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February 4, 2011 / HandsOnCorps

Impact Now: Engaging Volunteer Leaders at HandsOn Twin Cities

As much as we all enjoy a well-earned vacation or even a sick day so we can sleep in, an overabundance of free time can be panic-inducing.  While unemployment has hit all-time highs around the nation, there is a group of people who are using their unwanted wealth of free time to their advantage as volunteer leaders.  Communities around the world and indeed, throughout history, have benefitted greatly from the unpaid efforts of people who have stepped up to lead groups, projects, and movements.  Jane Addams didn’t set out to get rich quick when she started the modern social work movement in Chicago in the late nineteenth century; Gandhi wasn’t looking for a pension fund when he led the movement against British imperialism in India in the early twentieth century; and Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi isn’t fighting for her right to PTO.

When people put their passions to work with the resources they have the world changes. 

People with a passion for service and the resource of time in the Twin Cities can put those things to work at HandsOn Twin Cities in many ways, one of which is to be a project coordinator for the Impact Now program.  This is a great way to answer Governor Dayton’s call to everyone in Minnesota to volunteer a part of one day, every month in order to create a better Minnesota.  By leading an Impact Now project, volunteers not only contribute to that initiative, but also network, learn new skills, get to know their community, do something good, and take action to Be the Change.

I’ve had a great time coordinating the Impact Now program at HandsOn Twin Cities and have had the privilege of meeting some fantastic people.  I hope to create ten sustainable projects that benefit the communities they’re in, the nonprofits they support, and the folks who participate as volunteers.  I also hope that I have some success channeling my passions with my resources.  It’s been a neat year so far and I look forward to see what else we can make happen in the Twin Cities.

 

Angela Carlson, MSW, LGSW
Project Development Coordinator
AmeriCorps VISTA
HandsOn Twin Cities
www.HandsOnTwinCities.org

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