Monthly Archives: April 2012

Meet Our New VISTA!

We’d like to welcome Katie Candiotti!

              Katie is the new Americorps VISTA  member  at the Hands on Hartford Central Office. She is here to help with communication strategies between HOH and the community and raise funds required to sustain its service and engagement programs in the future.

                She grew up in Michigan with her parents, sister and dog. She has always been a social and interactive person. In high school she played basketball and ran cross country/track, and she was in a Marketing club called DECA (Distributive  Education Clubs of America) intended to prepare students to become leaders in the business world. In college, Katie studied Advertising and Public Relations at Grand Valley State University, was a member of a club called Spotlight Productions who planned events for students on campus and organized an intermural volleyball team.

                During her four years of college, she interned at the local Red Cross chapter in the Prevention, Preparedness & Education department. She also interned with Michigan State University in the College of Human Medicine. Katie helped with marketing and events such as the speaker series, and The Women’s Health Symposium. She was fortunate enough to have studied abroad in Australia the summer of her junior year which was an amazing experience. Then, she graduated in April 2011 and was ready to see the world again.  June of 2011, she took time off and traveled through Europe for 35 days and enjoyed every minute of it. Her list of places to visit and re-visit continues to grow everyday.

                As she was looking for jobs, the Americorps programs seemed to spark her interest, especially the Hands on Hartford description. She will be with HOH for a year and hopes to learn a lot and gain more experience in the non profit world. Katie says she  is excited to be keeping the HOH mission alive!

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JetBlue and Insurity at ASD

It was a perfect day, not a single cloud in the sky, for a Hands On Hartford executed outdoor service project on the campus of the American School for the Deaf (ASD) in West Hartford on Friday, April 20th. This was the first time that our organization coordinated a service project for dual businesses. Ten veteran employee volunteers from Insurity (formerly LexisNexis), who are familiar with the ASD campus, were joined by eight newcomers from JetBlue.

The employee volunteers, who worked very well together, spent the day tackling the overgrowth along the fence line of the school – trimming, pruning, cutting, weeding, etc. In addition to landscaping, they also cleaned up the debris that remained from the October storm. This was extremely helpful to the maintenance staff of six who are responsible for maintaining the 50 plus acres.

The volunteers were able to complete the project within a 4 hour period and were treated to a cookout afterwards. It was a great team-building day for all. The students who were away for spring break will certainly be in for a treat. We certainly appreciate the efforts of the Insurity and JetBlue volunteers who devoted their time and energy to making a difference for the ASD community all while having a bit of fun.

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Easter Lunch at Community Meals

On Easter Sunday, 29 volunteers helped prepare and serve a hot and delicious Easter lunch to over 150 individuals at our soup kitchen. The morning started early for the volunteers who assisted with creating and setting up festive decorations and prepping for the meal.

Thanks to the generosity of various individuals and all the volunteers, the meal consisted of ham, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes with a cherry glaze, mixed vegetables, and salad. Guests also got to enjoy hot coffee, donuts and bingo!

We are so grateful for all the support which made this holiday meal so successful. We are already looking forward to and preparing for the next holiday meal, Memorial Day. If you are interested in supporting this meal or volunteering, contact Cody Stewart at

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