If change is good, then it’s safe to say that this has been a truly great summer for Hands On Birmingham. For starters, if you haven’t already heard, there’s been a name change. In July, Hands On Birmingham became United Way Hands On: Volunteer Center for United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA). The new name reflects our vested interest in all communities of the entire five-county area, as well as our decade-long relationship with UWCA.
With a new name, comes a new brand identity. To help convey that visually, our logo has evolved. And so has our all-new rebranded website. There you’ll find a major addition and wonderful enhancement to our online presence – a new volunteer-engagement platform called INVOLVE. This next-generation software provides new tools to connect volunteers with service opportunities from across the region by location, date or even cause. The platform not only assists volunteers in discovering and registering for opportunities but also fully integrates their information, allowing them to manage memberships, track their hours and even share their experiences with others by posting comments and pictures.
To celebrate this important transition in a truly Hands On fashion, we took on a project by lending a helping hand to Frances Glidewell, a Meals on Wheels client in the Roebuck area. When health issues recently left Ms. Glidewell in a wheelchair, she discovered that her home was not accessible. But with help from Hands On and Engineers of the South, her house and specifically her bathroom were modified with a ramp and wider doorways so that she could continue to live at home. But the effects of her mobility issues also reached outside the house and into the yard.
Ms. Glidewell had previously been an avid gardener and had taken meticulous care of her property. Due to her health problems, however, the yard had fallen into disrepair and vines had begun to encroach on the front door, making it difficult for her to even receive her Meals on Wheels deliveries. So employees from Hands On and UWCA together with volunteers from around the community, including members of key partners in the Central Alabama Building and Construction Trade and the Central Alabama Labor Federation, spent the morning of July 17th cleaning up and cleaning out Ms. Glidewell’s yard. Bakari Savage of WBRC Fox6 was live on the scene to document the progress and help introduce the new Hands On name to the community.
When surveying the results of the morning’s yard work, Ms. Glidewell told Drew Langloh, President and CEO of UWCA, “I used to be so proud of it but haven’t been able to care for it lately. Seeing the work y’all are doing makes me proud of it again!”
As you can tell from that statement, one thing that clearly has not changed at United Way Hands On is the impact that volunteering in service to others can have in our community. Why not find an opportunity that interests you right now…and help bring positive social change to all of Central Alabama.