Archive for March, 2013

The 2nd Annual HandsOn Superhero Dash

Posted on March 16, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

HandsOn Superhero Dash

A Race for Volunteers, Superheroes, and Normal People Alike

Join us for HandsOn’s 2nd annual fundraiser.  This year we have teamed up with Girls on the Run Willamette Valley and it will be even super-er than last year!  Zoom in for the runners only 10K, fly or walk the 5K and little heroes can flex their muscles in the 1K. 

When: Saturday, June 1, 2013
Where: Riverfront Park, Salem, OR
What Time: 10K at 8:45 (runners only), 5K at 9:00(run/walk), 1K at 9:45 (kids 10 and younger)
How Much: 10K: $25, 5K: $20, 1K $10 prepay until 5/29
Day of Registration: add $5
Also purchase an awesome t shirt when you prepay by 5/1 for only $10 (online registration only)
Click here to register

Would you rather volunteer at the event?  We need your help!  Act Now!
Volunteer to run as a 5k buddy for a Girl on the Run! Act Now!

Kids, Strollers, Dogs and Superhero costumes are welcome and highly encouraged.  You may even win a prize! 

Interested in the 10K or 5K course description?  Click here

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What Does the Future Hold for Volunteering?

Posted on March 14, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Originally posted on the HandsOn Network Blog

What does the future hold for volunteering?

Longer working lives, economic uncertainty, combined with an easier way to find out about volunteering opportunities means that the face of volunteering could change in the future.

Since the economic downturn hit both the US and the UK economies in 2007/8, the rate of volunteering has declined on both sides of the Atlantic.

Statistics show that the rate of volunteering declined by 0.3 per cent to 26% for the year ending September 2012 in the US. Official stats from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics show that about 64.5 million people volunteered at least once between September 2011 and September 2012. Despite the decline, it is still 1 in 4 of the population that volunteers.

Women continue to be more active volunteers than men. This is the case regardless of age, education or other demographic characteristics.


In terms of age it is those aged between 35 and 44 that are more likely to volunteer; here it accounts to nearly 1 in 3 *33.6%). The younger 20- 24 year old generation are the least likely to volunteer (18.9%). Those aged 16- 19 had a volunteer rate of 27.4%.

Interestingly when it comes to education, those volunteers aged 25 and over are likely to be college graduates. In fact, 42.2% of them are likely to be graduates compared to just 8.8% that have a high school diploma.

How does the US volunteer sector compare to the UK?

The results do throw up some interesting comparisons with the UK.

In the UK too, volunteering rates have declined slightly in recent years too. But that figure is still close to 25% of the population volunteering. Volunteering adds close to £21.5billion to the UK economy.

Interestingly too, while the numbers may be falling slightly in terms of overall volunteer levels in both the US and the UK, the level of interest in volunteering is actually growing. Of course, there are plenty of ways to volunteer in 2013 and the internet means there is no excuse for reviewing your options thoroughly.

Economic Uncertainty and Volunteering

There is more unemployment, particularly among younger generations. People are interested in using their time more carefully and productively. Young people who cannot find a job are keen to gain new skills; they see volunteering as a good way to do this. While older workers, perhaps with free time on their hands for the first time since leaving full time education, take up volunteering when they are in between jobs. They are keen to give something back.

Could this be the future for volunteering?

Many people struggle with long term volunteering commitments these days, with work and family pressure often seeming to take up all of our time. Of course, for those who find the time, the benefits of this type of volunteering are enormous.

But demand for short term volunteering options could see an increased rise in one-off activities or for short term ‘micro-volunteering’ reasons.

As people live longer on both sides of the Atlantic and more and more of us are likely to take career breaks and ‘time outs’ over the course of our lives, there is a real opportunity here for volunteering to grow into something that is part and parcel of society; part of the ‘rituals’ and milestones of our lives.

Today, when a busy executive takes a year out to volunteer we view it as very worthy, but a bit out of the ordinary. Admit it; we do a bit, don’t we?

It’s how many students who took a gap year to go travelling were viewed in the 1950s and 1960s, but now it’s considered normal. Imagine if volunteering became that normal?

Volunteering as Part of Our Lives

Something that all of us did at regular intervals throughout our lives – committing ourselves to volunteer for a matter of months or even years. With all of us having to work longer into old age we need to realise that we are going to be at work for the long haul – so why not pull over and give something back, while enriching your own and other people’s lives in the process.

It’s something I’m considering doing next year perhaps. In the US I would certainly think about joining the Hands on Network as I like the ethos of the organisation (plus the informative blog!); it is similar to volunteering with the Army Cadets in the UK in that they look to inspire people to develop within themselves and instills the qualities needed to be a good citizen. I have read quite a lot of inspiring stories about the ACF, largely the significant increase in developing a selfless and productive way of life. If that’s not worth a bit of my time, I’m not sure what is! I’ll review my options this year, so please let me know what you think?

Dale Lovell is a journalist and blogger from the UK, who has spent considerable time in the US in the past. A former editor he now specialises in writing about future trends, publishing and volunteerism.

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