Hands On Hartford’s Community Engagement Program promotes meaningful civic engagement and volunteerism by connecting individuals/teams to volunteer opportunities, training volunteer leaders to manage events, and facilitating learning and understanding about issues of mutual concern.
The program aims to bring nonprofit agencies, volunteers, businesses, congregations, community organizations, and donors together to strengthen and transform our community through meaningful civic engagement.
Why Community Engagement is Important
Hands On Hartford’s Community Engagement program attracts more people into volunteering and service. This in turn strengthens the community by:
- Increasing the efficiency of existing volunteer programs.
- Generating more impact for existing volunteer programs.
- Expanding capacity of nonprofits that don’t currently operate volunteer programs.
- Offering easy access to civic engagement through a robust website and online tools.
- Educating individuals about issues affecting neighbors in this community.
- Engendering team building and organizational pride among volunteers.
- Teaching leadership development skills to volunteer leaders.
- Helping companies and congregations with recruiting and retention.
How It Works
Hands On Hartford’s Community Engagement Program creates and facilitates service opportunities throughout the Greater Hartford Area for volunteers at both our program sites and at partner organizations.
The AmeriCorps Service Members, via the Engagement Program, help individuals/groups do meaningful work for nonprofit agencies with critical needs. Groups select either an existing project from our project calendar or participate in customized service projects. Well-managed team events help both the serving organizations and the organizations served by building teamwork, developing leaders, instilling pride, expanding horizons, promoting goodwill and strengthening community.
Hands On Congregations, an extension of Hands On Hartford’s Engagement program, provides volunteer opportunities specifically for members of faith communities. The coordination of these opportunities are handled primarily by our Warburton Resident for Urban Ministry. Congregations can schedule days of service that include education on poverty issues (from a faith-based perspective) and reflection on their service work. Faith communities are also encouraged to participate in annual events such as the Walk Against Hunger, and SNAP Into Action Against Hunger which are designed to alleviate hunger issues in the city.
Thanks to the growing involvement of volunteers, Hands On Hartford’s Engagement Program has been able to:
- Renovate an HIV/AIDS residence
- Clean Hartford area parks and cemeteries
- Beautify Hartford Public Schools
- Cook and serve meals at our soup kitchen
- Provide groceries through our food pantry
- Engage residents of senior housing programs through fun social activities
The Hands on Hartford Community Engagement program is made possible by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, the Corporation for National Service, and the Connecticut Commission on Community Service.