Everyone has a Role in Ending Domestic Violence

“Domestic violence has no impact on my life. This issue only affects people in low-income areas, and not my neighbors, family, co-workers or friends.” Nothing could be further from the truth.

“There must be a simple solution. Just leave the abuser: case closed.” Like most things in life, it’s not that simple.

Society continues to blame victims of domestic violence. We don’t blame people when their car is stolen, unless they left the keys in it. But we continue to blame victims of domestic violence because we think it’s so simple to just leave.

Over the last few years, I’ve had the opportunity to attend several workshops and learn more about domestic violence. Domestic violence victims blame themselves for the abuse, I found this fact most disturbing. Again, makes no sense. We all saw the Ray Rice video, how do you blame her for getting knocked out? Yet we do. Looking more into the issue, I began to understand how abusers control their victims over time and lower their self-esteem and confidence.

We started a new tutoring program at Safe Alliance. This agency manages a comprehensive shelter for survivors of domestic violence and their children. We started our tutoring project last week. The project looks exactly the same thing as any other tutoring project except for the setting. The children are eager to learn and appreciate the attention.

I don’t have the answers to solve all the community’s issues but I know it’s not ignoring them or waiting for someone else to help. Even if we don’t improve any children’s grades at the shelter, at least we’ll help model positive adult behavior and show them that we care.

For more information about various events check out: Domestic Violence Awareness Month Calendar of Events.

A great resource to help men understand the issue: A Call to Men. 

  • by Doug Macomb, Director of Programs, volunteer for Tutoring at Safe Alliance
HOC volunteers after completed domestic violence training.

HOC volunteers after completed domestic violence training.

HOC Update: In Good Company

Welcome to the new HOC Update newsletter! In this edition, we’re spotlighting our work with corporate volunteers, and telling you how you or your company can be involved.

Join us as a Corporate Volunteer Leader (CVL)!

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If you’re a Hands On Charlotte volunteer, you know that we post more than 100 projects on our online calendar each month. Did you know that we create and manage volunteer opportunities for corporate groups too?

We help companies of all sizes engage their employees in meaningful service projects through our All Hands program. We make it easy for our corporate partners to give their time and talent to strengthen their communities and improve their neighbors’ lives.

Would you like to help us manage some of these projects?

We’re looking for individuals with a can-do attitude and a bit of muscle to help with our All Hands projects while earning some spare cash in the process. Corporate Volunteer Leaders (CVLs) will lead or assist at team-based corporate volunteer projects (training provided), and help with setting up and breaking down project sites. They may also assist with packing and unpacking project supplies at the HOC office. CVLs will earn an hourly stipend.

This is a great opportunity for friendly and detail-oriented people with flexible schedules, those who are in-between jobs, and anyone who would like to help Hands On Charlotte deliver on our mission while getting some exercise and earning extra cash! We have a particular need for CVLs at corporate projects scheduled for Thursday, October 15, and Tuesday, November 10, but opportunities exist throughout the year.

If you’re interested or need more information, please contact our Director of Programs Doug Macomb.

Your company can help us build children’s dreams!

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Hands On Charlotte is joining forces with the Business Volunteer Council again this year on the 2015 Charlotte Playground Build!

This project has added tremendous value to our local schools and to corporate volunteerism since 2003. Each year, multiple companies from a variety of industries join forces to sponsor the event, and to have their employees volunteer alongside other business leaders to help build a playground in a single day.

The 13th Annual Playground Build will be held at Highland Renaissance Academy here in Charlotte on Friday, October 9.

We would be honored to have your company as a Playground Build sponsor and participant! Your support will greatly enrich the lives of young children, giving them the chance to play to their heart’s content in a safe environment.

Please click here for more information (including a description of sponsorship benefits at each level), and contact our Executive Director Eric Law if you have any questions. We promise you’ll bring out the kid in our kids – and in you!


Help us continue to inspire, equip and mobilize a diverse corps of volunteers to strengthen our community. Click below to visit www.HandsOnCharlotte.org/Donate!

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Nick’s Story

Nick, another amazing volunteer doing amazing things for others.  We received an email from Nick about a particular evening during his weekly project, Basic Literacy and Math for Adults, at CPCC tutoring adults.  I wanted to know more about Nick and once I did, I knew you would too.

Here is Nick’s email and more about this amazing volunteers, ENJOY!:

“The day before Anthony’s final, while taking a practice test, I lost my composure. He was answering questions all wrong. I said Anthony, last week you understood the concept and today you’re a babbling idiot. What happened? He said I have problems. I responded, “we all have problems, set your priorities. I have problems coming here. They’re days I pick myself up after falling to be here. I can do it so can you” With tears he told me he’s going to pass it. I don’t how he did but he did. It must have been the fire that came out of me when he was failing the practice test.
FYI not looking for a pat on back or cookie but;
Bottom line I struggle to get to class and some students appreciate my struggles and they’ll try hard to overcome thier struggles after seeing me.
Enjoy your week.


What made you decide to volunteer?

I was new to Charlotte and I‘ve been looking for employment so, I chose to help others better themselves as a challenge to myself

You’ve spent a great deal of time tutoring adults, what drew you to this project?

Many are High school dropouts realizing now with education they’ll have better opportunities. Others informed me they’re tired of leaning on government handouts. Bingo! Dropouts? Government sponges? Getting someone on the same page as us? Now that’s a challenge

What would your advice be to new volunteers to help make their experience more enjoyable?

Pick a subject or a cause that you enjoy and put your all into it

What is the best part about volunteering?

Success, having a student pass a subject in turn it impacts our community ONE PERSON at a time

Is there anything you struggle with in regards to volunteering?

Yes, the day to day unknowns of my physical disability keeps me pushing to keep my volunteer commitment

Anything else you would like to share about your experiences as Hands On Charlotte volunteer?

Reward yourself, volunteer and share your experience with us

Here’s Nick’s volunteer project: Basic Literacy and Math for Adults



toptentuesday-300x246111111Why YOU should VOLUNTEER!

10.  Gain new perspective

9.    Develop new skills

8.    Increase your self esteem

7.    Gives you a sense of purpose

6.    Establishes strong relationships

5.    It’s healthy!

4.    Can be great for your career

3.    There’s a cause for EVERYONE

2.    You can work with your friends and make an infinite impact in the community

….and the #1 reason why YOU should VOLUNTEER….

1.    YOU WILL  make a difference in a person’s life!


Tracy’s Story

We wanted to share a Facebook post that one of our newer volunteers, Tracy,  wrote on her timeline.  The response was overwhelming.

We are so proud of all of our volunteers who take time from their personal lives to help others.


I had the most life changing and amazing opportunity to help tutor an older gentleman in basic reading & writing today, as he is trying hard to get his GED.
He worked so hard to sound out each word.. I asked him if he needed a break after he had been reading each word painfully and carefully for over an hour.. He said “No ma’am, I want to work”. We kept at it…
His pencil was worn down with barely an eraser left on the end. Each word he wrote out carefully, he would look up to get confirmation that it was correct..
His hands are worn and rough from a hard life on the streets.. I know his life has been hard, but this does not stop him from trying or taking a break..
Imagine a life without the ability to read and write basic words..
Today a man named Larry taught me more than I could ever teach him and made a huge impact in my world.. I feel truly blessed and more appreciative for all I have in life.. many things I take for granted..
Thursday when I go back, I will bring a giant box of brand new pencils with erasers on the end with me and give them to Larry and the others..
It’s the little things in life we need to appreciate more…
Prayers for Larry and all the others trying to change their lives for the better.. Hope he sleeps well and safe tonight.




It makes our day when we hear back from our volunteers and their experiences. Enjoy!

From Cassandra-Volunteer for Basic Literacy & Math for Adults

“This is my 5th time volunteering for this project and I enjoy it every time. This time was exceptionally special and gave me a new perspective on my own life.

I assisted a man with reading; he is a drug addict and currently 9 months clean. He is studying so he can progress in his sobriety and life. He had to leave early to attend an AA meeting. The 2nd man I also assisted with reading. He was probably at a 1st grade reading level with a job and wanting to progress. I left feeling proud of them for being so brave and humbled in what I sometimes perceive as my own life “struggles”. They were so appreciative of me being there.

I left beaming that we all progressed a little that evening.”



The Answers to Things You’ve Wondered about HOC Day on April 18th

So you’ve registered yourself, your family or your team for HOC Day, but you have some questions about the actual day–what to wear, is it rain or shine, what are the funds raised used for….

We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions, but please, feel free to contact us with any other we may have missed.

See you on April 18th!




Registration for this years Hands On Charlotte Day has begun and this year it’s bigger than ever!IMG_7367

You asked for it, we listened.

HOC Day now includes special family-friendly projects for ALL AGES.  We believe that volunteerism should be a part of everyones life and to instill this we want to offer opportunities where even the youngest can experience doing for others.


This fast-paced team competition is geared for teens 16 and older, companies and anyone who enjoys competition while helping the community.  As this is a competition, there has to be a grand prize and this years GRAND PRIZE IS $1000 AMERICAN AIRLINES GIFT CARDS TO EACH MEMBER OF THE WINNING TEAM!

For whichever you choose, registration is required and space is limited.  We encourage you to register early and get your spot.

This is Hands On Charlotte’s only fundraiser of the year and the only event like this in the Charlotte area.  It is the “one day that makes the other 364 possible”

Register here: www.handsoncharlotte.org/hocday2015


Mark your calendars for April 18th for HOC’s only fundraiser of the year and this year it’s bigger than ever!

Of course we will still have our classic volunteering projects throughout Charlotte and this year we are adding Family Projects for parents and children of all ages as well as the firstCharlotteMagazineProof
annual Service Games!

The Service Games is an event where teams will compete for the grand prize of American Airlines gift cards by way of completing service projects.  If you’ve been around HOC for a while, you will remember Sprint for Service, The Service Games is very similar to that event.

As we do every year, you’ll want to join us for our after party for food, beer, raffle and fun!  We’ll be announcing our amazing venue shortly so stay tuned!

We promise you won’t want to miss this!

Registration opens March 4th.  Be sure to watch us on Wilson’s World on our media sponsor WCCB when we countdown to the launch of opening registration on March 4th.

If you are a business and want to be a part of this event, contact Beth Addison at beth@handsoncharlotte.org to find out how to be a sponsor.

Visit our website for details HERE

We hope to see you there!