3 Easy Ways to Give Back This Giving Season

Tis the season, Giving Season

It's here. That time of year where you get ALL the emails, pretty brochures, social media posts, phone calls, and even a carrier pigeon or two asking you to donate. It's pretty exciting to learn about the incredible work so many nonprofits are doing, but it can also be a little overwhelming, leaving you wondering where your dollars should go or how you actually donate.

Well, fear not. We've come up with 3 easy ways for you to give back to your favorite nonprofit (Hands On Atlanta ;)) to make a lasting impact throughout next year! 

1. Join Georgia Gives Day on Giving Tuesday!

Since 2012, Georgia Gives Day has helped raise over $13 million for Georgia nonprofits. On November 28th, they've teamed up with Giving Tuesday to prove giving a little--together, will do a lot for the causes you care about. Whether you can donate $10 or $10,000 (we'd love the latter), it all adds up to more volunteers solving more problems in Atlanta. That's more tutors to read to kids, more backpacks to fill with food, and more shovels to dig up dirt in parks. 

Getting started is easy. Click the button below to make a donation OR to start a fundraiser. If you start a fundraiser you can raise money for Hands On Atlanta from your friends and family. 

2. Become an Annual Member of Hands On Atlanta

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So you're short on time, but want to make a consistent, meaningful donation? Becoming an Annual Member of Hands On Atlanta just might be the right choice for you! In less than 2 minutes and just $8/mo, you can help us provide Atlanta with:

  • 1 Meals4Kids backpack for a weekend for 6 months OR
  • Education materials for tutoring 2 students per year OR
  • Snacks for 3 students at Saturday Discovery sessions for the year 

A little goes a long way. Plus, you'll be an official Hands On Atlanta member! Members will get access to exclusive news and events, a private Facebook group (starting in 2018), unlimited high-fives, and you'll own bragging rights with your friends. It's a pretty great deal.  

3. Click the Donate button.

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Ahh, yes. The ol' Donate button. In case you forgot where it was located. Head on over to our Home page and look for that blue button in the upper right hand corner. You can't miss it. Simply fill out the quick form, tell us what impact program you'd like your donation to go to and voila, you're done. 

You can toss funds towards our Civic Leadership Program, Americorps, TeamWorks!, Discovery, Meals4Kids, and more!

On mobile?

From the home page, just click the sandwich in the upper right corner to show the menu. Then, just hit the that big Donate button at the bottom of the menu. 

 
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Now, we know what you're thinking, and the answer is "yes!" We're still going to send you an email or two, post our impact and the importance of our work on social media, and deliver a fancy little note in the mail in case you really like seeing all those things. Don't worry though, this year we've pardoned all pigeons from any volunteer work.

Thousands of Volunteers Rise Up for Hands On Atlanta Day

Thousands of Volunteers Rise Up for Hands On Atlanta Day

You did it Atlanta. You showed up by the thousands and helped celebrate the city's biggest day of service in grand fashion. From helping raise funds for hurricane relief efforts at our Kick-Off Party, to rolling up your sleeves and getting to work, you showed what it means to be an ATLien. You showcased what empathy and inclusion looks like and more importantly, what can be accomplished when service unites!

The Citizen Community of W-Underdogs

Some things are harder to learn than others. I literally had to get hit by a car and
subsequently lose my dog for a few days (spoiler: he came back!) to learn what it
means to be a citizen. It was a very valuable lesson paid for handsomely in actual
blood, sweat and lots and lots of tears.

We all know what that's like, right? That hopeless sinking feeling where you just know
things are not going to be ok. That's how I felt when my dog was missing. We were
underdogs and needed rescuing. Luckily, several of my neighbors banded together in the blazing summer heat to help me find my best friend, taught me that a citizen looks out for the underdogs.

Enter Grace Hamlin, resident underdog rescuer.

Hamlin, 42, grew up in an orphanage in Costa Rica and has been a friend to both
child and animal for as long as she can remember. Her and her merry band of "W-
Underdogs" led what felt like the most monumental search effort in the history of
southeast Atlanta. It was overwhelmingly awesome.

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“We fight for a humane Atlanta and for safer communities for all...”

-Grace Hamlin, W-Underdogs

For those 'wondering', W-Underdogs is an innovative grassroots nonprofit that pairs
underserved and at-risk youth in the Peoplestown and South Atlanta neighborhoods with animals in need. The program empowers these children to gain leadership, life skills, responsibility and compassion as they use teamwork to learn how to train and care for animals. Through advocacy efforts and direct action, they are empowered to make positive changes at school, home, and in their communities.

Hamlin teaches kids all the necessary skills for caring for animals while also teaching the kids to how to care for and respect each other. The W-underdogs care for stray dogs and cats that have been surrendered to her or found on the streets; “they help save each other.”

The youngest and newest kids do chores like cleaning up after the dogs and walking them. As their skills improve, so do their chores. The kids are able to take their newfound skills ‘on the road’ and, under Hamlin’s supervision, secure odd jobs in the neighborhood. “No job is too big or small,” says Hamlin.

The money they earn as a W-underdog goes into a fund to help pay for animal care and supplies. The older kids are able to put their money towards an account set up by w-underdogs for their college education.

And how does one become a W-underdog? They have to want it. “These kids have to earn the privilege of joining the program,” she says. Each child must write an essay on what it means to be a ‘w-underdog.’

A group of W-Underdogs at a recent trip to the georgia aquarium

A group of W-Underdogs at a recent trip to the georgia aquarium

But it’s not all work and no play, at the end of the day, they’re still kids. Hamlin rewards their hard work with educational and fun field trips, last month they took a trip to the Georgia Aquarium.

Hamlin hopes that this program encourages these kids to look beyond their circumstances and explore their own interests so that they go on to college. “These kids are underdogs and they work hard to turn themselves into ‘w-underdogs,’” she says.

“We fight for a humane Atlanta and for safer communities for all,” says Hamlin.
That's Hamlin's definition of 'citizen' -- someone who works to deal a better hand to those that need it. But not all citizens have to be founders of nonprofits. Or out in the streets where everyone can see them. A lot of my neighbors became social media sleuths.

Posting and cross posting about missing dogs, making sure no lead went cold.
Whatever it means to you, be a citizen. Act. Don't hold back because one day you might
be the the underdog in need of help.

Me and my best friend, Reggie.

Me and my best friend, Reggie.