2015 Volunteer Expo: Celebrating 10 Years!

HOTC Final

This past Valentine’s Day, thousands of people shared their love of volunteerism with HandsOn Twin Cities at our 10th annual Volunteer Expo. A huge thanks to those of you who stopped by and visited the nonprofit booths, participated in speed volunteering and braved both the cold and the crowds at Mall of America to attend the event.

This year, HOTC was excited to have 94 organizations on site sharing their mission and opportunities with Mall of America guests. Ten of these organizations offered ‘speed volunteering’ opportunities that allowed Expo visitors to engage in quick volunteer activities. Hundreds of people stopped for 5-15 minutes to speed volunteer. Volunteers participated in many different projects including:

Tshirt Making

Volunteers making t-shirts to donate to a local nonprofit

  • Tracing patterns for baby clothes with Bundles of Love
  • Packing snack packs for dining sites serving youth with Loaves and Fishes
  • Bagging powdered laundry soap with PRISM
  • Working with Resource, Inc. to decorate journals for men, women and children impacted by mental illness or addiction
  • Making fleece dog blankets and fleece dog toys for Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota (RAGOM)
  • And many more!
best booth, group

Best booth winners!

Congratulations to Ramsey County Sheriff’s Fright Farm Haunted House for winning Best Booth! They went all out to make their booth as scary as their haunted house! Honorable mentions go to AARP Minnesota, Tamarisk, Minnesota Literacy Council, Gibbs Museum and Matter for creating fun, colorful and engaging booths to attract Expo visitors.

Be The Change: Congratulations to the HOTC Be The Change award winners, Julie Gilbertson (Metro Blooms), Bob Scholz (DARTS), Thomas Rustemis (Be the Match), and Anna Rice (Pinky Swear Fountation). Each award winner was given a certificate of thanks and the nonprofit they serve received a financial contribution on their behalf. Keep an eye out for a future blog post with more information on each of these amazing volunteers!

Award winners - group

Be the Change Award winners and their nominators.

Ten Years Strong: This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Volunteer Expo. We have had many dedicated nonprofits that have attended this event each year. We are happy to share this exciting anniversary with the following nonprofits who are ten year veterans of the Expo!

  • The Arc Greater Twin Cities
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities
  • Catholic Charities
  • Cheerful Givers
  • Great River Greening
  • Helping Paws
  • Kids ‘n Kinship
  • Neighbors, Inc.
  • Can Do Canines
  • Ramsey County
  • The Aliveness Project
  • RSVP Program- Volunteer of America of MN

These organizations have hauled loads of materials, braved mall parking, and spent long hours talking to mall-goers in order to spread their mission. The Expo would not be the event that it is without these organizations. Thank you affiliates!

You Retweeted for HOTC! This year, Mall of America generously offered to host a retweet campaign on behalf of HandsOn. For each retweet of their Twitter posts about the 2015 Volunteer Expo, the Mall donated $1 to HOTC! We raised over 500 dollars with the help of MOA and YOU! Thanks to everyone who took the time to retweet for HandsOn.

The Expo would not have been possible without the wonderful support from our lead sponsor Thrivent Financial. A big thanks to the Thrivent employees who volunteered with HOTC throughout the event day! In addition, we would like to thank 3M, Mall of America, Thomson Reuters, Xcel Energy, Greater Twin Cities United Way and Ameriprise Financial along with our other in-kind supporters; KARE 11 and Amanda Cox Graphic Design.

Were you there? If you attended the event, please leave a comment and tell us about your experience! We’d love to hear how you heard about it, the connections you made, and how you plan to use the information you found!

Thanks to everyone who was involved. Together, we can all Be the Change!

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