Hands On Charlotte to be merged into the United Way Volunteer Center, providing one unified resource for community volunteers
United Way of Central Carolinas is expanding the capacity of its Volunteer Center by acquiring Hands On Charlotte, one of the most successful volunteer organizations in the region. The boards of both local nonprofits approved a Letter of Intent last week, with the merger expected to be complete in early 2017.
Combining the complementary strengths of the United Way Volunteer Center with Hands On Charlotte will create one unified resource for volunteers and increase opportunity community-wide for engagement at both the corporate and individual level.
“We believe volunteerism and civic engagement will play a key role in our success as a community,” said Sean Garrett, executive director for United Way of Central Carolinas. “The combination of our two organizations will allow us to take an innovative approach to volunteer activities and create more opportunities for individuals and companies to get involved.”
United Way’s Volunteer Center has led community volunteerism in Charlotte for 43 years. It currently plans and executes volunteer events for business groups and connects individuals with opportunities to serve. Last year, the Volunteer Center coordinated nearly 400 projects that engaged 5,491 volunteers for a total of 15,254 hours served.
For more than 25 years, Hands On Charlotte has engaged volunteers through both individual and corporate opportunities, along with several high-profile signature events such as the Charlotte Playground Build and the MLK Call to Service. Hands On Charlotte averages 12,400 volunteers and 30,000 hours served per year.
Hands On Charlotte executive director Eric Law announced his pending retirement back in August and is remaining through the transition. All other team members will be offered positions with United Way. The Hands On Charlotte brand will carry on and be incorporated into United Way.
Nationally, volunteerism at United Way has grown by at least 65 percent in each of the past five years, in part due to the growth of dedicated community engagement groups catering to women (Women United), African-Americans (A-LIST) and young executives (Young Leaders and LINC).
For more perspective:
"Connecting people to issues they care about – and volunteering is certainly a key way to get connected – is what starts to knit communities back together. And United Way is uniquely positioned to do that."
- Charlotte Observer: United Way, Hands On Charlotte merge to create volunteer service hub