By Katie Fallon
Sandy Springs residents will no doubt notice an increase of helping hands as they visit their local park, library or cultural attraction on April 21.
On that Saturday, Leadership Sandy Springs (LSS) will be partnering with Hands on Atlanta for the 5th Annual Volunteering for a Better Sandy Springs Day.
Held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., the event will feature volunteers spread across the city to help clean and beautify sites including Hammond Park, the Community Action Center, Sandy Springs Regional Library and Heritage Sandy Springs.
Event chairman Nolan Feintuch said the event began as a class project for a previous LSS class. Each year, the organization graduates a group of volunteer leaders seeking to address the needs of the community and, in 2001, the class developed the idea of the multi-pronged volunteer event.
Feintuch said LSS, however, decided to partner with Hands on Atlanta this year to help the event grow by utilizing the organization’s existing volunteer database. “We’re trying to take this to a higher level,” he said.
Hands on Atlanta’s community partnerships manager Harold McNaron said his organization was first approached by LSS to assist not only with getting the word out to volunteers, but also with utilizing the Hands on Atlanta web site for volunteer registration. He said the organization is excited about exposing its own volunteers to new community efforts in Sandy Springs.
“We are excited about giving our current North Fulton volunteers more chances to serve in their local community & hope to develop some ongoing partnerships with the nonprofit organizations,” McNaron said.
Hands on Atlanta, though, has already succeeded in helping increase the scope of the project. Last year, the day included visiting four sites in Sandy Springs, but this year, the event will include eight sites. Feintuch said organizers are hoping to recruit 300 volunteers, a good 100 more than last year.
“It’s going very well,” Feintuch said. “Hopefully, we won’t have to turn people down.”
LSS, though, is still recruiting volunteers. Those wishing to help the beautification efforts, which also include visiting North Springs High School, the Sandy Springs Conservancy, Sandy Springs Middle School and the passive park at Spalding Drive Elementary School, can do so by visiting the Hands on Atlanta web site at www.handsonatlanta.org. Once there, volunteers can register to work at specific sites, all of which were selected by LSS.