Frequently Asked Questions

What does Hands On Orlando do?
Hands On Orlando helps you help others. We enable, inspire, educate and empower people to make a difference through volunteer action.

Is Hands On Orlando a non-profit organization?
Yes, we are a 501(c)(3) non-profit, federally tax-exempt, charitable organization.

How does Hands On Orlando stay in business?
We are 100% funded by monetary donations from people like you. It's a struggle. Most volunteers we serve think they help us when they volunteer and do not donate money to HOO. No projects benefit Hands On Orlando.

Do volunteers need special skills to participate?
No. We don’t want people to self-disqualify themselves from volunteering.

How long has Hands On Orlando been doing its work?
We've been planning, managing and leading volunteer projects since 1999.

How can I help Hands On Orlando?
Please make monetary donations or become a Project Leader.

Is Hands On Orlando a volunteer referral service?
We are the opposite of a referral service. We identify, plan, manage and lead projects to help ensure good outcomes. It's hard, detailed and challenging work.

What else does Hands On Orlando do?

Hands On Orlando has coordinated over 30 community-wide days of service, managed the Hurricane Volunteer Center after Irma, Charley, Jeanne and Frances, taken a leadership roles in the aftermath of the PULSE and 9-11 attacks (HOO Disaster Volunteer Center), managed projects as large as 6000 people in a day, and led the highest levels of participation during three Global Youth Service Days.

How does Hands On Orlando come up with project ideas?
We're proactive. We contact and visit non-profit organizations and ask how we can help. Organizations also call us for assistance.

I have young children. Can they volunteer?

Yes. Children age four (4) may participate in select projects. Helping others is an important part of a child's successful social development. About one-third of the volunteers we serve are under age 18.

I lead a group. Can we reserve volunteer spots?
Yes, via volunteer teams.

Is it okay if I arrive late or leave a project early?
No. All projects include a welcome and wrap-Up. Volunteers should arrive at least five minutes early and stay for the duration of your project.

Why doesn't Hands On Orlando serve people who are court-ordered to perform “community service?”
Courts have defined “community service” as a punishment. We believe that helping others is the common expectation in a civil society. Courts make "community service" among the general public less likely.

Can HOO write a letter to verify I volunteered?
The charity you helped should acknowledge your volunteer time. However, our Project Leaders will sign your attendance form if you bring it to projects.

What are Hands On Orlando’s challenges?
Funding is our greatest challenge. Also, the social-services segment of the non-profit sector generally does a poor job of retaining and passing along institutional knowledge. We must rebuild relationships due to high staff turnover at third-party charities.

What is Hands On Orlando's service area?
Volunteers have come from across Central Florida, all 50 States, Puerto Rico and over 60 countries. Almost all projects occur in Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties.

Is Hands On Orlando a major charity in Central Florida?
We believe so, but only if you consider our impact. No, if you look at budget size. We have helped hundreds of thousands of people, served more than 200,000 people who use HOO to get involved, and assisted over 300 community organizations.

When was HOO founded?
June, 1999.