11 Good Deeds to do on 9/11 in San Diego

The anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has become a very important National Day of Service in America, known as “9/11 Day

9/11 Day is a time when Americans are asked to join together in unity, remember those lost on 9/11, and if possible, perform good deeds or other acts of service as a positive tribute to the 9/11 victims, as well as first responders and military personnel who rose in service in response to the attacks.

Below is a list of 11 good deeds you can do to participate in 9/11 Day of Service in San Diego either from home or in-person. All opportunities can be found on our 9/11 Day of Service resource page.

  1. Help sort and load boxes of meals for unsheltered homeless individuals on the streets with the Lucky Duck Foundation in Miramar or Chula Vista.
  2. Make cards for individuals who have been isolated throughout the pandemic. St. Paul’s Senior Services and Serving Seniors are collecting cards for seniors in their care. Jewish Family Service of San Diego is collecting cards for residents in Skilled Nursing Facilities.
  3. Support Auntie Helen’s Charity Thrift’s programs for individuals with low incomes or underlying health conditions by sorting, folding, hanging, and disbursing organizations at their thrift store in North Park.
  4. Sign up to volunteer with USO San Diego to provide much needed services to members of the military and their families.
  5. Donate items to a nonprofit organization working to meet the increased demand for services during the pandemic.
  6. Promote literacy virtually through one of Words Alive’s many volunteer opportunities, including translating their materials, hosting a book drive, and  recording a video of yourself reading a children’s story.
  7. Refurbish computers with Computers 2 Kids to increase access technology for distance learning students .
  8. Share your skills with PATH San Diego from the comfort of your home. They’re looking for volunteers to help virtually with data entry, social media, and specific research projects. Your support will help them work toward ending homelessness.
  9. Assist Father Joe’s Villages or Catholic Charities, Diocese of San Diego at one of their drive-thru food distributions, providing food security for San Diegans throughout the County.
  10. Aid in the San Diego River Park Foundation’s conservation efforts by participating in one of their many remote volunteer opportunities such as building a bat house, illustrating the ecology of Boulder Creek Preserve, or helping sort and categorize photos from their wildlife cameras.
  11. Make an appointment to donate blood with the San Diego Blood Bank or the American Red Cross of San Diego and Imperial Counties.

Share your 9/11 good deed on social media. Include the hashtags #handsonsandiego and #911day.

Did you know HandsOn San Diego helps thousands of volunteers connect with the organizations that need them year-round? Find a project that aligns with your passions and schedule on our online calendar.

United Way of San Diego County Partners with HandsOn San Diego to Launch the San Diego COVID-19 Volunteer Hub

Virtual hub will be a one-stop-shop for volunteering resources and opportunities to help thousands of local families affected by COVID-19

While many in our community are facing difficult challenges due to the pandemic, charitable organizations around the world are working around the clock to provide much-needed supplies, services, and support for individuals and families in need. But nonprofits couldn’t provide these emergency services without the help of community volunteers. To meet this growing demand, United Way of San Diego County has partnered with HandsOn San Diego to launch the San Diego COVID-19 Volunteer Hub, a new website where San Diegans can find ways to help other San Diegans get through this crisis together.

“There are many ways to give back to the community, especially during times like this,” says Nancy Sasaki, president and CEO, United Way of San Diego County. “Because of all the options to volunteer, it might feel overwhelming when searching for the right nonprofit that fits your interests and skills. That’s why United Way of San Diego County partnered with HandsOn San Diego to make the process quick and easy for people to search for meaningful ways to give back to those most in need. Working together and lending a helping hand to our fellow neighbors has never been more important.”

Among the many opportunities to help, the website provides the following volunteer options for individuals, groups, and companies:

  • Donate in-kind goods/relief items 
  • Volunteer in-person 
  • Volunteer virtually from the comfort of your own home
  • Lend your professional skills to help a local nonprofit
  • Make a monetary donation 
  • Provide the gift of life by donating blood

Just like many nonprofit organizations, HandsOn San Diego had to change the way it operated to respond to the pandemic. “Volunteering is the best thing we can do for each other during these challenging times,” says Crystal Trull, Interim Executive Director, HandsOn San Diego. “Whether you give of your time, talent, or treasure, it all helps us to be a stronger, more united community. If your heart is eager to give back, but you just don’t know how, the volunteer hub will help you find just the right opportunity”

Visit sandiegovolunteerhub.org to find more information.

Here are more ways to get connected:

  • If you have questions about how to volunteer or if you would like to list your nonprofit and volunteer opportunities on the site, email volunteerhub@uwsd.org
  • If you would like support with your CSR strategy, or identifying meaningful engagement opportunities and volunteer projects for your employees, please contact email volunteerhub@uwsd.org for more information.

ABOUT UNITED WAY OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY 

For 100 years, United Way of San Diego County has aligned with partners to address inequities in the region and help underserved communities. United Way’s specialty lies in identifying sustainable, long-term goals and achieving them through leveraging data and partners’ expertise to better understand root causes and putting impactful solutions into action.  

United Way’s work, in partnership with others, uses shared goals, innovation and proven practices to transform the lives of children, young adults and families in the San Diego region. United Way focuses on educational milestones, such as kindergarten readiness, third-grade literacy, high school preparation, and college and career pathways. Learn more and get involved by visiting www.uwsd.org, Facebook, Twitter, or by calling (858) 492-2000.

 

ABOUT HANDSON SAN DIEGO

HandsOn San Diego’s mission is to strengthen communities through volunteer action and leadership development. Since 2013, HandsOn San Diego has connected thousands of individual volunteers to hundreds of nonprofit partners, schools, and community groups throughout the San Diego region.  By hand-selecting volunteer projects that range from small-scale, ongoing opportunities to large-scale, one-time events, HandsOn San Diego is committed to making volunteering accessible to everyone. 

HandsOn San Diego is an affiliate of the Points of Light Global Network, an international partnership that spans more than 250 cities and 37 countries around the world.  Sharing a common vision that civic engagement is the pathway to positive change, HandsOn San Diego has earned the distinction of being a Service-Enterprise certified organization.  Learn more about our work by visiting www.handsonsandiego.org, Facebook, or by emailing info@handsonsandiego.org.

HandsOn San Diego becomes a certified Service Enterprise!

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HandsOn San Diego is pleased to announce that it has been certified by Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, as a Service Enterprise! Achieving Service Enterprise certification is a very prestigious accomplishment for an organization. In fact, organizations that certify join the top 11 percent of nonprofits nationwide in volunteer management and organizational performance. Certification signifies that organizations have the capability and management expertise to strategically use volunteers to improve the performance of their organization.

HandsOn San Diego completed an extensive assessment, over 20 hours of training and coaching, and an extensive internal planning and change process to better integrate volunteers into our human capital strategy. By achieving this level of excellence and certification, HandsOn San Diego is now better equipped to leverage the time and talent of volunteers and better meet our mission.

“SEI gave us the language to redefine our vision of building a sustainable organization for volunteers by volunteers” said HandsOn San Diego Founder and Volunteer-in-Chief, Jaci Feinstein. “By going through the SEI process, we were able to reflect, refine and build upon our internal practices. Volunteers are the backbone of our organization and we want to ensure we are following best practices that we can pass on to our partners.”

During the Service Enterprise process, HandsOn San Diego established 3 volunteer-led action teams which will focus on growing HandsOn in the areas of programs, fundraising, and marketing. More information on the action teams can be found here.

Research conducted by the TCC Group, a national program and evaluation firm, found that organizations operating as Service Enterprises outperform peer organizations on all aspects of organizational effectiveness, and are more adaptable, sustainable and capable of scaling their work.

The Service Enterprise Initiative is a national change management program that helps organizations gain a greater return on volunteer investment to better achieve their mission. For more information regarding volunteer opportunities with our organization, please visit our calendar or our behind-the-scenes opportunities. For further information regarding the Service Enterprise Initiative, please contact California Volunteers.

HandsOn’s Founder & Volunteer-in-Chief Selected as Finalist for Next Top Business Leaders Under 40

From Community Activist to Social Entrepreneur: Jaci Feinstein Named Finalist for Top Business Leaders Under 40

San Diego, CA – Jaci Feinstein, local businesswoman, philanthropist, and social entrepreneur, has been named a finalist for the San Diego Business Journal’s NEXT Top Business Leaders Under 40. The event honors young leaders, change makers and innovators who are making waves, creating impact and leaving a positive mark on the San Diego community.

Jaci’s community impact began 10 years ago as an AmeriCorps community activist at a local nonprofit where she first began to understand the impact of volunteerism and philanthropy in our community. Since then, Jaci has leveraged her experience, passion, and an Engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon University to engineer change right here in San Diego.

From building a million dollar business to inspiring a volunteer movement across the region, Jaci’s vision and drive have made an incredible impact on our community.

By day, Jaci serves as the Vice President at Right Hand Events, a leading event management company based in San Diego. As an “event engineer” Jaci creates unique experiences for both corporate and nonprofit clients. In less than 7 years, she’s helped build Right Hand Events into a million-dollar business, serving clients all over the country and working to bring volunteerism and community impact to corporate events.

“Jaci has a special ability to listen to others and be open to their input, then make their ideas a reality in ways they hadn’t imagined. It’s how she builds a shared vision and inspires people through both Right Hand Events and her leadership with HandsOn San Diego.” says Elise Rollinson, CMP, President of Right Hand Events.

During her night and weekend hours, Jaci serves as the Founder and Volunteer in Chief at HandsOn San Diego, a nonprofit she started in 2012 that mobilized over 3,400 volunteers in 2017 through its mission to strengthen our community through volunteer action.

Jaci’s experience as an AmeriCorps community activist led her to create HandsOn San Diego in the belief that there were thousands of San Diegans who wanted to volunteer, but didn’t know where to start. HandsOn makes volunteering easy with its sign-up and show-up model. Under her leadership, HandsOn has grown from an all-volunteer organization to impacting nearly 30 nonprofits through over 500 projects in 2017. 

“Her dedication to our mission is infectious and drives our staff and volunteer leadership to work harder and smarter to better support the community,” adds Lucy Lu, HandsOn San Diego’s Program and Operations Manager.

In her spare time, you can find Jaci enjoying the outdoors – traveling, hiking, and training for triathlons.

The San Diego Business Journal’s NEXT Top Business Leaders Under 40 event takes place on Tuesday, August 14th at the Westin Gaslamp Quarter.

Right Hand Events is your go to conference and event management team, providing the inspiration and detailed organization needed to create successful event experiences. By integrating seamlessly into any team, Right Hand Events ensures excellent service and flexibility that allows our clients to exceed their own expectations. For more information, visit www.RightHandEvents.com.

Hands On San Diego is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening communities through volunteer action and leadership development. We strive to provide volunteers with a high-quality experience that fuels further action, and we envision a day when everyone is inspired and equipped to be the change they wish to see in the world.

Learn more and sign-up to volunteer at www.HandsOnSD.org.

 

New Site, New Look

After months of worry and excitement, at midnight on March 13th, our new website went live. We checked our emails that morning expecting a flood of messages reporting glitches from the change. Surprisingly, there wasn’t a disaster waiting in our inbox and we were thrilled to start this new chapter for our organization.

Our site and calendar are powered by HandsOn Connect. HandsOn Connect was created in partnership with Points of Light, the world’s largest organization dedicated to volunteer service, incorporating the network’s vast experience with volunteer management to bring nonprofits the most flexible solution available on Salesforce.

The new design of our site was a result of an upgrade that allowed our platform to be faster and more mobile-friendly for our volunteers. A big part of our mission is making volunteering more accessible to San Diegans so we were very excited about the site’s increased mobility.

The upgrade had been in the works with our team for over a year, and we are still fine-tuning it. So we would love to hear your feedback and help you through any glitches that arise. Feel free to contact us at info@handsonsandiego.org

Bringing Light to Projects with Team Leaders

Making a difference in someone’s life can be accomplished in many ways, including kindness extended from volunteers to those who need compassion the most. One way to improve the community as well as assist individuals on a personal level is to become a Team Leader. In this position, you are able to coordinate between volunteers and the event heads so as to see the impact of each project across various boundaries.

For Team Leader Karen Anderson, the position is “a great opportunity to take on a leadership role as a volunteer”, further expanding her positive experiences with HandsOn San Diego. Karen finds it “fun to see volunteers return to projects and to meet new volunteers each time”, emphasizing the capacity for Team Leaders to make long lasting connections with the volunteers they lead each project.

Operating as a Team Leader also allows for you as a volunteer to broaden your horizons. Joan Sadorf, a Team Leader who has been with the organization since the beginning, has found that, when volunteering with HandsOn San Diego, “you can do whatever you feel comfortable with or try out something different to see if you like it”. The diversity of projects allows for experimentation in the type of volunteering that work best for you, and the direction you take can often times surprise you.

By stepping into the leadership role of Team Leader, Joan has “met many interesting, incredible people who are all helping for different reasons but mostly because it feels right”. Volunteering can bring together diverse people who work for the greater good of the San Diego community, opening up personal connections amongst volunteers that are just as important as the work done on the project.

Just as volunteering can help you give back to the community around you, it can make positive impacts on your life at a personal level. No matter what position she’s in, Karen Anderson sees volunteering as something which “makes the whole day brighter and [she] ends the day with a smile”. Whether you’re looking to increase leadership experience or give back in a new way, becoming a Team Leader can make your time with HandsOn even more rewarding. New applicants are always welcome and help ensure that the organization can provide the level of care that each project deserves.

Welcome to the HandsOn Team, Annette!

Bio HandsOn Pic 2We are so excited to have Annette Rainey join our team as our Social Media Manager Intern. Annette is a senior in the Television, Film, and New Media major at San Diego State University. In the upcoming fall, she will be attending graduate school to further pursue an education in film.

Annette spends her time creating short films, both narrative and documentary. Though her emphasis is in editing, she has experience in several areas of production including directing and writing. Over the past summer, she worked as a blogger for SDSU documenting her experiences on her study abroad through Europe. She has also provided video advertisements for local organizations such as the Wheelchair Dancers Organization and a former city-councilman of Chula Vista.

Outside of class, Annette enjoys long boarding, doing special effects make up, and reading.

Born and raised in San Diego, Annette looks forward to giving back to her community through her time working with HandsOn San Diego.

Meet our Video Production Intern!

marisaJoin us in welcoming the newest member of our team, Marisa Kriska, our first HandsOn Video Production Intern and up-and-coming filmmaker from the San Diego area.

Marisa aims to use her knowledge of filmmaking to help spread awareness about our work and inspire others to do their part to help their community.

Her films range from documentary to music videos to the artfully experimental. Her pieces have been shown in a number of exhibitions and granted awards like the curator’s choice award from the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

A recent graduate of UCSD’s Visual Arts program, Marisa has a passion for not only film and volunteering, but a love for coffee, film photography, and cats. She enjoys spending her time discovering new places to document on film as well as going out to try a new kind of coffee.

Expect to see Marisa at a variety of our projects gathering footage for videos about HandsOn San Diego, individual projects on our calendar, days of service, and more! We’re so excited to see what life she will bring to our site through added visuals of our impact on the community.

Check out Marisa’s video portfolio here.

Check out our YouTube channel where our new videos will be posted.

Greetings from the new AmeriCorps!

 

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Hello everyone! My name is Jessie Case and I will be the AmeriCorps Volunteer Infrastructure Project (VIP) Fellow for the 2016-2017 year. I cannot wait to get started promoting community service throughout San Diego County and supporting the volunteers here at HandsOn San Diego.

I am a San Diego native and am lucky enough to have most of my extended family nearby. Growing up with parents in the military and law enforcement, I have always viewed service as a necessary aspect of everyday life. In high school I immersed myself in the Interact community service club and have not been able to turn back since. In Interact we cleaned up litter at Lake Murray in La Mesa, picked oranges and lemons for Harvest CROPS, and assisted with fundraisers hosted by the La Mesa Rotary Club for local nonprofits.

My time at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC) took my passion for service to new heights through my involvement with the Rotaract Club of Santa Cruz County. While serving as the club’s Co-President for two years, our organization began to participate in service events almost every weekend, sometimes even multiple events each weekend. I accumulated hundreds of service hours and connected with people all over Santa Cruz County while beautifying the Monterey Bay Horsemanship Therapeutic Center facilities, building homes with Habitat for Humanity, staffing games for children at the Omega Nu Ducky Derby, serving as an advocate at the Watsonville Project Homeless Connect, and volunteering with many other amazing organizations.

During my last year at UCSC, I served as an adviser and Membership Chair for the Rotaract club and the Director of Membership for Rotaract District 5170, while finishing my degrees in Art (photography) and History of Art and Visual Culture. Even in my photography projects, my passion for the nonprofit sector shows through. In March, I featured my senior show at the Homeless Garden Project (HGP) store where I displayed portraits of their volunteers with excerpts of interviews I conducted asking why they give their time and skills to HGP.

In my free time I enjoy taking and editing photos, working toward my third degree black belt in Tang Soo Do (similar to karate), researching my family tree, participating in the Pacific Beach Rotaract Club, and playing with my two dogs. I am looking forward to spending my time training project leaders, working alongside the dedicated volunteers of HandsOn at projects, and making the volunteer experience as enjoyable as possible.

-Jessie Case

HandsOn SD welcomes its first staff member!

13450169_10153590678057823_6827794083043628108_nHi everyone -my name is Lucy and I am excited to be the new Program and Operations Coordinator! I hope I can help give the volunteers and Team Leaders a smooth, impactful and, above all, fun experience.

I grew up in San Diego where late-night Mexican food and spending the day at the beach was the norm.  After attending Mesa College, I wanted a change of scenery (but nothing too cold) and there wasn’t much that could compete with Southern California.  Transferring to the University of Hawaii seemed like a temporary idea, but I soon fell in love with the “Aloha Spirit” and eventually spent the next eight years on the island learning and growing as a professional.

I discovered a love of working for nonprofits and spent a few years in tropical paradise as a Case Manager for Goodwill Industries. I knew working in the nonprofit sector with equally passionate and hardworking people was something I wanted to continue, but when I moved back to San Diego, I found it difficult to find meaningful work in the social sector. After being gone for so long, the city and the people changed so much that I had to start all over in my hometown.

I started networking in the nonprofit community and quickly found like-minded, passionate people who also became trusted friends! I also found my niche as the “professional volunteer” who worked in the for-profit sector. I helped friends at their events, signed up for every project or committee that needed a boost, and advocated for every cause I thought was worthwhile (ask me about the bunny burritos!). My most meaningful service was being on the Advisory Board of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network for four years. I learned about the managing committees and recruiting rockstar volunteers, and the sheer dedication it takes for board service.

After all this time, finding my way back into working for a nonprofit has been exhilarating! I can geek out about volunteer engagement, 990 forms and collaborative partnerships and nobody thinks I’m weird.

I’m excited to apply what I’ve learned in the small business world into HandsOn and to help it grow in the community. Feel free to contact me anytime you have any questions about HandsOn, the importance of volunteer retention… or if you want to talk about cats.

~Lucy Lu