announcement of the 2018 Holly Palmer Rhodes Changemaker of the Year Award. This year's recipient, Arthur Blank, was unable to attend in person, but he requested we send a team of our best and brightest journalists to interview him on the importance of giving back to kids in Atlanta, entrepreneurship best practices, and more! Enjoy this special segment of Between Two Fans:

 
 
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After dinner the guys from The Big Game Show came back for a hilarious, "Jeopardy style" game show that included a few of our friends - CARE CEO, Michelle Nunn (Hands On Atlanta co-founder/former CEO), Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Meria Carstarphen, and Executive Director of the Atlanta Speech School, Comer Yates, and a few special guests from our Discovery program.

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After the game show, guests settled in for an impact story from one of our Discovery program volunteers, Priscilla "Granny" McDowell. Priscilla spoke to the importance of exposing her grandchildren to different cultures, different people, and different experiences the program provides. It was a great reminder of why we had all gathered for the evening, emphasizing why supporting Hands On Atlanta matters.

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Jessica "It's All Good" Williams came out to help with our live auction and a few motivated attendees left with tickets to Hamilton, a dream vacation to Antigua, and a chance to watch a Falcons or United game from Arthur Blank's suite! It was a great start to the giving, but things were just heating up. After a brief announcement from Mr. Blank (with a match of up to $15,000) our audience blew passed our goal and gave over $20,000 in less than 10 minutes!

Attendees poured out of the ballroom and onto the dance floor where Oh No Stereo was keeping the good vibes (and guests) moving at our High Five Late Night party, hosted by our Changemakers Board. Young professionals from across metro Atlanta joined the party and 1 guest won weekend getaway to Charleston, South Carolina!  

We can't thank our sponsors and supporters enough, but we're going to try. Huge thank you's and high fives to the Arthur Blank Family Foundation, Publix Charities, Chick-fil-A Foundation, Congizant, Cox, KMS Technology, UPS, Evelyn and Bernie Wedge and all of our sponsors! Our work isn't possible without you, thank you!

In total we raised over $130,000 on the evening, raised awareness around some big challenges facing our communities, shared a few moving stories and a few great dance moves, recognized and connected changemakers, mobilized volunteers in service, and had an absolute blast doing it!


Feeling inspired and want to get in on the High Five Party action? It's not too late, you can make a donation and help our efforts to engage volunteers and/or support our impact programs.

Service Spotlight | Fleming Slone

To celebrate National Volunteer Week, we've hand selected some of our most promising fellows in our Civic Leadership Program to shine a spotlight on. Our civic fellows manage service projects at designated non-profit partner sites by recruiting volunteers, overseeing service days and providing education to volunteers as to the mission of their partner agency.