News

The Georgia Commission of Service and Volunteerism Awards Hands On Atlanta $460,000 AmeriCorps Grant

2018/19 AmeriCorps members pack meals for students during the winter break.

2018/19 AmeriCorps members pack meals for students during the winter break.

Earlier this month, Gov. Brian Kemp announced that Georgia has received $3,341,944 in AmeriCorps funding from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency responsible for AmeriCorps and other national service programs. Of that, Hands On Atlanta will receive $462,767.00 (the second largest grant awarded in Georgia) to support our school-based AmeriCorps program!

The Hands On Atlanta AmeriCorps program is an engaging 10-month commitment in which AmeriCorps members impact Atlanta’s most vulnerable youth. Members serve on a diverse, task-oriented team to provide math and literacy tutoring, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and college readiness coaching, curriculum enrichment, and community engagement to over 1,000 K-12th grade students attending low performing schools across metro Atlanta.

“Building on a strong tradition of neighbor helping neighbor, AmeriCorps members will change lives, improve communities, and build a safer, stronger, and more united Georgia,” said Chester Spellman, director of AmeriCorps. “For 25 years, the AmeriCorps members who pledge to ‘get things done’ have represented the best of America while demonstrating the great promise and ideals of our country. I salute all the AmeriCorps members who will join them, and thank those who help make their service possible.”

These grants will put more than 500 AmeriCorps members on the ground to serve with nineteen (19) organizations to tackle some of the toughest problems in Georgia including education, economic opportunities, healthy futures, veterans and military families, homelessness, people living with disabilities, financial literacy, and environmental issues. Hands On Atlanta will deploy 40 AmeriCorps members directly into the community through our school and nonprofit partners.

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“Hands On Atlanta is thrilled to receive nearly half a million dollars from the Georgia State Commission of Volunteerism and CNCS to support our 19/20 AmeriCorps program. We are excited to place AmeriCorps members at schools and nonprofits across the greater Atlanta community. Hands On Atlanta has received a record breaking 500+ applications for 40 positions and is energized by the caliber and commitment to service our incoming cohort brings,“ said Lindsey Baker, Hands On Atlanta Director of Programs.

AmeriCorps’ unique model means that the grants announced will leverage an additional $3 million from the private sector, foundations, and other sources – further increasing the return on the federal investment.

In addition, CNCS will provide over $2 million in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards for the AmeriCorps members funded by these grants. After successfully completing their service term, full-time AmeriCorps members receive an Education Award of approximately $6,000 that they can use to pay for college or graduate school or to pay off student loans.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of AmeriCorps. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 1 million Americans have served, providing more than 1.5 billion hours of service and earned more than $3.6 billion in education scholarships, more than $1 billion of which has been used to pay back student debt. Those interested in joining AmeriCorps can learn more at AmeriCorps.gov/Join.


Every year, 75,000 AmeriCorps members serve through 21,000+ schools, nonprofits, and community and faith-based organizations across the country. These citizens have played a critical role in the recovery of communities affected by disasters and helped thousands of first generation college students access higher education. They also tutor and mentor young people, connect veterans to jobs, care for seniors, reduce crime and revive cities, fight the opioid epidemic, and meet other critical needs.

If you’re interested in learning more about joining the Hands On Atlanta AmeriCorps program visit https://www.handsonatlanta.org/americorps. For companies, organizations, and foundations looking to sponsor or match funding, please reach out to our team at americorps@handsonatlanta.org for more info.

Hands On Atlanta Awarded $500,000 Grant from The Marcus Foundation

Hands On Atlanta has received a 3-year, $500,000 grant from The Marcus Foundation to engage the next generation of Atlanta changemakers.

The grant will help Hands On Atlanta deliver several volunteer focused initiatives, with a goal to make serving Atlanta more accessible than ever. Currently only 24% of Atlantans volunteer, placing the city 36th among the 50 largest metropolitan areas. With this grant, Hands On Atlanta will expand digital and virtual volunteer offerings, as well as “pop-up” service projects in high-traffic areas, like the Atlanta Beltline.

“The issues facing our community continue to change, and the ways Atlantans can solve these challenges continues to evolve. Our volunteers want to use all their skills to do something good. It’s our responsibility to provide these opportunities and meet Atlantans where they are. The opportunity The Marcus Foundation has given us is an incredible lift for metro Atlanta as a whole,” said Jay Cranman, Hands On Atlanta President and CEO.

The Marcus Foundation has been a long-time supporter of Hands On Atlanta and other organizations that seek to improve the greater Atlanta community.

“On the 30th anniversary of our organization, we are grateful for the support and leadership from Bernie Marcus, who has been with us since the beginning. Being awarded this grant will significantly impact our ability to tackle Atlanta’s most pressing needs, while positioning us to lead Atlanta in becoming one of our country’s most civically engaged cities,” added Cranman. 

Points of Light and The Starbucks Foundation Expand Innovative Service Model in 20 Cities Across the United States

Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, and The Starbucks Foundation announce the expansion of The Starbucks Foundation Service Fellows Program, an innovative service model inspired by national service.

Following a successful six-month pilot last year, the full-scale program will expand to 7 new markets, reaching 20 cities and engaging 100 Starbucks partners (employees). The program is designed to provide needed day-to-day support to local nonprofit organizations while providing an opportunity for Starbucks partners to pursue their personal passion to get involved in their communities.

“The Starbucks Foundation Service Fellows program is a promising model that provides companies with a new way to think about the role they can play in promoting and enabling service opportunities,” says Natalye Paquin, president and CEO of Points of Light. “We believe that by partnering together, the Service Fellows will significantly enhance the capacity of nonprofit organizations to effectively leverage human capital to meet their missions. We are excited to see this program grow and look forward to supporting fellows as they unlock their own potential to create meaningful change through service.”

Points of Light received a $3.5 million grant from The Starbucks Foundation to expand the infrastructure and impact of The Starbucks Foundation Service Fellows program by 2020, which includes direct support of Points of Light’s commitment to strengthen the capacity of the nonprofit sector through resources, programs and partnerships.

The Starbucks Foundation will fund support for local nonprofits affiliated with the Points of Light Global Network. As part of this service model, Points of Light will match the 100 fellows with their local network member. During their service term, the fellows will work part-time for Points of Light, expanding the capacity of the local nonprofit and their community partners to meet their missions, while continuing to work part-time at Starbucks. This experience plays an important role in exposing the Fellows to future civic and community engagement opportunities, while expanding their professional skills and experiences.

“Each Starbucks store is part of a community, and we’re committed to strengthening the neighborhoods we serve,” says Virginia Tenpenny, executive director of The Starbucks Foundation. “We believe service goes hand in hand with our mission to inspire and nurture the human spirit, one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time. This program is an evolution of Starbucks long-standing commitment to serving our communities, year-round.”

Following an application process that kicked off this week, the first group of 50 Starbucks partners across 20 cities will be selected as Service Fellows, to begin in September with sector education and organizational onboarding, and their service terms will run from October 2019 through March 2020. The second group of Service Fellows will serve April through October 2020.

Members of the Points of Light Global Network that will host Service Fellows are: Hands On Atlanta, HandsOn Bay Area, HandsOn Birmingham, Boston Cares, HandsOn Broward, Chicago Cares, VolunteerNow, Spark the Change Colorado, Volunteer Fairfax, Volunteer Houston, HandsOn Miami, Hands On Nashville, New York Cares, HandsOn New Orleans, United Way of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey, HandsOn Twin Cities, HandsOn Greater Phoenix, HandsOn San Diego, Seattle Works, United Way of King County, and United Way of Greater St. Louis, as well as Points of Light headquarters in Atlanta.

To learn more about the impact of The Starbucks Foundation Service Fellows program, visit the Points of Light blog or Starbucks Stories for impact stories.

About Points of Light

Points of Light – the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service – mobilizes millions of people to take action that is changing the world. Through affiliates in 250 cities across 37 countries and in partnership with thousands of nonprofits and corporations, Points of Light engages 5 million volunteers in 20 million hours of service each year. We bring the power of people to bear where it’s needed most. For more information, go to www.pointsoflight.org.

About The Starbucks Foundation

Established in 1997, The Starbucks Foundation strengthens communities around the world by advancing opportunities for youth, veterans, refugees and coffee, tea and cocoa farmers and their families, supporting communities affected by disaster, and promoting civic engagement. The Starbucks Foundation is a U.S. 501 (c)(3) charitable organization under U.S. law, and receives funding primarily from Starbucks Corporation and private donations. Learn more at https://www.starbucks.com/responsibility/community/starbucks-foundation.

Looking Back at the Hands On Atlanta 30th Birthday

Over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about our community. Y’all love volunteering and will go to great lengths to support our work, y’all care about making Atlanta better for all of our citizens, and y’all most definitely know how to party! Take a look back at the Hands On Atlanta 30th Birthday Party!

Atlanta top muralists join forces on MLK Day

Ten Atlanta artists join forces to creating mural at Frederick Douglass High School on Atlanta’s westside during the King Holiday on Monday, January 21, 2019. Organized by Atlanta artist Charmaine Minniefield, the mural is sponsored by Spelman College for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service with Hands On Atlanta.

Introducing the 2019 Class of Civic Fellows

The Hands On Atlanta Civic Leadership Program, powered by Constellation, recently welcomed it’s 10th class of Civic Fellows! 18 changemakers from around metro Atlanta are taking their service to the next level, and will participate in the year long program that features leadership training and mentoring, and an opportunity to build a year long relationship with a dedicated nonprofit partner to manage service projects, recruit volunteers, oversee service days and provide education to volunteers as to the mission of their nonprofit partner.