Hands On Wilmington

Get Your Hands Dirty and Make an Impact

Want to know HOW easy it is to make a difference?

It’s as simple as spending one Saturday morning in April working with your neighbors and friends on a worthwhile project that will leave a visible and lasting impact. Hands On Wilmington, a project of the Leadership Wilmington Class of 2006, will show just how much can be accomplished in four hours when people work together. The inaugural Hands On Wilmington day of service will take place April 22, rain or shine. In keeping with the old saying about strength in numbers, an army of volunteers – laboring together – will be able to do much more than half a day’s work.

“This is a great opportunity that will engage many people who want to help make our community an even better place to live,” said Lori Goodell, regional development officer for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina and chairperson of the Hands On Wilmington Steering Committee. Anyone with a desire to help and four hours to commit is welcome to volunteer. No special skills are required, although volunteers who know their way around a construction site or are a whiz with landscaping are also urged to participate.

Early on the morning of April 22, volunteers will fan out to various project sites and prepare to get their hands dirty. The Leadership Wilmington class is soliciting projects that would benefit the community and would be unlikely to happen without Hands On Wilmington. Examples might include installing playground equipment, painting, building handicap access ramps, landscaping, park or neighborhood cleanups and small construction projects. Deadline to submit project requests is Feb. 17.

It’s amazing what can be achieved when many work toward one goal. In other communities that have a “Hands On” program, volunteers have been able to do in four hours what normally would take many times longer. Volunteers will celebrate their success with an afternoon of music and refreshments at Legion Stadium. Helping with organizational activities are teen representatives from Youth Matters, a program of theCape Fear Volunteer Center.

Leadership Wilmington is a civic leadership development program of the Greater Wilmington Chamber Foundation and the UNCW Division for Public Service and Continuing Studies. Its goal is to produce creative leaders by educating participants about the community they live in, encouraging them to get involved, and providing the opportunity for meaningful action.

The program was brought to Leadership Wilmington by representatives of GE Energy-Nuclear and Progress Energy, which are providing support. In addition to GE Energy-Nuclear and Progress Energy, sponsors include the City of Wilmington, Harris Teeter, Sage Island Design, Signal Design, the Star-News, WECT-TV6 and WSFX-TV (Fox).

To find out more about becoming a part of this community-wide event, go to www.HandsOnWilmington.org beginning Feb. 1, or leave a message at 762-2611, ext. 555.