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To help in county, get 'hands on'

Tell officials all about your volunteer opportunities

Posted: Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hands On Columbia County officials need the community's help to promote and report on volunteer activities.

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Starting Saturday and running until Oct. 4, Hands On Georgia Week is an annual effort by Hands on Georgia, a state organization dedicated to volunteering and civic involvement and to promoting and tallying volunteer efforts.

Last year, 68,000 volunteers contributed 191,000 hours to civic projects during Hands On Georgia Week.

Hands On Columbia County, the area affiliate of Hands On Georgia, wants anyone volunteering, or wishing to volunteer, during Hands On Georgia Week to contact them, said Julie Miller, the executive director of Columbia County Community Connections, an umbrella organization for Hands On Columbia County.

"It's a big push to see how much volunteerism our county can muster that week," Miller said. "We're trying to get groups to put their projects on the Web site and if they want to register as a volunteer."

The online service is available beyond Hands On Georgia Week, Miller said.

During the week, about 200 volunteers will work on a mural honoring the 20th anniversary of the Oliver Hardy Festival in Harlem.

Hands On Columbia County has organized a community cleanup to be held in Harlem from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in preparation for the Oliver Hardy Festival, to be held Oct. 4.

In addition to festival events, county schools will conduct a series of projects that week with an emphasis on alleviating hunger.

Most schools are asking students to bring in donations toward a $7,500 fundraising goal, with information available at www.changeourworld online.org.

For information on local efforts, call Columbia County Community Connections at (706) 556-0609, or go to www.handsoncolumbiacounty.org.

Miller said her organization can help anyone interested set up volunteer activities or teach people how to organize projects.



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