Friday’s Food for Thought

According to the Oxford Dictionaries:  Food Insecurity is–The state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food:more than 800 million people live every day with hunger or food insecurity as their constant companion

This isn’t just happening in our economically disadvantaged areas around Charlotte, it’s happening everywhere and in places you may not think–  coworkers,  neighbors,  children’s friends and family members.

There are many organizations that are helping: Friendship Trays, Friendship Gardens, Second Harvest Food Bank, Crisis Assistance and many more.  Please visit www.handsoncharlotte.org to see some of our partner agencies that are making a difference and volunteer.

In 2012, NC ranked #10 for food hardship in the US

http://frac.org/pdf/food_hardship_2012.pdf

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Volunteering for Work Experience

 

Skills-based volunteering will allow you to enhance your resume and make valuable connections in your chosen industry. These experiences allow you to establish contacts for networking, receive letters of recommendation from professionals in the field, and make a substantial contribution to overall job potential.

cncs-infographic6Many employers give preference in hiring individuals who have previous experiences in their respective fields.

Here are some reasons why giving back to the community will give your job search some extra oomph:

It builds your resume

Programs for skills-based volunteering are all the rage these days. If you’re volunteering your professional expertise to a charity, include it in your resume. Write it as you would any other position in your resume by describing your role and achievements, highlighting the skills that are most relevant to your current career goals.

It exposes you to new career paths

Before you commit to a new career path, take it for a test drive. Volunteering is a great way to learn more about a specific function or industry, especially if you’re considering a move to the government or non-profit sector.

It develops new skills

If you are switching careers or seeking a promotion to the management level, chances are you have some skill gaps to fill. Identify volunteer opportunities that will allow you to fill these gaps by exposing you to a new industry or giving you the chance to head a committee or project.

It grows your network

Whether you’re attending charity events or volunteering your time, charitable work is a great way to meet new people and expand your network. There’s no better way to form a real connection with someone than through a shared interest. Even if the organization is unrelated to your profession, there’s no telling who you might meet.

http://info.theladders.com/your-job-search/volunteer-for-jobsearch-success

Hands On Charlotte offers many different skills-based opportunities every month.  To find out what they are click here

 

 

 

 

The Sweetness of Charity–Maya Angelou

We have heard many quotes and excerpts from the amazing works of Maya Angelou throughout the years, and today, HOC would like to commemorate her wisdom and insightfulness by sharing an eloquent essay written to acknowledge the power of giving.  Enjoy!
Maya Angelou, Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now, Part 3

The Sweetness of Charity

The New Testament informs the reader that it is more blessed to give than to receive. I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver. The size and substance of the gift should be important to the recipient, but not to the donor save that the best thing one can give is that which is appreciated. The giver is as enriched as is the recipient, and more important, that intangible but very real psychic force of good in the world is increased.

When we cast our bread upon the waters, we can presume that someone downstream whose face we will never know will benefit from our action, as we who are downstream from another will profit from that grantor’s gift.

Since time is the one immaterial object which we cannot influence –neither speed up nor slow down, add to nor diminish – it is an imponderably valuable gift. Each of us has a few minutes a day or a few hours a week which we could donate to an old folks’ home or a children’s hospital ward. The elderly whose pillows we plump or whose water pitchers we refill may or may not thank us for our gift, but the gift is upholding the foundation of the universe. The children to whom we read simple stories may or may not show gratitude, but each boon we give strengthens the pillars of the world.

While our gifts and the recipients should be considered, our bounty, once decided upon, should be without concern, overflowing one minute and forgotten the next.

Recently I was asked to speak before a group of philanthropists and was astonished at their self-consciousness. The gathered donors give tens of millions of dollars annually to medical research, educational development, art support, and social reform. Yet to a person they seemed a little, just a little, ashamed of themselves. I pondered their behavior and realized that someone had told someone that not only was it degrading to accept charity but it was equally debasing to give it. And sad to say, someone had believed that statement. Hence ,many preferred to have it known that they dispense philanthropy rather than charity.

I like charitable people and like to think of myself as charitable, as being of a generous heart and a giving natures – of being a friend indeed to anyone in need. Why, I pondered, did the benefactors not feel as I?

Some benefactors may desire distance from the recipients of their largess because there is a separations between themselves and the resources they distribute. As inheritors or managers of fortune rather than direct earners, perhaps they feel exiled from the gifts; then it follows that they feel exiled from the recipient.

It is sad when people who give to the needy feel estranged from the objects of their generosity. They can take little, if any, relish from their acts of charity; therefore, are generous our of their duty rather than delight.

 

 

How to help Hands On Charlotte from Home

It would be great if all Hands On Charlotte volunteers participate at a service project this summer. But we understand that there are many people who can’t.

So today’s blog post is all about helping Hands On Charlotte from the comfort of your own home.  Here are simple ways that you can help:

1. Refer a Friendimages-2

Word of mouth is the best form of advertising.  We always have lots of openings during the summer.

2. Like and follow

Follow us on Facebook and twitter. Take your appreciation a step further by liking, Commenting (better) or SHARING (best) status updates. Not only do your friends see your support, but Facebook’s logarithms give that update a boost to show up on more fans’ Newsfeeds!

3. Write a review  images-1             

If you had a good experience volunteering with HOC, tell the world! Use a site like Yelp or volunteermatch.org.  You could also post something on Facebook or tweet about us!

4. All Hands

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HOC’s largest revenue source comes from managing customized service projects for companies. Help spread the word about All Hands to involve more businesses.

5. Start a New Partnershipimages-3

We’re always looking for other non-profits to help, specifically regularly scheduled projects–from once a month up to once a week for at least 5 volunteers during weeknights (after 5:30 pm) or weekends. Here’s more details: Partnering with HOC.

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6. And finally, Donate

It doesn’t have to be a big contribution for it to help. Donate to HOC.

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Do you have any other ideas for how to help HOC from home? Tell us below in the comment section!

 

 

 

 

When Big Giving Comes In Small Packages

This truly inspiring story about an 8 year old boy proves just how easy it is to make what seems to be a small gesture into something grand!  Enjoy!!

8-Year-old Helps Pay Off Students’ School Lunch Debt

cafeteria-ladies-USDAA super-sensitive Michigan elementary school student felt really sad when a child in the lunch line in front of him who had to put his tray down because he didn’t have enough money in his account.

After that experience, Cayden Taipalus decided to help raise money for the kids who could use a few extra bucks for their lunch account. He is returning cans to earn the recycling cash, and asking friends to donate.

After just two weeks, he has paid for 295 lunches!

UPDATE: 2 Days Later- Cayden’s online page has raised $15,600 to purchase lunches for thousands of kids in Livingston County.

The school always provides an alternate cold lunch, but Cayden wants his classmates to have equal access to all the choices in the cafeteria.

His mom helped him set up an online fundraiser here: fundrazr.com/campaigns

(WATCH the inspiring video from WXYZ-TV)

Thankful Thursday—L&E Research

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In honor of Thankful Thursday, #ThankfulThursdays, we want to spotlight one of our volunteers and her organization in appreciation of all they do for the Charlotte community and Hands On Charlotte.

Suzanne Barry joined HOC in 2011 and since then has been a very active volunteer.  She has completed the Volunteer Leader training, worked at not just one project but many different types of projects from The Relatives to Crisis Assistance to Thursday Night Fun with the Florence Crittenton Services as well as special events.  Most recently, Suzanne has encouraged her staff at L&E Research to join Hands On Charlotte and volunteer.

L&E Research has become very active with HOC and was a key sponsor in this years HOC Day.  Their HOC Day team not only consisted of their local staff but also leadership from their corporate headquarters in Raleigh where they participated in beautifying a local CMS school.  As if that was not enough, just this past Saturday, the L&E Research Team came back out to participate in our BIG Project to finish the beautification process.IMG_5499

A huge thank you goes out to Suzanne and L&E Research!!  Their efforts and dedication to volunteerism is a prime example of how we can make a difference whether it’s individuals, families, or corporate groups with the goal of helping others.

How Your Talent Can Help Others

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We all have it, although we may not realize it, it’s our talent.  What is your “talent” you ask?  This is that skill you have, that niche you possess, that special something that you may use at work or at home.  It can be organizing, accounting, gardening, data entry, or anything else you enjoy and feel you are pretty darn good at.

Donating your time to helping others is invaluable but if you can take that time and add your talent, you would be doing something  just as invaluable, we like to call “skills based” volunteering.

There are many nonprofit organizations that are doing so many great things for others but unfortunately they may not have the budget or the person-power to take care of some of their essential needs.  This is where donating your talent or skills comes in.

Hands On Charlotte lists many skills based opportunities every month on our calendar, with a focus on using your time and talent to create change in the community.  We encourage you to take a look at the listing and donate your talent to those who need it most.  http://www.handsoncharlotte.org/HOC__Special_Event_Details_Page?id=a0MA000000BXM4bMAH

We hope you will be as inspired as we were in this example of giving your talent to others as it is portrayed beautifully in this article about a woman who donates her photography talents to children with cancer.  http://www.livehappy.com/practice/volunteering/picture-hope

This Volunteer is Doing Her Part

Every once in a while we run into a heart warming story that really offers the full scope of volunteering and how sometimes a small effort can mean the world to someone else.  canstock4931325

Please take a few minutes to read how a local woman makes such an impact to local teachers and students.  Enjoy!

http://www.heraldonline.com/2014/04/24/5900353/dedicated-volunteers-mean-the.html?sp=/100/104/109/

 

Thankful Thursday: National Volunteer Week / Hands On Charlotte Day!

On this Thankful Thursday, we’re grateful to everyone who joined us to Spring into Service during our National Volunteer Week / Hands On Charlotte Day festivities last week:

Presenting Sponsor: UTC Aerospace Systems

Additional Sponsors: US Airways, Blue Max MaterialsL&E Research, AirTight

In-kind & Media Sponsors: VBGBAdams Outdoor AdvertisingWCCB Charlotte, Carolina Rent A Car, Ink Floyd, 704 Events

Partner Agency Project Site Hosts: Assistance League of Charlotte, Bethlehem Center of Charlotte, Bright Blessings, Carolina Raptor Center, Carolina Thread Trail, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Berryhill School, Garinger High SchoolMallard Creek Elementary SchoolWinding Springs Elementary School), Charlotte Nature Museum, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Friendship Gardens, Hinds’ Feet Farm, McGill Rose Garden, Mecklenburg County Land Use & Environmental Services Agency (LUESA), Promising Pages, Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina, TreesCharlotte, Wing Haven Gardens

Raffle prize donors: US Airways, Blue Max Materials, The Light Factory, Hinds’ Feet Farm, Charlotte Knights, Sir Edmond Halley’s, LULU Dine | Wine, Whiskey Warehouse, Charlotte Roller Girls

Special Thanks to: Wells Fargo/Duke Energy Center Lights, The Peculiar Rabbit, Charlotte Community ToolBank, Enderly Coffee, Wilson’s World

…and last, but not least: Our experienced Volunteer Leaders (VLs) and 400+ dedicated volunteers who participated at 18 project sites on Saturday!

Remember that HOC Day was just a taste of what we do throughout the year. We have about 150 volunteer opportunities listed at www.handsoncharlotte.org each month, and we invite you to join us!

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday: Celebrating your service!

POL:HOCDay logo-FinalDuring this National Volunteer Week, we’ve been busy with final preparations for this Saturday’s Hands On Charlotte Day. We’re expecting more than 500 volunteers at 18 project sites across our region.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, demonstrating the enduring importance of recognizing our volunteers for their vital contributions. So this week, we will do more than just inspire, equip and mobilize 500 people on Saturday. We’re also thanking all of our volunteers for the good work they do throughout the year, and encouraging newcomers to use HOC Day as a springboard to making service to others a way of life.

We’re so grateful to the more than 6,400 individuals who volunteered with Hands On Charlotte in 2013, contributing nearly 31,000 hours to our community partner agencies. We’re proud to be associated with dedicated volunteers like Bill Muckerman, who was recognized with a Daily Point of Light award in February, and Peter Samaroo, who was recently honored as Volunteer of the Year for the Greater Charlotte Region Chapter of Wells Fargo Volunteers.

Thanks to all of you who strengthen our community by serving with Hands On Charlotte. This week and throughout the year, we Celebrate Service, and celebrate you!

We would like to take this time to recognize our 2013 Top 60 Volunteers, donating nearly 9000 hours of community service.  THANK YOU!

Top 60 Volunteers for 2013

Full Name

Total Hours Served

Willa Cline

114

Valerie Mittl

83.25

Tysza Gandha

105.75

tarin perrell

130.5

Tanisha Santos

58.5

Sharon Ivory

928

shalley bernal

131.5

Sara Saunders

69.75

Sara Collins

58.5

Sara Cecil

66

Sandi Bush

89.5

Ryan Sullivan

66

Roy Shuler

251.5

Roxana Becker

63.7

Rachel Harris

80.5

Priya Ravi

105.5

phoebe fleming

143

Peter Samaroo

122

Matthew Martell

73

mary jane ellington

137.25

Marilyn Modak

80

Maddison Chappell

100.5

Lynne Boswell

69.25

Lee Hurley

96.5

Laura Gallagher

88

Kristin Saylor

61

Kerry McCray

75

Keith Pedersen

222

Katie Williams

259

Kara Berman

59

Jessimine Leak

61

jason maddox

74.15

Jason Casciani

71.5

Janet Lucas

193.25

Jack Hill

63.5

Heather Burdette

96.5

Gregory Kelly

100

Geoffrey Scantlebury

206.5

Francine Farrar

571

Emilie Johnston

107

Eimear Goggin

95.5

Diamond Killian

167

Derek Vela

72.5

Debby Groenhout

68

Darlene Shattuck

175

Crystal Goodson-Hudson

59.25

breanna keeley

190.5

Bill Muckerman

101

Ben Reed

335.25

Ben Brummel

74

Barbara Goebel

75

Ashley Keane

191.5

April Bethea

58.98

Anna Sitterly

98.5

Angela Romeo

104

Angela Harper

687.5

Andrew Hopson

322

Andrew Eastwood

125

Adrienne Weinstein

133.5

Adaku Rosemary Adeboye

72

Grand Total

8738.33