April 2021 News
Springtime at Hands On Hartford
The warm weather is really here and the combination of rainy and sunny days make for great growing conditions. Flowers are growing in the gardens, and lettuce and sugar snap peas are coming up! Stop by to visit the gardens any time - we love company!
Easter Meal
We celebrated Easter this year with our our annual meal for the community. Thank you to the team of volunteers who set up tables, decorated, and assisted in the kitchen to prepare a delicious meal. We had carrot cake and cookies for all, Easter baskets for kids (thank you David Nowacki and Cathy Pedro), and care packages for adults! Special thanks to Don Goodman for treats and fresh fruit and to Sodexo Catering at University of Saint Joseph for the festive Easter cookies.

Our next meal is Memorial Day - if you're interested in volunteering, contact Jackie at volunteering@handsonhartford.org.
Volunteer Recognition Week
We spent a week in April celebrating and honoring our extraordinary volunteers who have dedicated their time, talent, voice and resources to meet the critical needs of our community. As an affiliate of the Points of Light Network, we celebrated National Volunteer Week alongside other affiliates across the country. Here at Hands On Hartford, thanks to the hard work of Community Engagement Team members Jackie Kasinskas and Geoff Luxenberg, we celebrated with a week-long Volunteer Appreciation Week to honor the volunteers who have been with Hands On Hartford during this challenging year. Check out our Facebook page and Instagram to learn more about 2021 volunteer award recipients.
Faith In Action
Sending gratitude to St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church and everyone who contributed to the food drive to help keep the MANNA Community Pantry shelves stocked. They brought a generous spring gift of many hundreds of pounds of food. Your support of our community makes all of the difference.
COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic
Hands On Hartford and Charter Oak Health Center hosted a free COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Hands On Hartford's Center for Community on Thursday, April 29 for Connecticut residents.

About 30 community members received their vaccinations - one step closer to a safer and healthier world for us all.
Seeking Sponsors!

We are seeking sponsors for our annual fall fundraising event, Hands and Hearts Together. This virtual event will take place on Sunday, September 26th at 5:30 pm.

For information on sponsoring our event, contact Kate Shafer at kshafer@handsonhartford.org or look at our sponsorship opportunities HERE.
Shared Use Kitchen
Even with the pandemic affecting small businesses, the Shared Use Kitchen has really been heating up! The Kitchen now has 38 members and it's always hopping! Here are three of our members who are participating in the Food Incubator program run by reSET in collaboration with Hands On Hartford: Kleon Clarke of Nyam Bakery (Jamaican coco bread), Nicola Poplin of Pop's Famous Foods (guacamole), and Chris Penta of A Saucey Chef (catered meals for busy households).

Peach Heart, an ensemble of Hartt School of Music alums, is sharing their music by providing a free concert and requesting donations for Hands On Hartford. This family friendly concert is Saturday, May 8th, from 1-2pm at the Mandell JCC Innovation Center in West Hartford.

Click HERE to learn more about the event, or reserve your tickets.
John Oyola has joined the Housing Team as a Housing Case Manager working with supportive housing tenants. Welcome John!
We are delighted to welcome Zoraida Martinez as a new Tenant Assistant - so glad to have her on the team!
Special Thanks for Gifts of Food and More

Our great friends at Nassau Financial Group packed up hundreds of toiletry kits for us to share with our Community Meals guests - thank you for taking care of our community.

NEOS LLC made a great food donation this month, along with so many other helpful items - socks, disposable utensils, dish soap, sanitizing wipes and gel, napkins, and more. Thank you for your generous partnership.
Hartford Stag Soap Co. has been making food donations since last June, and with this month's donation they have now brought over 2,500 pounds of food to the MANNA Community Pantry (plus scarves, hats, socks and gloves in the deep of winter.) We are so moved by their thoughtful caring for our Hartford neighbors and honored by their support.

Taking care of our community - students from University of Saint Joseph brought sandwiches and cookies to share with our Community Meals guests. The extra sustenance and care and compassion make a big difference - thank you all so much!
Thank you Town Fair Tire! First we had a visit from Mark who brought an amazing donation, and then we visited Eric at Town Fair Tire in East Hartford to pick up another amazing donation. They're our new BFFs, and we are so grateful for this support.
Interested in Volunteering?
For information on any upcoming volunteer opportunities, contact Jackie Kasinskas at volunteering@handsonhartford.org or call 860-706-1522
About Hands On Hartford
Hands On Hartford, in partnership with others, strengthens community in Hartford by responding faithfully to people in need through programs that change lives and renew human possibility.

We are committed to increasing food security and nutrition, improving health and providing housing while we engage volunteers and connect communities.
How Can I Help?

Go shopping! If you're an online amazon shopper, be sure to start your shopping at smile.amazon.com and select Hands On Hartford as your charity. That way .5% of eligible purchases will automatically go to Hands On Hartford.

Or use the Amazon app and follow the instructions below!
1. Open the Amazon app on your phone
2. Select the main menu (=)
3. Tap on "AmazonSmile" within Programs & Features
4. Select "Hands On Hartford" as your charity
5. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile

Make a donation! You will be part of a network of donors, volunteers and staff who work together to provide food, housing and related services for families who are struggling to make ends meet. To make a financial donation, click "Donate Now" or mail your check to Hands On Hartford, 55 Bartholomew Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106. Our inkind donation wish-list is HERE

Or contact Kate Shafer at kshafer@handsonhartford.org for more in-kind donation ideas.
Request a matching donation from your employer! Many employers will match all or part of your donation - a great way to double your impact.

Add us to your estate plans. Contact Executive Director Barbara Shaw to explore planned giving ideas and to join our Legacy Society. bshaw@handsonhartford.org or 860-706-1502.

We are grateful for our community and the love, caring, compassion and support we see every day.