Friday, December 19, 2008

A Time to Give

The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. Most importantly they are a time to give to others. I had the opportunity to do just that yesterday December 18, at the Salvation Army Distribution Center. With the help of HandsOn, the Salvation Army recruited volunteers to help sort and distribute food and toys to needy families. Volunteers helped in many ways including loading up food boxes and turkeys into carts, finding toy bags for the families, and helping them get everything to their cars. It was a great time to celebrate what the holidays are all about. The families were very appreciative of everyone that was helping out and giving their time. I had the opportunity to talk to them as I was helping them cart everything to their car and they were all in high spirits, regardless of their circumstance. Overall, it was a great time and I had a lot of fun!

Interpreters: bringing communities together

With a growing number of Spanish speakers in the Athens area, there is an ever-present need to make sure this community is not overlooked. One such way is through interpretation for school events. Most events, such as PTA meetings and Parent-teacher conferences, are often not attended by Spanish speaking parents. They are not attending because parents do not feel comfortable being in an environment where they feel like an outsider. Many schools have been creative in their endeavors to include the Spanish speaking community. One school had a family night where they played games with very few rules as to make the concept easy enough to understand without language. Another school allowed students to help interpret for their parents at various school events. We must find a way to close the language gap between Spanish speaking parents and schools. San Francisco public schools created and use a volunteer interpreter database to get volunteers. I am sure that here in the Athens area, we could do the same. The first step though is to get the bilingual community in Athens to volunteer their time and talents.

If you're interested in interpreting for a Athens-Clarke County school event, click here:

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

New Agency- A Bigger Vision of Athens

We are excited to welcome A Bigger Vision of Athens, a community winter shelter, as an agency partner. A Bigger Vision served 128 homeless individuals last winter and is seeking volunteers to support their efforts for this winter.

Volunteer opportunities include:

Meal Service
Evening Staff
Overnight Staff
Blanket Washers

You can click on the name to learn more about the specific duties.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Morton Theatre Usher

Man, what a great job, to be an Usher and enjoy the show too!! I was an usher at the theater and enjoyed the production of 'Christmas At the Five and Dime.' The work was easy, it's not a huge theater, and the people were great. I didn't have to dress up (just casual dress but no jeans) and it was easy to get acclimated to my 'job' and to do it! I was able to leave almost immediately after the show because there was so little "clean-up" involved. I also met some great folks that ushered with me; students, parents, professional people, just regular folks! The staff was friendly and gave us a tour and told us about our jobs. Man, what a truly historic place. Check out their website and read about the history! Again, It was so easy and a lot of fun! I highly recommend volunteering, you'll really enjoy it (just get there a little early and you can park on the street, just outside the theater!!) !!!!! You can get performance/volunteering dates from our website,, or from the theatre's. Email me if you've got any questions! Blessings, Shannon

Thursday, December 11, 2008


HandsOn Northeast Georgia is excited to create this blog to keep the community informed about all the great projects and events happening in the Athens and surrounding areas. 

Our staff, AmeriCorps Members, and MSW interns will be sharing some of their insights and experiences working with community agencies and schools in Clarke and Oconee. 

We invite volunteers to share their experiences with projects and groups and encourage everyone to "be the change they wish to see."

happy reading.