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Become an AmeriCorps Volunteer Infrastructure Program (VIP) or CalPREP Fellow!

July 3, 2014

Become an AmeriCorps Volunteer Infrastructure Program (VIP) or CalPREP Fellow!

AmeriCorpsPhoto2VIP Fellows will increase the number of high-value (skilled and corporate) volunteers providing needed college and career services to students and families in high need communities. VIP Fellows will build capacity at each placement site to provide the support, skills and resources volunteers need to be successful in supporting programs that promote academic or college & career readiness.
As a VIP Fellow, you will be part of a team, working to coach and support a cadre of high-value volunteers. Your primary role is developing the volunteer program at your site, bringing resources of highly-skilled volunteers to the students and families the college and career readiness program serves. You will spend time in the community building partnerships and forging lasting relationships. This AmeriCorps position is a valuable opportunity to develop and apply your leadership and community organizing skills to make a lasting difference in the local community. Fellows will gain exposure to the nonprofit sector and will be able to expand their career skills while giving back in a meaningful way.
DSC_0052CalPREP Fellows will increase the number of high-value (skilled and corporate) volunteers providing needed services to children, youth and families who face economic hardship. Additionally, CalPREP Fellows will build capacity within the Partner Site volunteer program to provide the support, skills and resources volunteers need to be successful. Partner sites receiving support will operate a mentoring program that promotes college & career readiness.
As a CalPREP Fellow, you will be part of a team, working to recruit, train,coach and support a cadre of volunteer mentors. Your primary role is to recruit college-readiness mentors and match them with students needing the mentoring support. Specifically you will be developing the tools, policies, and procedures required to sustain a volunteer mentoring program that effectively incorporates college readiness volunteer mentors at your site. By initiating mentoring matches with high-need students, the CalPREP project seeks to promote growth in developing college knowledge and readiness in students.
This AmeriCorps position is a valuable opportunity to develop and apply your leadership and community organizing skills to make a lasting difference in the local community. Fellows will gain exposure to the nonprofit sector and will be able to expand their career skills while giving back in a meaningful way.
HandsOn Inland Empire is looking to recruit 5 AmeriCorps VIP Fellows, 1 AmeriCorps VIP Leader, 6 AmeriCorps CalPREP Fellows, and 1 AmeriCorps CalPREP Leader. Each fellow will be placed at a different non-profit or school site in the Inland Empire that is operating an academic, college, and/or career readiness programs/mentoring program. HandsOn Inland Empire is the volunteer department of Inland Empire United Way.
VIP and CalPREP Fellows receive a living stipend of $14,000 for the eleven month term of service. At the completion of the year and of 1700 hours of service, VIP and CalPREP fellows also receive an education award that can be used towards education or repayment of school loans.
Job Descriptions

Help Homeless Youth! YouthHope Open House on December 11th

November 26, 2013

OpenHouseInviteImageYouthHope is getting a drop-in center, but to make it happen they need the community’s help! On Wednesday, December 11th from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM YouthHope will be hosting a Open House at their future drop-in center location (1179 W. Redlands Blvd., Redlands, Ca. 92373) to showcase the great work they are doing in the community and the great need that still exists to be able serve their current and future youth in the area.

Some of their current needs for their new facility include a wide range of structural improvements such as a new roof, added fencing, construction of basketball courts, and coats of new paint. Other requests include in-kind donations such as: furniture and computers. Help make the drop-in center a place where youth can feel safe, continue education, look for jobs, receive counseling, and receive the help that they need to achieve self-sufficiency. Come out to their Open House and see how you can help!

5:00 – 6:00 PM Open House: Facility will be open as an exhibit with visual aids of our services, intentions for construction and requested needs for each area.

6:00-6:30 PM Short Ceremony: Speakers will share information about YouthHope Foundation and announce new plans for the facilities.  Local Press will be in attendance.


Future home of the drop-in center


Current state of the interior of the drop-in center

YouthHope Mission Statement
To build confidence and promote self-sufficiency for homeless and runaway youth by providing trust, hope, support, and education. No one is a lost cause! We have designed a program to help youth exit street life and develop life skills. Our goal is to take youth from the street to employment to becoming self-sufficient adults. We are an independent, 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization that serves to instill hope in the youth we serve.

Who They Serve and Why
In America today, it’s estimated that 1.3 to 2.8 million youth will runaway this year, and that the average age of the homeless youth is 18 years old. According to the Redlands Unified School District (Redlands, Ca. 2010-2011 school year) there were 3,204 homeless children registered in kindergarten to 12th grade and 1,414 homeless youth registered in 7th – 12th grade. Many of the youth that YouthHope serves are run-aways, victims of addiction, insufficient family structure, violence, and the phasing out of foster care. Therefore, they have not gained the life skills necessary to enter the world as independent, successful adults. We hope to end the cycle of of homelessness by instilling confidence and self-sufficiency in these youth.

For more information about YouthHope visit:

Inland Empire United Way conducts school supply drives to help local students succeed!

August 2, 2013

School Supply Drive FB Cover Image_v2

Imagine trying to complete a school assignment, but not having basic supplies like a pen, pencil or paper. Unfortunately, this scenario is all too real, and without your help, thousands of kids here in our community may be going back to school without the supplies they need to learn and succeed. Inland Empire United Way’s School Tools program provides NEW supplies throughout the school year to local students and classrooms in need. Last year, we distributed more than $2 million worth of supplies to 53 Inland Empire schools.

We believe that every child deserves to go back-to-school with the supplies they need to excel, and donations from amazing partners in our local community are instrumental in making that possible. Together, we can provide enough School Tools to help create a brighter future for our community’s children, but we need additional churches, businesses, groups and individuals to donate supplies or run a supply drive during the month of August or September. Here are a few ways you can help:

School Tools Supply Drive Hosts – Conduct a supply drive and collect any or all of the “Basic 10” items for children in our local schools. This is the perfect opportunity for employee groups, church congregations, service clubs, sports teams or other community groups. It’s easy, fun, and makes a real difference for local kids.

School Tools Supply Station Locations – We are looking for business locations throughout IEUW’s service area to serve as supply drop-off locations. We will provide the collection bin, signage, pick up the donations, and promote your Supply Station.

School Supply Donations – Next time you’re out shopping, please pick up any of the Basic 10 supplies to donate to local students in need. Drop off supplies at any of our School Tools Supply Stations, which will be located throughout our community. Locations will be posted on our website.

If you are able to help, please visit our website at or contact Dixie Torres at or 909-980-2857 ext. 216 to get started!

All HandsOn Deck! Volunteers needed for school makeover

April 15, 2013

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Calling on all HandsOn Inland Empire volunteers! We’re bringing smiles to children’s faces and we need YOUR help to make it happen! Over 500 volunteers are needed to help with our school makeover project occurring on Saturday, April 27th from 8am-4pm in the city of Redlands. Volunteers are also needed on Friday, April 26th from 2:30pm-5:00pm to help with prep work for the following day’s projects. On Saturday, volunteers will be adding paint and color to the playground to help build school pride and to encourage students to become more physically active on the playground. 

This school makeover project is part of Inland Empire United Way’s celebration of National Volunteer Week, which occurs April 21st-April 27th. National Volunteer Week is about taking action, encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change—discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation. We hope that you will join us in driving social change in the community!

Help transform the school grounds into a dynamic environment that is visually stimulating and that the teachers, parents, students, and the community can be proud of! All volunteers must be at least 14 years of age to participate.  In addition, all volunteers are provided with breakfast, lunch, water, snacks, and free event t-shirt. Grab your family, friends, and co-workers and sign up today! To sign up for a project, click here.

A special thank you to our sponsors: Starbucks, Evolution Fresh, Target, and Beaver Medical Group. Without their support, projects like these could not happen!

Unable to volunteer at our school makeover project? There are plenty of volunteer opportunities available during National Volunteer Week (and beyond)! Visit to find a project near you!


Uncommon Good Whole Earth Building Grand Opening

April 8, 2013

Uncommon Good

Uncommon Good is holding the Grand Opening of the world’s first Whole Earth Building (WEB) on Saturday, April 20, 2013 at 10am in Claremont. Over the past year, Uncommon Good has had volunteers recruited from HandsOn Inland Empire’s website to help construct the Whole Earth Building and they would like to show their appreciation by inviting the volunteers and the general public to celebrate its grand opening.

Guest Speaker will be Dolores Huerta, co-founder with Cesar Chavez of the United Farm Workers. The public is invited to attend this major event and learn about this groundbreaking achievement for clean energy and the environment in our Inland Empire region and the world.

The Whole Earth Building is a beautiful sophisticated structure that used only on-site earth for 85% of its construction materials. Built entirely by hand, its shell will last 500 years. It is carbon neutral and by 2023 will function as a carbon sink. Its features include a first-of-its-kind green roof showcasing native plants. The building’s construction and operation were solar powered, and it requires no light other than day lighting during daytime hours. Harvey Mudd College students designed a unique solar-powered earth air tunnel cooling system to supplement the cooling and heating provided by the building’s mass.

The Whole Earth Building will be the home of our nonprofit organization, Uncommon Good, that offers education and medical programs, urban farm projects and environmental programs. The Claremont United Methodist Church and the Claremont School of Theology have shared their land to make this building possible.

Uncomon-GoodfinalEVENT DETAILS:
Saturday, April 20, 2013
at 10:00am
211 W. Foothill Blvd.
Claremont, CA 91711

The Whole Earth Building is being made possible by grants from the Reformulated Gasoline Settlement Fund, Ralph & Shirley Shapiro, and the California Community Foundation.

For more information, please visit or contact Executive Director Nancy Mintie at

AmeriCorps VISTA Sara Clark: College as a Community Effort

March 15, 2013

As part of National AmeriCorps Week, our AmeriCorps VISTA, Sara Clark, has written about her experience as a VISTA thus far and why it is important to continue to support AmeriCorps programs nationwide. 

Promise Scholars

Sara Clarke with fellow AmeriCorps VISTA, Lisa Keller, promoting the Promise Scholars program at a community event.

After I graduated college, I decided to dedicate a year to an activity I enjoyed—volunteering.  Thus, I became an AmeriCorps VISTA.

AmeriCorps VISTA (Volunteers to Service in America) is a federal anti-poverty program.  VISTAs are full-time volunteers, who serve a year-long term, helping support projects at non-profits or local government agencies that help alleviate poverty in the United States.
Searching for local opportunities within the National organization, I stumbled upon the Ontario-Montclair Promise Scholars Program—an early, universal college access program for students , aimed at increasing the college going rates for students in Ontario and Montclair.  I thought volunteering with Promise Scholars would help fulfill my interests in philanthropy and education and allow me to give back to my hometown community.  So I applied.

When I accepted the position, I became responsible for two components of Promise Scholars– the 6th grade Business Leader Presentations, where college graduates discuss their college and career experiences with students, and the 12th grade Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Campaign, where high school seniors are motivated to file for financial aid for college.

Fast forward 7 months and I have helped organize presentations at 14 schools, impacting nearly 1400 6th graders.  I have also helped support the nearly 20% increase in FAFSAs completed by Montclair High School from last year, an increase that resulted in approximately $259,600 in state aid!

Through this process, I have realized that the old cliché “it takes a whole village to raise a child” holds true, especially when it comes to raising a child prepared to pursue postsecondary education.   I realize that my efforts would have been minimal had it not been for the support of staff at Inland Empire United Way, fellow AmeriCorps volunteers, and the staff at the various Ontario-Montclair schools I have collaborated with along the way.  I also recognize that volunteers from the business community and local colleges are vital soldiers in the battle to increase our students’ college-going rates.

So, I encourage everyone to join the fight to raise the college-going rate of students in our county, which currently stands at a depressing 29%.  Everyone can help—parents can bring college talks to the kitchen table and college students and graduates can serve as mentors to our youth.

The goal of Promise Scholars—creating a college-going culture for students—should not be an isolated cause worked on by one program; rather, it should be an objective for all areas for all students worked on by all community members.

To celebrate National AmeriCorps Week (March 9 – 17), please join this VISTA in her struggle to help break the cycle of poverty with education.

For more information about Promise Scholars and how you can get involved please visit

Learning to Sell Yourself: Building Your Skills via Volunteering

February 27, 2013

Learn Lead2

You’ve probably heard this before, “volunteer experience looks great on your resume”, but what you probably aren’t aware of is that certain types of volunteer experience may look more favorable on a resume than others. This is because certain volunteer experiences utilize sets of skills that help build upon one’s professional development and demonstrate to a future employer that you are utilizing your skills in the real-world. So even though you may not be getting paid for your volunteer service, you are getting first-hand experience that apply towards your professional growth and development.

So what are those types of volunteer opportunities and how can you get involved? The answer is: SKILL-BASED VOLUNTEERING!

Why is skill-based volunteering important? There is a huge need in the nonprofit community to find skill-based volunteers. Those who possess certain skills in areas such as marketing, fundraising, construction, or health services are extremely useful for a nonprofit organization that does not have the capacity or the funding to have the expertise readily on hand. Skilled volunteers can even help by serving on nonprofit board of directors and/or offering their pro bono services.

What do you get by volunteering your skills? Well for starters, you can feel good about putting your talents to use for a good cause! Another important benefit to skilled-based volunteering is you gain more experience that you can put on your resume. Skill-based volunteering is a great way for businesses to further develop their employees professionally while giving back to the community. It’s a win-win!

How do I find a community organization that can use my skills? HandsOn Inland Empire is a great place to search for volunteer opportunities near you! Many nonprofits are looking for board members, graphic designers, web developers, and much more! Also, microvolunteering is a great way to use your skills to volunteer from the comfort of your own home. is a great resource for microvolunteering opportunities.

In addition, HandsOn Inland Empire has a new feature on its website that allows volunteers to self-report their skills by filling out their Skills Profile, located in their “My Accounts.” Volunteers are now able to list their skills with the level of proficiency and attach any certifications to their profile. In addition, volunteers can choose to accept invitations from local nonprofits that are looking for the volunteer’s set of skills. For example, if a volunteer states in his Skills Profile that he is an Expert in graphic design and accepts invitations from organizations, a local nonprofit that is looking for a volunteer to help redesign their organization’s logo could contact him directly to ask whether or not he would be willing to redesign their logo.

How to fill out your skills profile:

  • Login to and click on “My Account”
  • Click on “Skills” located in the vertical menu on the left-hand side
  • Fill out your various skills and level of proficiency and hit “Save”
    • Note: Make sure to check mark the box next to ACCEPT INVITATIONS- Would you like to allow nonprofits organizations to search for your skills, and invite you to volunteer with them for opportunities that require the skills based on your profile?”

So what are you waiting for? Get HandsOn with your skills and VOLUNTEER!

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