RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) - This year 8News is once again a proud sponsor of the Valentine Richmond History Center History Makers Awards. It's a way to recognize people, organizations and companies working to shape our region. HandsOn Greater Richmond was one of the winners in 2010.
"Our philosophy really is, it doesn't matter what your age is, what time you're available, if you can only volunteer on weekends or you want to volunteer with your kids, if you're retired, a working professional or stay-at-home mom that there's a way for you to get involved," says HandsOn Director Vanessa Diamond.
HandsOn Greater Richmond connects willing volunteers with opportunities across the City. Diamond and two friends started it in 2005 when they were looking for ways to give back while balancing everything else in their lives. They found jobs here and there, started supplying manpower and then word spread. Within six months, 300 people signed up and offered a range of skills from graphic design to marketing to landscaping.
"I absolutely love being a volunteer, and being out here giving back to the community is one of my favorite things to do," says Erica Flynt, as she takes a short break from clearing trails at Great Shiplock Park. Flynt and her team from Genworth Financial found this opportunity through the HandsOn website. In addition to cutting down trees and brush along the pathways, they planted native vegetation, painted signs and helped beautify the park in other ways.
Meg Turner from the group Capital Trees was also a part of today's project. She is a regular volunteer along the James River. "It's more than any organization or city can take care of themselves, so the folks that are using it if they contribute makes it all better and more worthwhile."
In 2013, HandsOn made 7,000 volunteer connections, and Diamond cannot wait to see how far it goes this year. "I think when you create something that is helping other people find meaning in their life and helping other people connect and is meaningful for them, there's nothing better."
Do you know of a group like HandsOn Greater Richmond that's making a difference in our community? Nominations for the 2014 Richmond History Makers Awards are being accepted until June 30 at this link.
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