National Days of Service

National Days of Service
 are a series of nationally-recognized and celebrated one-day service events that bring people together in their local communities, schools and neighborhoods to highlight particular needs, find new solutions, and renew our sense of commitment to community service. HandsOn was pleased to begin offering Days of Service opportunities beginning with Martin Luther King Day in January 2010.

HandsOn Northwest North Carolina in partnership with Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem State University, Salem College, and Big Brothers-Big Sisters plans an annual Read-In event to promote Dr. King’s messages of service and literacy in conjunction with one of the largest commemorative events held in our city every year: the Annual Noon Hour Commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday. The MLK Day of Service program is a “day on, not a day off” for many community members in Winston-Salem, NC.  About 150 volunteers serve at the MLK Day Read-In Event.  This collaboration was the first of its kind in Winston-Salem and was originally designed to allow parents to attend the Noon Hour Commemoration while their children attended the Read-In event.  Each year, the children learn about Dr. King, perform service activities such as writing letters to troops, and they also receive new and used donated books.  Hundreds of books are distributed to the 100 children who participate in the event. For pictures of previous years' celebrations, check out our photo album on Picasa. If you would like to partner with us for future MLK Day of Service activities, please contact Morgan Owen.

In honor of the  9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance, HandsOn NWNC organizes a community-wide Week of Service and Remembrance. Each year we coordinate with sites throughout our service area to provide volunteer opportunities of all types. Activities range from Letters for Troops drives to building Habitat for Humanity homes. The week concludes with a memorial ceremony, usually held on one of our local campuses. Please check out our Picasa photo album of the event, showing volunteers working hard at the various sites. If you are interested in submitting a recommendation for a site, or would like to volunteer for a 9/11 opportunity, please contact Morgan Owen.

Neighboring Collaborative

In the summer of 2010, HandsOn NWNC, together with multiple community partners, began the creation of a Neighboring volunteer collaborative, a volunteer-driven program to strengthen youth and families in the neighborhoods that are anchored by Forest Park Elementary and Exodus Baptist Church. Neighboring is the quintessential model of "doing with, rather than doing for" a community, engaging residents and families who live in marginalized and low-income communities as volunteers and leaders in volunteer-directed community activities, program planning and execution, advocacy and leadership development. The collaborative seeks to model innovative volunteer programs to promote more inclusive engagement of volunteers from this community, which is traditionally under-engaged in civic life. The collaborative also seeks faith-based and neighborhood organizations as partners while promoting volunteering as a means for community residents to connect to economic recovery opportunities, needed services and support, and caring and nurturing social networks that promote community change.


At Forest Park Elementary and Exodus Baptist Church, the collaborative seeks to engage students and their families by connecting them to nearby faith-based groups, businesses and other nonprofit and neighborhood resources in an effort to identify and address their community’s challenges effectively through the development of resident and volunteer leadership. Our focus is to increase youth development and civic engagement within the school and the surrounding neighborhoods, while also increasing volunteer leadership within local faith and business partners. Residents will identify challenges they want to change in their community and we will assist them to reach their goals through leadership development and community service projects. Students and their families will be leaders in every aspect of project planning and execution.


If you are a citizen or organization that is currently active in the Forest Park community and is interested in joining the collaborative, please email Morgan OwenWe also welcome interest from volunteers outside of the neighborhood, including bilingual individuals, skills-based volunteers who have experience in leadership development, grant writing, project planning, or evaluation, as well as those willing to serve as mentors and tutors.