Jeff Griffiths launched
Hands On Northeast Ohio
in 2007 to "train and equip volunteers to be at the center of change in their communities." In 2011, the startup nonprofit organization helped connect nearly 5,000 volunteers with hundreds of worthy projects throughout the Cleveland area.
Last weekend, volunteers prepped bikes at the Ohio City Bike Co-op, served meals to the homeless, delivered meals to seniors, cleaned cat cages, and lended a hand at the Cleveland Botanical Garden.
Hands On Northeast Ohio offers accessible, well-managed opportunities to serve throughout the community. Volunteers attend an orientation session and sign up for opportunities on the group's website. With a point and a click, they can read descriptions of opportunities, find out which ones are available, and sign up.
"People wanted to help, but oftentimes accessing volunteer opportunities was filled with barriers -- the commitment was unrealistic, the training was too cumbersome, or the agency didn't have a way to recruit or train volunteers at all," says Griffiths. "By us managing projects, we make both parties happy."
In addition to 35-plus managed projects per month, Hands On also manages one-day national events such as the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.
Griffiths says the organization is part of a national network of similar groups. "We saw a need, took a proven model and adapted it locally to our needs here," he says.
Source: Jeff Griffiths
Writer: Lee Chilcote