National Service

LEAD the Change Through Service

HandsOn Corps is committed to action through uniting people from different backgrounds to combat critical social issues in education, economy and the environment. Placed in action centers across the nation, HandsOn Corps members inspire, equip and mobilize communities and serve as change agents through direct action. Get involved by serving with 75,000 other AmeriCorps members as we strive to “be the change we most want to see in this world” (Gandhi)


At a time of historic economic pressures and unprecedented cross-sector support for national service, the position of America’s volunteer sector has never been stronger. Social responsibility programs are expanding, schools and colleges are adopting service-learning strategies and political leaders from both parties are embracing citizen service.  HandsOn Network believes it can and must address critical social needs by mobilizing the enormous energy and talent of Americans through civic engagement and community service.

HandsOn Network and its affiliates are poised to support the Corporation for National and Community Service’s strategic initiative of engaging more Americans in volunteer service through the power of National Service. Through the HandsOn Corps program, AmeriCorps members will engage and train leaders to develop quality opportunities that deepen community commitment and build the capacity of organizations to strengthen communities in these areas. AmeriCorps members will support the HandsOn model of volunteer leadership through inspiring, equipping and mobilizing tens of thousands of new volunteers in critical issue areas such as:

Education - Two critical factors strongly linked to student success can be addressed by mobilizing volunteers: first is bringing more adult volunteers into a school to effectively and efficiently support student success (mentoring, tutoring, facility enhancement, etc.), the second is providing quality youth leadership and service learning experiences that create relevance in the curriculum. Both of these strategies require coordination, leadership, recruitment and training, all of which can be accomplished with national service members. Every member will train community volunteer leaders who in turn will engage others in service to the students and school.

Economic Recovery- The HandsOn Corps and Neighboring model mobilizes local resident leaders from under resourced communities to develop and lead projects that address both basic needs (housing, hunger) and economic stability (VITA, EITC, asset development, retention, job retraining, etc.). By mobilizing residents, the HandsOn Corps members will addresses economic recovery in two important ways, first by bringing critical programming and resources to under-resourced communities in accessible ways, second by directly providing job readiness skills through the volunteer leader training and experience.

Environment- citizens across the country are motivated to help address climate change and improve the environment. What they lack are effective and accessible service opportunities that have measurable impact. Members will work with local non-profit and education agencies to identify greening and conservation efforts, assist in the development of effective projects and programs, and recruit and train effective volunteer leaders, who in turn will generate community wide efforts to address climate change, green communities and conservation.

For more information, visit AmeriCorps.


Two Unique Opportunities to Serve

AmeriCorps is divided into three main programs: AmeriCorps State and National Direct; Volunteers in Service to America, or VISTA; and National Civilian Community Corps. HandsOn Corps has service opportunities available through the National Direct and VISTA programs. Both programs place members at local affiliates with the goal of helping them meet the increasing need for volunteerism, but each program has a unique focus.


AmeriCorps National Direct
Members focus on direct service activities. This means they engage directly with volunteers, partnering agencies and affiliates, and community members.

To find out more, visit AmeriCorps National.

AmeriCorps VISTA
Members focus on indirect service and capacity-building activities. Members’ activities also directly relate to VISTA’s mission of eliminating poverty through community awareness and involvement.

To find out more, visit AmeriCorps VISTA.

HandsOn Corps members will have an opportunity to serve in one location over the term of their service year. Learn more about our partners and Hands On Volunteer Centers that support National Service member placements.


Are you ready to LEAD the change?

How to Apply

The HandsOn Corps AmeriCorps program is open to U.S. citizens, U.S. Nationals or lawful permanent residents ages 18 and older who have a high school diploma or a Certificate of General Educational Development.

HandsOn Corps

Are you interested in impacting student success in low income communities? Do you want to help develop new programs and engage communities? If yes, check out the HandsOn Corps VISTA program, which will improve low income student outcomes through a multi-pronged approach to community engagement and service. During a one year service opportunity beginning August 20, 2012, VISTAs will develop sustainable systems for parental and community engagement that directly improve student success, support teacher led efforts and initiatives, provide community and parent enrichment opportunities, and engage students in service to their school and community.

The HandsOn Corps VISTA Program will engage 75 VISTAs in 34 communities across the country.

To learn more about available positions and apply, go to and search for 12 HOC VISTA. All listings begin with this title.


Online VISTA Advanced Volunteer Management Course

A new  course is available for VISTA leaders to help them be more effective in their volunteer leadership role. The course focuses primarily on the following three elements of volunteer management: (1) effective volunteer program design; (2) enhancing the volunteer experience, and; (3) recognizing and retaining volunteers. The course was created by HandsOn Network and the Corporation for National and Community Service and has the following ten modules.

  1. Developing Partnerships to Maximize Community Impact
  2. Volunteer Policy Development and Implementation
  3. Advanced Volunteer Recruitment Strategies
  4. Volunteer Work Plan Development
  5. Volunteer Recognition
  6. Volunteer Tracking
  7. Evaluating Your Volunteer Program
  8. Soliciting Volunteer Feedback
  9. Making Reflection the Cornerstone of Volunteering
  10. The Connection Between Civic Involvement and Service

The course comes with many interactive exercises as well as downloadable tools and worksheets.


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Frequently Asked Questions


What is National Service?

National Service refers to national service programs that are funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service. CNCS was established in 1993, when President Bill Clinton signed the National and Community Service Trust Act. It was created to connect all Americans with opportunities to serve their communities and their nation. The mission of CNCS is “to improve lives, strengthen communities and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.”

What is AmeriCorps?

AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engage more than 75,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health and the environment. AmeriCorps members serve in more than 3,000 nonprofits, public agencies and faith-based organizations throughout the United States. AmeriCorps is divided into three main programs: AmeriCorps*State and National Direct; VISTA(Volunteers in Service to America); and NCCC(National Civilian Community Corps). HandsOn Network has service opportunities available through AmeriCorps National Direct and VISTA programs as part of the HandsOn Corps. AmeriCorps is not a job; it is a service opportunity. In large and small communities, AmeriCorps members are taking responsibility, learning valuable skills and fulfilling their pledge to serve their communities and their nation.

What do HandsOn Corps members do?

The HON AmeriCorps program is designed to expand the HandsOn Network model of citizen mobilization and volunteer leadership development to bring outcomes in three primary impact areas: Environment; Economy; and Education.  HandsOn Corps members serve full time, engaging and developing Volunteer Leaders to directly impact communities in these areas through service.   


Additional questions about HandsOn Corps – AmeriCorps National Direct?









Additional questions about HandsOn Corps - AmeriCorps*VISTA?