How We Got Here

Hands On Network was conceived by a group of individuals that wanted to make it easier for people to get involved in building their communities and helping their neighbors. Groups of like-minded individuals in New York , DC , Chicago and Atlanta got together and decided to formalize the beginnings of this partnership by creating Hands On Network - a national organization that would focus on bringing the Hands On Volunteer approach to communities everywhere. More than 15 years later, we were able to see that vision grow to more than 70 affiliates with 12 locations overseas.

Around the same time, President George H.W. Bush creates a three-part strategy to make community service a national policy of the highest priority. He uses the phrase "a thousand points of light" in his speeches to emphasize the need for action. In response to President Bush's call to action, in 1990 the Points of Light Foundation is created as an independent, non-partisan, nonprofit organization to encourage and empower the spirit of service.

On August 1, 2007, The Points of Light Foundation and Hands On Network merged to become an integrated, dynamic new presence in the volunteer sector. Both organizations entered the merger with a strong national reputation, as well as a unique history and set of solutions to offer. The new alliance has a presence in hundreds of communities nationwide, and together, we offer an unmatched blend of ideas, innovation, and expertise, and a powerful commitment to helping citizens to engage, take action, and solve community problems through volunteer service.

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