Archive for April, 2012

New Service to Go Project Available!

Posted on April 30, 2012. Filed under: Volunteering is Hot! |

The Service To Go Initiative provides community service opportunities for families and individuals that fit their busy schedules. Simply sign up for a project and a project description, materials list, instructions, and a reflection sheet will be sent to you.  You can then complete the project anywhere, anytime with anyone!  Once you’re finished, mail the project with the completed reflection sheet back to HandsOn.

We are happy to announce we have a new project available.

Book Nook Posters benefit Reading for All. Reading for All collects books and donates them to kids who need them. One of the ways they do this is to set-up a Book Nook in businesses or doctor’s offices. Kids can enjoy a book while waiting, and take a book home to keep. This project will allow you to make simple posters to go alongside the Book Nook shelf, raising awareness about literacy and welcoming kids to enjoy a book.

For more information about the importance of reading, and other ways to help increase literacy in our community go to the HandsOn partner Reading for All at

Click here to sign up for this and other great Service to Go projects!

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What Happened at Party Like a Volunteer?

Posted on April 23, 2012. Filed under: Volunteering is Hot! |

Some have asked us what they missed at Party Like a Volunteer last week.  Well let’s recap the evening.

If you missed Party Like a Volunteer, you missed out on:

  • An evening with 154 awesome volunteers just like you!
  • The musical entertainment of Kyle Sexton, Joy Quarles and Jacob Miller
  • Fun projects with 5 local organizations
  • Yummy refreshments from Crossiant & Co., Venti’s and Ike Box
  • Awesome prizes including passes to State Parks and the Coast!
  • An all around good time!

Check out some photos from the evening.  Watch for an invitation for Party like a Volunteer 2013 in March 2013.  See you next year!

Thank you again to this year’s sponsor, Umpqua Bank.


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Volunteering: An Opportunity to Not Only Build Communities but Resumes!

Posted on April 16, 2012. Filed under: Volunteering is Hot! |

It’s National Volunteer Week!  Check out this blog post from HandsOn AmeriCorps Member, Molly Schreiner.

From the HandsOn Corps Blog

Although my position falls into the HandsOn Network, most of my work revolves around increasing basic needs access and employment opportunities for the youth served by HOME Youth and Resource Center. HOME is a drop-in day shelter which meets the basic needs of and provides services to homeless and at risk youth ages 11-17, 18 if still in school. The opportunities for VISTA work are pretty abundant here: using the neighboring model I am working to increase and improve volunteering at HOME by community members and working to increase volunteerism by the youth who access HOME’s resources.

In addition to the obstacles most youth face in entering the work force, the youth at HOME often come from unstable (both emotionally and/or financially) family situations and environments. In order to increase HOME youth employment, which can often be seen as a stepping stone out of the cycle of poverty, I am working to create a volunteer work experience internship program which allows youth to volunteer in specific areas which will give them skills sought by employers. As a group, youth face one of the highest rates of unemployment in the country and teens with no employment background are at higher risk for unemployment or low wage jobs in the future. By volunteering in specific areas which enable job skill development teens can increase their chances for future employment.

Working in partnership with the public senior day center, HOME youth are volunteering in janitorial services, as baristas in the café and helping with special events. The internships stress the importance of punctuality, commitment, and communication with supervisors and, in this way, build important job practices in addition to the practical skills gained in the area of focus.

A couple of months ago, I accompanied four female youth to their first professional interview with the manager of the senior center. For these four girls, the interview was exciting and a little bit scary! As we rode public transit to the center, there were lots of last minute questions and nervous chatter followed by periods of silence. After Emily,* the first to be interviewed, finished and came back to the lobby I saw firsthand the wealth of knowledge and experience she had gained just from the one interview. She immediately reflected on what went well, how she shook hands with the manager twice and how she would go about the interview in the future. She was excited and proud; it was a truly great moment to see. The same proved true for the rest of the youth. Everyone was proud to have made it through and full of ideas for future improvements. Since the initial interview, three more youth have expressed interest in the work experience internships and have also had the first professional interview experience.

Volunteering has been marketed as a resume builder for some time now but it is also important to remember just how many positive assets volunteering can offer, especially to youth who are short on experience and in this case face a myriad of challenges in their lives. Something as simple as helping at a senior center becomes much more than just “giving back” to the community; it becomes the first step along a path of success.

Molly Schreiner

HandsOn Corps VISTA – HandsOn Mid Willamette Valley, HOME Youth & Resource Center

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Register Now for the MVVMA Conference!

Posted on April 9, 2012. Filed under: Good Ideas Stick, Tips for HandsOn Partners |

Hey Partners!

Are you going to the 2012 Mid-Valley Volunteer Managers Association Conference?  This biennial conference brings together volunteer managers from across the Pacific Northwest and is a great way to recharge your battery in the field.

Their theme is “Putting the Fun Back in Fundamentals and Refresh Your Foundation.”   The conference format includes training sessions ranging from the nuts and bolts of volunteer management to building community partnerships and from working through sticky situations to being empowered and maintaining happiness as a leader.  Speakers include local, national and global perspectives from representatives from across the industry.  Attend sessions with Kaira Esgate, Executive Director of Reimagining Service, Martin Cowling, CEO of People First-Total Solutions, and Kathleen Joy, Executive Director of Oregon Volunteers.

Go to for more information and to register.

2012MVVMA Vol Mgt Conference SneakPeek (2)

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The Recent Texas and Tennessee Tornadoes

Posted on April 6, 2012. Filed under: Volunteering is Hot! |

As our friends in Texas and Tennessee  are bravely dealing with the recent tornadoes that recently tore through their community, we would like to take this opportunity to educate you on how to be the most helpful during these emergencies. First of all, it’s very important that you don’t take it upon yourself to travel to the area in need with the idea that you’ll be able to get there and save the world. You could very well end up being another mouth to feed and head to find a pillow for. Instead, you should use that energy to get trained by the Red Cross, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) or other disaster response organizations. To access these training options you can contact Erik Anderson at or by phone at 503-588-5108.

If a formal training doesn’t sound like your thing but you still want to help out, you need to register as a volunteer at When an emergency happens we’ll be posting all of the volunteer needs in the community on the website so you’ll be able to find one that suits you, sign up and be a real help to your community when you’re needed most. If you have any questions you can contact Austin at

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International Children’s Books Day

Posted on April 2, 2012. Filed under: Volunteering is Hot! |

From the HandsOn Network Blog

Happy International Children’s Book Day!What is so special about this day? Since 1967, this has been a day of celebrating children’s literature and inspiring a love of reading to all kids worldwide. From Dr. Seuss to the Bernstein Bears, we have all been touched by the magic of children’s literature. While there are many ways that you can celebrate, sharing your love of reading is a great way to get your kids involved!

Studies show that the more kids read, the more likely they will foster a love of reading. Volunteering to share the love of reading with a child will help positively promote this statistic. The list below will help you better your experience when helping kids learn to read and foster of love for books!

  1. Choose a book that matches the child’s hobbies or interests
  2. Leave books or other reading materials in places that will be easily seen or found by your kids
  3. Pay attention to what catches your child’s attention. Whether your child is interested in picture books or action novels, make sure you continuously offer things he or she will find entertaining.
  4. Read in your spare time, so that your child will model your behavior.
  5. Share the gift of the library with your kids. Allow them to explore the different resources so that they discover a new love within the materials!
  6. Identify reading a useful resource rather than a chore. Your child is more likely to continue to read, if they see it as a resource of learning.
  7. Encourage your older children to read to their younger siblings or younger neighborhood children.
  8. Play reading related games or watch television shows that encourage reading or share literature lessons.
  9. Set aside a reading time everyday in your household, when you and your kids can read a book for a set amount of time (or longer).
  10. Read aloud to your child or children that you volunteer with.
  11. Encourage your child to read their favorite book aloud or something they find interesting to their family.
  12. Donate books to your local school, shelter, or give books to your own kids or neighbors.
  13. Give your kids a bookmark; so that they know to read at their own pace, they do not need to finish a book in one sitting.
  14. Hang out with your family and read a comedy book. Show your kids that reading does not need to be a serious activity all the time.
  15. Reinforce positive reading experiences by following a good experience with an adventure. If your child enjoyed reading about American history, take them to your local history museum.
  16. Offer incentives to get your child reading more!
  17. Organize a book drive at your child’s school.
  18. Volunteer to be a parent reader in your child’s classroom.
  19. Limit the amount of time your child watches television, so that they can read more books.
  20. Encourage your child to read everyday things such a menus or traffic signs.

Today is a great day to foster a love of reading in your child, neighbors, students, etc. It is important to encourage children to read at every stage and every age. Follow these steps to get started!

For more information:

Volunteer to encourage reading!  Check out volunteer opportunities focused on literacy at

Learning to Give, the philanthropy education and service-learning program of generationOn, has numerous lessons and units to help teach literacy while combining the learning with service.  Each lesson is aligned to the academic standards of all fifty states as well as the Common Core Standards.  Start your search here:

How are you fostering a love of reading today?

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