HandsOn Disasters

When disaster strikes, HandsOn Network Affiliate Action Centers serve the critical role of organizing and leading volunteer response efforts in communities around the world.

Action Center Updates

Midwest Tornadoes

On Nov. 17, a high-wind event impacted several states in the Midwest and Northeast spawning more than 80 tornadoes, and dropping hail that caused significant damage to communities in their path. A tornado one-half mile wide touched down in Washington, Ill., destroying homes and neighborhoods.

Please DO NOT self-deploy to affected communities. The situation is still dangerous, and first responders need to focus their efforts on helping residents with immediate needs.

Points of Light is coordinating with our HandsOn Network affiliates in the Midwest as they assess local needs and work with partners to identify volunteer opportunities. Visit AllforGood.org to find current opportunities and register your skills and interest in volunteering.

Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda

Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Typhoon Yolanda) made landfall across the Philippines on Nov. 8, destroying homes, flooding villages and leaving millions in need of immediate assistance.

An estimated 9.8 million residents have been affected, with between 480,000 and 660,000 people displaced from their homes. Officials fear the loss of life numbers in the thousands. The scope of the need is immense and the response is slow due to significant supply chain and logistical challenges. Response capabilities were already stretched to the limit by a 7.2-magnitude earthquake that displaced 350,000 people just three weeks before Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda made landfall.

Points of Light is working with our HandsOn Network affiliate, Hands On Manila, to identify volunteer needs and raise funds to support volunteer efforts in the Philippines.

Through the AllforGood.org volunteer management portal, Points of Light is equipping Hands On Manila with the technical support to post volunteer projects and register volunteers locally.

If you would like to support the recovery effort, here’s what you can do to help:


Don’t self-deploy at this time. The situation is still critical and travel is extremely difficult or impossible throughout much of the affected area.


  • Do donate to help Points of Light and Hands On Manila support the mobilization of volunteers in ongoing response and recovery efforts.
  • Do register your interest to volunteer on www.allforgood.org and check this page often for the latest updates on how you can help.
  • Do be prepared! As the devastation caused by Typhoon Haiyan / Yolanda reminds us, disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. Please take steps now to help your family and community recover more quickly from disasters. Visit www.goodandready.org to download an emergency preparedness checklist and create a disaster readiness plan for your family.


HandsOn Network Affiliate Action Centers are critical resources in communities when disaster strikes. In partnership with local government and other entities, they coordinate local response efforts and serve as a central access point for volunteers.

HandsOn Network’s work focuses on the fact that “all disasters are local.” Our strength comes from the efforts of our Action Centers in three distinct areas:

  • Spontaneous unaffiliated volunteer management (SUVs) and in managing Volunteer Reception Centers (VRCs) in times of disaster
  • Defining nonprofit needs in times of disaster and matching volunteers to those needs
  • Large-scale project execution as part of long-term recovery


Together with our partners, HandsOn Network has developed a robust library of resources to guide local response efforts. HandsOn Network Affiliates can log into the Affiliate Member Center for access to more helpful tools and resources.