Get HandsOn!



The Get HandsOn! Campaign is about identifying, inspiring and supporting service leaders to undertake volunteer projects in their community. In so doing, we aim to make a significant community impact around education, environment and the economy.

Throughout the course of the next year there will be three fun and attention grabbing challenges that happen through our Affiliate Network, Americorp Alums, GenerationOn, corporate and nonprofit partners and the media.

To learn more about the campaign’s impact areas, click on Education, Environment and Economy, above.

Join Now
Join now and be the first to learn about the Get HandsOn challenge when it launches this Fall.


What it could look like:
  • The incoming senior class, with a faculty advisor, leads a school make-over "legacy project" engaging parents, surrounding businesses, civic leaders, faith congregations and others in a year-long series of projects to renovate the school. Examples of legacy projects include renovating a school library, building an outdoor classroom or planting a school garden.

  • Students learn about hunger, malnutrition, and the food pyramid in the classroom and conduct a healthy food drive to benefit a local food pantry.

  • A local business employee organizes five of her colleagues to hold resume writing and career readiness workshops during their lunch break or after work with local high school students.

  • A parent volunteers their time once a week to read to elementary students at their neighborhood school.

  • Students from a middle or high school partner with elementary students to become "homework helpers".

  • Students work with a local organization that helps immigrants feel welcome in their new country to develop a child-friendly immigrant guidebook. Text and illustrations may cover a wide variety of topics, including: favorite places to go, eat, and shop; local sports teams; and fun activities for kids to do all year long, etc.

Organize a Book Club
Help support the youth of your community by starting a book club at your local school, library, or community center.

Learn more here

Strategies for Engaging Youth
Youth volunteers can serve as a mentors, give unique perspectives, communicate honestly to other youth, make service "cool" to other young people and help spread the word using technology and social networking tools.

Use the RALLY approach (Recognition, Authenticity, Language, Linkages, Youth Voices) to motivate youth to engage in youth volunteerism.

Download the PDF here


What it could look like:
  • A group of retired accountants - sponsored with small transportation stipends by their former "big-firm" employer - partner with the local AARP chapter and other organizations to provide Earned Income Tax Credit and other tax filing assistance to local seniors.

  • Assist job seekers in your community with resume preparation and computer skills training.

Organize a Food Drive
Help support your community today by organizing a food drive to ensure that local families have the consistent nourishment they need to survive.

Learn more here contains training, tools, products and services for use by staff and volunteers in their work assisting clients to build assets and teach basic personal finance.


What it could look like:
  • A neighborhood association organizes a weekend tree planting and park clean-up project for resident families and their friends. The project accomplishes a carbon-offsetting outcome and educates the neighborhood on environmental and energy policy issues.

  • A group of children lead their families in a commitment to spend a month recycling old items stored in the house and make small changes to their lifestyles, like lowering the thermostat and changing light bulbs. (A whole block or apartment building engaged could save 100 tons of carbon per year.

Start or Join a Community Garden
This AARP Create the Good Toolkit, developed in conjunction with HandsOn Network and the American Community Garden Association, illustrates how growing your own fruits and veggies is a great way to use your existing skills or discover new gardening talents while helping your community.

Learn more here

What's Happening Now

Thanks to our partnership with Earth Aid, you can track your actual electric, gas and water utility usage in one place online. You can even earn rewards for saving!

Get HandsOn! and begin tracking today!


Get HandsOn! partners help us to reach thousands of volunteers by providing resources and connecting their members to our volunteer programs.

Create the Good is a network of people sharing tools and ideas to help make a difference on their own or in larger groups in their communities. It is powered by AARP and the AARP Foundation’s more than nine million volunteers, donors and activists.

Earth Aid serves as a platform that enables volunteers to engage their neighbors in saving energy and tracks the collective energy and financial savings achieved.

Earth Day Network has a global reach with more than 20,000 partners and organizations in 190 countries. More than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.

The IRS provides resources to support Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) programs and EITC outreach.

To find out more about partnership opportunities, contact Melissa Grober.