Frequently Asked Questions...

What does Hands On Orlando do?
Hands On Orlando helps you help others. We do this by inspiring, educating and empowering 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. We are a local, state and national award-winning charity.

How does Hands On Orlando stay in business as a charity?
We are 100% funded by monetary donations from people like you. It's a daily struggle. All of our projects benefit third-party charities and the volunteers who participate...not Hands On Orlando. It's a major expense. The vast majority of people think they help us when they volunteer (99%+) and do not donate money.

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 projects for more than 18 years.

How can I help Hands On Orlando?
Please make monetary donations.

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.

Besides coordinating and leading hands-on projects, what else does Hands On Orlando do?

Hands On Orlando has coordinated and led over 30 community-wide days of service, managed the Hurricane Volunteer Center during Charley, Jeanne and Frances, lead the world in youth volunteer engagement during three Global Youth Service Days, taken community leadership roles in the aftermath of the 9-11 attack and Pulse massacre, and managed projects as large as 6000 people in one day.

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?

Children age four (4) and above 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?
The risk of no-shows is too great. We do allow groups to create volunteer teams.

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

Why doesn't Hands On Orlando serve people who are court-ordered to perform “community service?”
The courts have defined “community service” as a punishment.

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

What are Hands On Orlando’s challenges?
Funding is our greatest challenge. The vast majority of people don't realize that it costs us money to provide projects: tools and supplies, leadership and technology required to support people and groups that want to volunteer. Also, the social-services segment of the non-profit sector generally does a poor job of retaining and passing along institutional knowledge. We also must constantly rebuild relationships because of their high staff turnover.

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

Is Hands On Orlando a major charity in Central Florida?
We believe so, but not when you consider the size of our budget. We have assisted hundreds of thousands of children, adults and families and helped more than 200,000 people volunteer. HOO has assisted over 300 community-based organizations, schools and parks and led more than 6000 projects.

When was HOO founded?
June, 1999.