Volunteer Broward Changes Name to HandsOn Broward

New Brand and National Affiliation Underscore Commitment to Providing Greater Opportunities for Volunteerism

Lauderhill, Florida (October 25, 2011)– At the agency’s annual volunteer awards gala last Thursday, Volunteer Broward executives and members of the board of directors announced that the organization has changed its name to HandsOn Broward to leverage the national affiliation with the HandsOn Network and expand volunteerism in our community.

The launch of the HandsOn Broward brand culminates an organizational transformation that has been taking shape over several years. In 2002, Volunteer Broward became a HandsOn Network affiliate, which initiated an alignment with action centers in more than 250 communities across the country and 11 international locations. As the network grew to serve more than 83 percent of the American population, it also began to tap into a national culture of volunteerism.

“Times have changed, volunteers have changed and the needs of the community have changed,” said Dale Hirsch, president and CEO of HandsOn Broward. “And Volunteer Broward has also changed. We have evolved. The new brand better reflects who we are, with a proactive, action-oriented and refreshed approach that embodies our continuing history of innovative ideas and services.”

Since 1974, Volunteer Broward has served as a clearinghouse for volunteers – a place where individuals could find civic engagement opportunities and where nonprofit organizations could locate volunteers for their programs. The organization also provided capacity building training and services to organizations and individuals who wanted to make a difference through volunteering.

Since 2004, Volunteer Broward has placed 55,419 volunteers in nonprofit organizations, with the value of their contribution to Broward County communities estimated at eleven million dollars.  Last year alone, hundreds of thousands of Broward residents were helped or volunteered their time through Volunteer Broward.

HandsOn Broward will continue to support residents in need by connecting them with social services and enabling them to create change in their lives; however, the organization also will expand its focus on volunteer efforts to include more group projects, managed by volunteer project leaders who have been trained by staff.

“This new brand identity allows the organization to leverage a national identity, tap into a vast network of volunteer resources and better deliver on the promise to put people at the center of change,” said Matt Anthony, chairman of the HandsOn Broward Board of Directors. “Although the name changed, the power to serve and enrich the Broward County community remains the same.”

Thursday’s announcement came during the agency’s annual Heart of the Community volunteer recognition event.  Heart of the Community recognizes community partners and nonprofit organizations while publicly honoring the individuals who have contributed their time, talents, and energy to Broward organizations.



Do you know what natural disasters you are vulnerable to in your community? Do you have an emergency plan if disaster strikes?

These can be daunting questions, but they don’t have to be. Aside from having disaster insurance protection, we often forget the importance of developing a plan and having the necessary supplies to be ready for emergency situations. Being prepared can grant us a certain peace of mind when all precautionary steps have been taken.

Good & Ready, a program of the Get HandsOn campaign, will help you get prepared.
Good & Ready focuses on emergency preparedness efforts and encourages Americans to create family emergency plans, build emergency preparedness kits and get trained with an emergency response organization.

Visit www.gethandson.com to see all the amazing resources available to you and take an interactive quiz to rest your family’s readiness for emergencies and disasters. Not only will you be able to assess your emergency readiness, you will also be entered in the weekly drawing to receive a ReadyBox emergency preparedness case. The prizes don’t end there. By pledging your plans to create an emergency plan, build a kit, help others and/or get trained, you will be entered for the chance to win a $250 Lowe’s gift card in a weekly drawing. Participants will also be entered for the chance to win a $1,000 American Express gift card in the grand prize drawing. Winners are encouraged to donate their gift card to their charity of choice.

Countless lives have been saved because people like YOU have received training from emergency response organizations and created emergency kits. If you haven’t taken the appropriate steps to get prepared, what are you waiting for? Visit your local HandsOn action center or visit one of Good & Ready’s partner organizations like the Red Cross, FLASH andReady.gov for additional resources in emergency response.
What about your neighbors? As you peruse the Good & Ready website, you will gain tons of knowledge. We encourage you to share this information with your friends and community.

Hosting a kit building party is a fun way to share your emergency preparedness smarts and interact with family, friends and neighbors to ensure everyone is prepared. Throw on some tunes, get a few snacks and have a blast. It can be inexpensive to make a household kit and one of the best investments you can make for your home.

We all know that the more we’re prepared to face a difficult situation, the less anxious we become. Log on to gethandson.com and get good and ready. Don’t forget to check out the
Facebook page and follow us on Twitter for more great tips!

Project Leader Spotlight: Jonelle Levy

I got involved as a Project Leader with Volunteer Broward during the annual Martin Luther King Jr. Week of Service. During that time, Volunteer Broward was mobilizing over 5,000 volunteers and community members to answer to Dr. King’s call to service. Although I was an active volunteer, I decided that being a project leader would be a great opportunity in developing and sustaining future projects. I got the chance to recruit and lead over 200 volunteers for the Martin Luther King Jr. Parade at MLK Jr. elementary in addition to working as a Street Team Leader and encouraging the parade goers to commit to service this year. The MLK Jr. celebration was the first project that I got to lead and the experience was amazing! I was able to volunteer with my friends and family. At that time, I realized that the world is much bigger than my neighborhood and by doing self-less acts I can motivate another person or child.

Being a volunteer and project leader has positively impacted my personal and professional goals.I recently  received my associates in nursing and I am currently pursuing a bachelor’s in Public Health. I plan on continuing my education by getting a masters in epidemiology and maternal & child health. I eventually want to work in an agency that promote healthy living for families and their children. I am currently planning to work with Volunteer Broward and Broward Outreach Center in getting more people involved in the Hope Tote Campaign. The Hope Totes is a great opportunity to give back to those in needs, hygiene items, baby supplies, and clothing are in high demand and needed at various centers and I am very excited to contribute.

My advice for new volunteers and project leaders is to get involved! Volunteer Broward is very helpful in supporting their volunteers, project leaders, and partnering agencies. Whether you want to lead an existing calendared project or start your own, the tools and people are always there to help out.

HandsOn Broward and Target get Youth Volunteering

Kids Care Club volunteers meet on the third Saturday of each month to plan and participate in volunteer activities to benefit Broward County. They learn about the needs within local communities and work together to make a difference. The children collect, sort and prepare donated items for delivery to those in need.

“We’re thrilled to be able to offer such a unique service-learning opportunity to help develop our future leaders,” said Dale Hirsch, President and CEO of HandsOn Broward. “The program is teaching children that they can affect positive change at any age.”

The grant is part of ongoing efforts by Target to strengthen families and communities throughout the country. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its income to communities. Today, that giving equals more than $3 million every week.

“At Target, our local grants are making a difference in communities across the country,” said Laysha Ward, president of community relations at Target. “We’re proud to partner with HandsOn Broward as part of our ongoing commitment to strengthen communities where our guests and team members live and work.”

For more information about how to become involved in Kids Care Club, call 954-233-1300 or visit http://www.HandsOnBroward.org

August Volunteer Spotlight: Terran Vandiver

I first heard about Volunteer Broward through H.A.N.D.Y. Inc as I was searching for employment. As I was referred to them, I was looking them up on their website and saw that they appeared to do a lot of volunteer work in the community while helping many other South Florida citizens partake in the charity as well. That is an admirable trait to have in the humanity we represent today. As a self-proclaimed activist and mentor, it is difficult to find people who want to help shape the future into a safer, cleaner, and productive place. I believe if we were more educated and empowered to do righteous deeds for one another, our stability and support system in impoverish communities would be a lot stronger. Volunteer Broward has been one of those inspiring elements in my life that have displayed tireless endeavors in activities such as community clean-ups, special-event walks, clothing and feeding the homeless, educational implementation, and gardening projects (which is one of the many roles I am learning to establish my leadership in).

For any new volunteers, I advise that you always remember that positive works do not go unnoticed, because all of our actions have an effect on somebody else’s life, whether good or bad. If you truly want to do well, you must maintain an uncompromising spirit about yourself that rejects negativity and despondent thoughts that tell you that your single philanthropic efforts are worthless.

One quote by Bob Marley I find to be profound is, “The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?” What you give to the universe is what it gives back to you.

Thank you, Volunteer Broward and all who do their part.