The mission of United Way Hands On is to connect people with organized and meaningful volunteer opportunities to help bring about positive social change.
United Way Hands On was founded in 1998 by Neil Eggers and Patti Rice as Hands On Birmingham. The original board of directors had a clear vision for the organization: to connect people with organized and meaningful volunteer opportunities to improve their community. In 2000, Hands On hired its first executive director, who initiated the first annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service the following year. Hands On continued to evolve before merging with United Way of Central Alabama in 2009 and joining the Hands On Network and Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster.
Over the past 20 years, United Way Hands On has grown from providing opportunities for 105 volunteers to more than 6,700, including several Days of Service throughout the year. Hands On celebrates their outstanding commitment to the community with the annual Ignite Volunteer Awards Ceremony, which recognizes volunteers who work to fulfill United Way’s mission to ensure the health, education, and financial stability of every person of every community.