HandsOn Broward Honored with NobleCause Grant to Foster Volunteerism

noblecause_stackHandsOn Broward, Broward County’s premier volunteer mobilization hub, has been awarded a $6,500 grant through NobleCause, a national grant competition mobilizing volunteers to address the greatest challenges facing their local communities.

These funds will support HandsOn Broward’s three-day 2017 MLK Weekend of Service Celebration that embraces Dr. King’s vision of a community coming together, collectively and collaboratively, to assist those who require a helping hand, regardless of age, gender, creed, or race. The weekend will be accomplished through three signature events:

  • The Human Race, a family-friendly 5k Run/Walk that supports programs honoring Dr. King’s vision of civic service,
  • A Sunday Supper to encourage community members and civic leaders to share a meal, discuss issues that affect our community
  • An MLK Signature Day of Service with service activities appropriate for all ages to benefit either a local charitable organization or low-to-moderate income neighborhood.

“HandsOn Broward believes that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s message of equality and social uplift is too powerful to be limited to a single day of service,” said Dale Mandell, HandsOn Broward’s CEO. “Thanks to the support of NobleCause, we’re able to bring the community together for a weekend of service to honor Dr. King’s legacy. We’re grateful to NobleCause for sharing our vision.”

NobleCause is made possible by a donor within the GiveWell Community Foundation and organized by NobleHour.com, a volunteer management tool that promotes a culture of civic engagement and charts meaningful acts of goodness. For more than a decade, NobleHour has been connecting and equipping thousands of schools, non-profit agencies, and organizations to shape well-rounded students and service leaders, build better communities, and measure their collective impact.

In total, the NobleCause competition awarded $1,000,000 in grants, recognizing 100 organizations at the $6,500 level and seven organizations at the $50,000 level. All grant recipients demonstrated a remarkable ability to raise community awareness, foster partnerships, and cultivate leaders who take action.

“We set out to encourage communities throughout the country to tell us their big, sustainable ideas to inspire quality volunteerism,” said Wesley Barnett, managing partner for TreeTop Commons and NobleHour. “By organizing volunteers to address local concerns, NobleCause award recipients are defining social responsibility right in their own communities.”

For more information regarding 2017 MLK Weekend of Service Celebration, visit www.HandsOnBroward.org .

About HandsOn Broward: HandsOn Broward inspires, equips and mobilizes people to take action to effect positive change in Broward County. To learn more about HandsOn Broward’s upcoming service opportunities or to schedule a volunteer orientation at your organization or place of business, please call 954.233.1300 or visit us online at www.HandsOnBroward.org .

About NobleHour: Since 2007, NobleHour has proven to be the volunteer management solution for organizations across the nation. With its robust online platform, Noblehour enhances community engagement with a variety of innovative and transformative tools for finding, tracking, and measuring volunteer, service‐learning, and community service initiatives.

With offices in Lakeland, FL, and Portland, OR, The NobleHour team is a dedicated group of pioneers, scientists, and artists with unbelievable talents and an astonishing willingness to think outside the norm to empower people to “do good” in their communities.

Visit NobleHour.com to learn more!

 

Fort Lauderdale Nonprofit Hosts Birthday Party for Young Changemaker

Local youth celebrates his 9th birthday with a service project for children in need

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Jose Guzman creates art for a care package

Jose Guzman, a small boy with a gigantic heart, dreamed about celebrating his 9th birthday by making a difference for children in his community. On November 5th, Jose’s birthday wish came true with the help of local nonprofit, HandsOn Broward. Together they planned his birthday celebration to benefit 4Kids of South Florida, a nonprofit organization that helps find homes for children in crisis.

On the day of the party, twenty of Jose’s closest friends gathered at HandsOn Broward’s offices to assemble and decorate 50 care packages filled with socks, toiletries, toys, and other items that would brighten a child’s life. Prior to the big day, Jose had successfully solicited donations to fill the boxes from his friends, family, and the community.

When asked what prompted him to celebrate his birthday this way, Jose responded, “I decided not to have a birthday party because I love helping other people. Not just myself, but other people in my community.”

He continued, “I’m thankful for HandsOn Broward because they make me feel awesome.”

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Jose’s friends helped celebrate his birthday by making a difference

Jose’s mother, Jacqueline Guzman, elaborated, “I was caught by surprise to hear him tell me he wanted to help the homeless [for his birthday]. I sent emails to a few organizations to see how Jose could get involved in the community and HandsOn Broward replied with open arms.”

“We were thrilled when we received Jacqueline’s email and knew immediately that we wanted to be involved,” said Dale Mandell, HandsOn Broward’s CEO. “Jose truly represents the best of our future. His energy and dedication to helping others sets the bar high and serves as a positive model for other children. HandsOn Broward is proud to have helped plan and share this day with him.”

Perhaps the most rewarding part of the celebration came a few days later, when Jose and his mother arrived at 4Kids of South Florida to deliver the filled boxes. 4Kids received the boxes enthusiastically and immediately added Jose’s name to their Advocate Wall—a fitting testament to one boy’s desire to make a difference.

Are You Hurricane Ready?

matthewHaiti is currently being impacted by Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm. Floridians should expect to see the effects of Hurricane Matthew by Thursday, October 6th. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), a Hurricane Watch has been issued from the City of Deerfield Beach north to the Brevard/Volusia County line. South of Deerfield Beach to the Florida Keys is under a Tropical Storm Watch. A Hurricane Watch is typically issued when a storm is predicted to approach within 48 hours. A more severe Hurricane Warning will be issued when a storm is considered probable, and is coming within 36 hours.

In advance of a pending storm, HandsOn Broward wants to make sure you are prepared.  Please review our Preparedness Guide and Kit Checklist below!

HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS GUIDE

  •  Plan in Advance If you live in an evacuation zone and an evacuation is ordered, you are required by law to evacuate. Public shelters are a refuge of last resort. Remember, shelters are not designed for comfort, and only one shelter accepts pets, although service animals for the disabled are accepted at all shelters.
  • Identify a Safe Room – If you plan to stay at home, identify the safest room in your home. This is generally an interior room with no windows, such as a bathroom or closet. Make plans to take shelter in this room in the event of a direct hit.
  • Request Assistance if Needed – If you require special assistance in evacuating, or need to stay at a Special Needs shelter, call Broward County Human Services Department at 954-357-6385 (TTY 954-357-5608). If a member of your family is elderly, frail or disabled and may become vulnerable in the aftermath of a storm, register them with Broward County’s Vulnerable Population Registry. Visit Broward.org/Hurricane and select RESIDENTS AT RISK, or call 311 or 954-831-4000.
  • Stock Your Hurricane Kit – View back for list of supplies including food and water that will sustain your family for three to five days, and a two-week supply of medicines.
  • If Evacuating Out of the Area, Leave Early Plan to leave as early as 48 hours in advance, and no later than the issuance of a Hurricane Watch. Keep in mind that a hurricane’s path is uncertain and you could inadvertently evacuate to an area where the storm may eventually strike. Take along your hurricane kit.
  • Document Assets Make a visual or written record of your assets for insurance purposes. Also, photograph the exterior of your home including landscaping or structures that may not be insurable but impact the value of your property. Take these records with you if you evacuate.
  • Protect Important Papers Photocopy important papers such as insurance policies and store them with a friend or in a safe deposit box outside of the hurricane area. Or, protect important family and financial documents inside a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag. If you evacuate, take these documents with you.
  • Secure Your Home – Shutter windows and glass doors, and anchor loose yard objects or bring them inside.
  • Prepare a Water Supply Know who your water service provider is so you will know if a “boil water” order applies to your home. Check your water bill if you are unsure. As the storm approaches, fill pre-sanitized sinks and tubs with clean water for bathing and flushing toilets.
  • Set Appliances Turn refrigerators and freezers to highest settings in anticipation of a power outage.
  • Get Cash Banks and ATMs do not operate without electricity.
  • Get Gas Gas pumps do not work without electricity.
  • Charge Phones Charge your cell phone and wireless phone batteries.
  • Check on Neighbors Check on your neighbors — especially the elderly and those with special needs.
  • Notify Others of Your Plans Have an out-of-state friend as a family contact, so all family members have a single point of contact. Notify this contact and other family members and friends of your plans.
  • Plan For Your Pet Specialized pet shelters, pet-friendly hotels, veterinary clinics and friends and relatives out of harm’s way are ALL potential refuges for your pet during a disaster. For a list of pet-friendly hotels and boarding kennels, visit org/Animal. If you plan to go with your pet to a pet-friendly shelter, space is limited to those living in mobile homes and evacuation areas, and advance, in-person, preregistration is required. Call the Broward County Humane Society at 954-989-3977.

 

HURRICANE KIT CHECKLIST

  •  Drinking Water: At least one gallon per person per day for three to five days, preferably two weeks. Extra water is needed for food preparation and personal hygiene. To store drinking water, use food-grade containers. You can use clean, airtight containers such as two-liter soda jugs, but no milk containers. If you re-use disposable plastic bottles, do not keep them for more than a month.
  • Food: At least enough for three to five days, including non-perishable packaged or canned food, canned or shelf milk, cereal, etc.; and snack foods
  • A three- to five-day supply of special items for babies such as formula, food, wipes, diapers; special foods for the elderly; toiletries and extra toilet paper
  • Manual can opener/bottle opener
  • Paper goods such as plates, bowls, napkins, towels, and plastic eating utensils
  • Unscented household bleach and medicine dropper
  • Extra bedding such as blankets, pillows, sleeping bag, etc. in case you must evacuate
  • Clothing, including rain gear and sturdy shoes
  • First aid kit
  • Medicines/prescription drugs: A two-week supply
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated or hand-crank radio
  • Disposable batteries, car charger or solar charger for your cell phone
  • Hardline telephone with jack (not cordless)
  • Books and games or toys
  • Pet food, cat litter and other pet care items
  • Tool kit including cord, rope, hammer, wood nails, saw, hatchet or axe, crowbar, chain saw blades, tarp, duct tape, and heavy work gloves
  • Plastic trash bags and ties
  • Extra resealable plastic storage bags, heavy-duty aluminum foil and disposable aluminum pans
  • Extra charcoal or propane gas for outdoor cooking. Sterno can also be used. Never cook with any of these items inside your house. The smoke and fumes are deadly.
  • Fire extinguisher (ABC type)
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Mosquito repellent with DEET, and sunscreen
  • Any special equipment or items you may need

AFTER THE STORM The county contacts HandsOn Broward for all the communities’ volunteer needs, through our Volunteer Reception Center.

Have Questions? Contact HandsOn Broward at 954-233-1300

August Volunteer Spotlight

Makelly

 

Meet Makelly Scott, one of HandsOn Broward’s passionate and driven volunteers. Makelly began volunteering through HandsOn Broward almost 10 years ago, since then, her dedication and passion to serving the community has grown tremendously. There are several reasons Makelly began volunteering, but she says, most importantly, “The need for assistance in many area of our society is great. The non-profit organizations, whose mission is to attend to some of the societal issues that are inadequately addressed by for profits businesses and government, are often not sufficiently staffed to meet the challenges.  Whether it’s helping in an animal or homeless shelter, soup kitchens to cleaning beaches and parks for a cleaner environment, the more people who are willing to contribute their time to a cause, brings those agencies closer to accomplishing their mission, resolving issues and making a real difference.”

Makelly has really been devoted to her word, and began volunteering at The Jubilee Center of South Broward County in September of 2015. The Jubilee Center helps distribute emergency groceries, hygiene products, and clothing and offers referral services to other agencies for the homeless and needy. While volunteering at Jubilee, Makelly, formed a bond with now Executive Director of Jubilee, LeAnna Vazquez. At the time, LeAnna, also a volunteer, stated, “I was immediately impressed by her work ethic and even more so by her passion for all that we do at Jubilee.” Makelly became a known face at The Jubilee Center and once LeAnna became Executive Director, a part-time office assistant position opened up and she knew Makelly would be the perfect fit for the Jubilee Family.  Even after becoming staff with Jubilee, Makelly still spends her spare hours and days serving meals and volunteering at Jubilee through HandsOn Broward. “It is a testament to her dedication to helping those in need,” said LeAnna.

When asked whether she had any advice to new volunteers, Makelly stated, “Knowing that I’m blessed and can be a blessing to others is what motivated me to start volunteering. Volunteers should address a cause that’s dear to them, with an open heart and no judgment.” You’ve definitely exemplified that advice.  Thank you, Makelly, for all that you do to make a difference in our community.

HandsOn Broward Partners with Comcast for Company’s Annual Day of Service

1 (15)HandsOn Broward is excited to announce that we are teaming up with Comcast for the 15th annual Comcast Cares Day, the company’s signature day of service and the largest single-day corporate volunteer effort.

On Saturday, April 30, we’ll be joined by Comcast employees and their family and friends at the Ann Storck Center and work together to give the center and its grounds a facelift. Volunteers will paint murals, do landscaping, plant a sensory garden, build wooden benches, read and play music for some of the center’s disabled residents and more. There will also be special age appropriate tasks set aside for volunteers who are 10 years old and younger. The Ann Storck Center is dedicated to enriching the lives of children and adults with developmental disabilities.

We hope you, your family and friends will join us as well to “make change happen” in our community To sign up, go to ComcastintheCommunity.com, search for projects in Fort Lauderdale and select the “Broward – Ann Storck Center” project.

Onsite registration will be available, but we encourage you to sign up beforehand to ensure you get a t-shirt. Project materials, breakfast, lunch and refreshments will also be provided for all volunteers.

 

February Project Leader Spotlight

Jonathan Howard

Our February Project Leader Spotlight belongs to long-time HandsOn Broward volunteer and project leader, Jonathan Howard. Jonathan has been volunteering through HandsOn Broward for many years now. When asked how he first got involved, Jonathan said, “My middle school encouraged community service, so my mom started researching places both my younger sister and I could volunteer. While researching on the web, she found local places to volunteer but they didn’t make it easy. You had to call each one individually and see what times & days were available to serve. This made it time consuming. Many of the service hours they offered were during school hours and many places rejected us because of our ages (10 & 13 at the time). As she continued to search, she first found HandsOn Miami and eventually found HandsOn Broward. Their calendar view with age requirements, descriptions and variety of service types made it easy and possible to start serving the community at an early age.”

Since getting involved with HandsOn Broward, Jonathan has volunteered in numerous projects, such as National Days of Service like HandsOn Broward’s MLK Signature Day of Service, Family Volunteer Day and Children’s Services Council Back to School Extravaganza. “My volunteering started selfishly with my school offering three levels of awards each semester for doing service hours. I wanted the highest award level and so I began. I’ve since moved on to high school, ended up falling in love with volunteering and I am still going strong.” Jonathan is the perfect example of how passion can be driven through community service.

Jonathan didn’t stop at just volunteering; he began to lead as well and became one of HandsOn Broward’s amazing Project Leaders. In 2012, Jonathan became the youngest project leader at the age of 14 and began to lead the monthly project, Movies, Muffins & Beyond at Ronald McDonald House of Ft. Lauderdale. Jonathan presently leads a monthly electronic recycling program at ARC Broward.

“Volunteering has taught me how to work with different types of people, made me value what I have, made me compassionate to others’ struggles, and I’ve learned how to be a leader. I’m filled with pride when I drive by a past project and see the positive impact I’ve left behind. Through volunteering, I found my passion and will be heading off to college next school year to major in Marine Biology,” said Jonathan.

In 2013, Jonathan and his family were honored by the Points of Light Institute with the Daily Point of Light Award. He comes from a family that is passionate in helping the community and shows it through their commitment, drive and leadership.

One of Jonathan’s favorites quotes by President Barack Obama, states, “The best way to not feel hopeless is to get up and do something. Don’t wait for good things to happen to you. If you go out and make some good things happen, you will fill the world with hope, you will fill yourself with hope.” Jonathan truly exemplifies that ideal. Thank you, Jonathan, for all the work you do to make a difference in our community.

 

HandsOn Broward Talks Service on Beasely Broadcasting’s Forum for Nonprofits Radio Show

HOB-at-BeaselyOn Tuesday, December 29th, Spirit of Giving’s Cara Zimmerman sat down with ‪HandsOn Broward’s Director of Marketing & Development, Kristina DaSilva and the Howard Family – one of HOB’s busiest volunteering families – to talk about service and the impact it has on local communities.

Tune in to Beasely Broadcasting’s Forum for Nonprofits radio show on January 10th. The segment will air on WSBR 740 AM at 6:20 a.m. and WWNN 1470 AM at 7:30 a.m.

Can’t tune in on January 10th?  CLICK HERE to download the interview and listen at your convenience!