Help HOC win the HandsOn Network Super Bowl Challenge!

HON SB50 Challenge cropOur friends at Metro Volunteers in Denver have accepted our offer of a friendly wager: HOC’s volunteer hours during the¬†week (Monday 2/1 – Sunday 2/7) + the Panthers’ Super Bowl score vs. MV’s volunteer hours + the Broncos’ score.

The loser will post a video on Facebook (and anywhere else that’s feasible) showing the losing affiliate’s executive director wearing the winner’s team jersey or affiliate t-shirt, singing lyrics of the winner’s choosing to the Peyton Manning Nationwide jingle.

A little dab might also be in order if the good guys prevail ūüėČ


HOC volunteers, let’s fill up all of our calendar projects this¬†week so we can run up the score!


UPDATE 2/1/2016:  Points of Light and the HandsOn Network are on board with our contest, and are offering a $500 challenge grant to the winning affiliate. Check out this post on the Points of Light blog!

MLK Call to Service 2016

MLK Web Header - Main

‚ÄúEverybody can be great, because anybody can serve.”

–Martin Luther King, Jr.


Each January, Hands On Charlotte honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by organizing service projects for hundreds of volunteers on and around the holiday that bears his name.

This year, HOC is working together with the City of Charlotte and other partner organizations to host a series of community events throughout the MLK holiday weekend, including the annual MLK Holiday Parade. More information about these events can be found at

Our 2016 MLK Call to Service will be held Saturday, January 16* from 1:00 ‚Äď 4:00 pm at two locations:

This is a drop-in event featuring a variety of family-friendly service projects that benefit several of our partner agencies.

Please visit for more information and to RSVP. We hope you can join us!

*rescheduled to avoid conflict with the Carolina Panthers’ playoff game on Sunday 1/17.


#GivingTuesdayCLT – today is the day!

After battling the crowds and getting amazing deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, wouldn‚Äôt it feel great to do something for ‚Äúgood‚ÄĚ? Here‚Äôs your chance.

Last month, we told you about Giving Tuesday, a global day dedicated to giving. In Charlotte we‚Äôre celebrating #GivingTuesdayCLT with 107 other local nonproÔ¨Āts. Together we‚Äôre working to raise $2,000,000 for our community!


This is going to be an amazing day of giving, unlike anything Charlotte has seen before – and you can help!

Thank you for playing a part in making this year’s #GivingTuesdayCLT Рand Charlotte Рbetter than ever!

#GivingTuesdayCLT – donate to HOC by December 1!

Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday. Black Friday. Cyber Monday. Giving Tuesday?

Established in 2012, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Last year, Hands On Charlotte joined forces with more than 60 other Charlotte-area nonprofits for the 2014 #GivingTuesdayCLT campaign. Our friends at SHARE Charlotte coordinated the campaign, securing $10,000 in matching funds from the Knight Foundation. Over $377,000 was donated, and more than 9,000 volunteer hours were pledged to participating agencies.

This year, #GivingTuesdayCLT is bigger than ever.¬†HOC is thrilled to be one of 108 Charlotte-area nonprofits¬†participating in the 2015 campaign, which is being coordinated again by SHARE Charlotte. We’re joining forces to raise a total of $2 million¬†during the three-week campaign, which culminates on Giving Tuesday, December 1.


Financial donations received by Hands On Charlotte between now and December 1 will be eligible for our share of $50,000 in matching funds provided by the Knight Foundation, Bank of America, Foundation For The Carolinas, the Reemprise Fund, and presenting sponsor Google Fiber.

Please visit for more information, and to support HOC with a secure online donation. Give between now and December 1, and your donation will be eligible for #GivingTuesdayCLT matching funds!

P.S. Don’t forget to follow and visit us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to tell everyone how you’re giving back this year! Be sure to use the hashtags #GivingTuesdayCLT and #whatsyourgift.




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‚Äôs 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)!

HOC - Fidelity 2013

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!

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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‚Äėve 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.