HandsOn Central Ohio

FIRSTLINK Is Now HandsOn Central Ohio Yesterday we were FIRSTLINK. As of today, we’re HandsOn Central Ohio.

Our new name reflects an organizational shift we’ve been going through over the past several years. In 2008 we became the local HandsOn Network affiliate, aligning us with volunteer action centers in more than 250 U.S. communities and 11 international locations. The HandsOn Network serves more than 83 percent of the American population and taps into a national culture of volunteerism.

“Times have changed, volunteers have changed and the needs of the community have changed,” says Marilee Chinnici-Zuercher, president and CEO of HandsOn Central Ohio. “And FIRSTLINK has also changed. We have evolved. The new brand better reflects who we are, with a proactive, action-oriented and refreshed approach that embodies our continuing history of innovative ideas and services.”

Since the mid-70s, FIRSTLINK has served as a clearinghouse for volunteers – a place where individuals could find civic engagement opportunities and where nonprofit organizations could locate volunteers for their programs. We also provided capacity-building training and services to organizations and individuals who wanted to make a difference through volunteering.

Over the past 30 years, hundreds of thousands of volunteers and individuals have contacted us through our 2-1-1 information and referral line. Last year alone, we answered more than 360,000 calls. Thousands more found what they needed on our website or in our Directory of Human Services.

As HandsOn Central Ohio, we will continue to support residents in need by connecting them with social services and enabling them to create change in their lives. In addition, we will expand our focus on volunteer efforts to include more group projects. Our staff will train the volunteer leaders who manage those projects.

“This new brand identity allows the organization to leverage a national identity, tap into a vast network of volunteer resources and better deliver on the promise to put people at the center of change,” says Mary Menkedick, president of the HandsOn Central Ohio board of directors. “Although the name changed, the power to serve and enrich the Columbus community remains the same.”

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