Farewell 2011 HandsOn Looks Forward to 2012

Posted on December 19, 2011. Filed under: Volunteering is Hot! | Tags: |

As 2011 comes to a close, the staff of HandsOn reflects on the year. We consider the hours of hard work the community has accomplished for its neighbors; the wonderful effort put into the environment; and the enduring friendships that have grown out of service.

During the past year, volunteers in the Salem area have mentored children, and worked with adults transitioning from the prison system. Our parks were made safer with the addition of trails. Community gardens have been planted, cared for and shared; healthy cooking classes have been taught to help people learn how to stretch their food budget. Events like Community Homeless Connect provided support and resources for those who are experiencing homelessness. And our veterans find answers and hope at the Veterans’ Stand Down.

Collectively, volunteers in our community provided almost $10 million in human capital.

The Corporation for National and Community Services is the federal agency that oversees civic engagement in our country. Each year they release the “Volunteerism in America” report. During 2011, this report revealed that Salem jumped eight spots and is now fifteenth in the nation for volunteerism for mid-sized cities. At a time when volunteerism trends have declined around the nation, we can celebrate and feel proud of this accomplishment.

We are so very grateful to all those who joined us as volunteers this past year. Though your contribution may have seemed small at the time, it never went unnoticed. Volunteers have provided incredible service and resources for the community.

HandsOn of the Mid-Willamette Valley is looking forward to 2012 with anticipation and excitement, knowing that as a community we can continue to achieve greatness through our volunteer efforts. We hope you will continue to join us for new and stimulating volunteer options. If you didn’t volunteer during 2011, we encourage you to consider sharing your time and talent during the coming year. Together, let’s aspire to be one of the top ten volunteer cities in the U.S.

We wish each and every one of you a joyous New Year. We hope to see you in the classroom, the garden, the office—anywhere you choose as the best place to share your time and give back to the community. Go to HandsOnMWV.org for volunteer options across the region.

Melissa Gibler is the program director for HandsOn Mid-Willamette Valley—an initiative of the United Way. She can be reached at (877) 372-4141, or melissa@handsonmwv.org


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