Wade on Birmingham

MLK Day spotlight: Hands on Birmingham


Hands on Birmingham at A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club

Hands on Birmingham volunteers (including me) set up
the A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club for an event
on today’s MLK Day of Service. 

In honor of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, I want to turn the spotlight on one of my favorite Birmingham nonprofit organizations …

I’ve worked with Hands on Birmingham for 7 years, though it has been some time since I last volunteered with the agency.

This nonprofit group pairs volunteers with service projects in the metro area. Saturday, I spent some time helping with setup at the A.G. Gaston Boys and Girls Club in western Birmingham.

My debt to Hands on Birmingham is huge, having worked with their personnel on the Magic City Mission from 2006 to 2008. The United Way agency was instrumental in bringing together supplies and resources to aid the Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina.

I realized that I could do more to help people in my own back yard. Fortunately, Hands on Birmingham makes it easy to jump in.  The website offers service projects throughout the year, encouraging individuals, church groups, corporate departments and civic leagues to take an hour or a day to lend their assistance.

Volunteers can work on landscaping, office duties, emergency training and pet adoption. They can spend time with zoo animals. They can socialize with senior citizens. Then can bring support to homeless persons. They can spend time with schoolchildren.

This set of opportunities gives volunteers flexibility and variety. And it shows just how much help is needed in our community.

Hands on Birmingham not only works with numerous local agencies but also steps in during crises to deliver supplies, food, water and staffing for relief efforts. It mirrors the efforts of similar centers around the world as part of the Hands on Network.

The wide outreach makes it easier for those in need to connect with those who can help. I’m proud to lend a hand to a worthy organization.

Video: Hands on Birmingham holds
its 13th annual MLK Day of Service today.

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