An entirely volunteer-run organization, Hands on DC is in the business of producing transformations. Through projects and community engagement activities, the organization has recruited over 26,000 volunteers to improve the physical condition of more than 100 District public schools. Throughout the school year, Hands on DC sponsors “work-a-thons” where volunteers collaborate on over 300 projects at over 30 schools – laying carpet, painting classrooms, sprucing up playgrounds, building library bookshelves, creating container gardens, and more. It also works year-round, organizing Special Events Projects to meet the unique needs of individual schools, sponsoring Clean-out Day to clear junk and facilitate the good use of existing space, and creating Parent Resource Centers to encourage family involvement in the education of their children. Extending its dedication to higher education, Hands on DC partners with Urban Alliance to provide $30,000 in scholarships to DC public school students each year. Hands on DC strengthens the bond between students and their classrooms, between communities and schools. Won't you lend a hand?

Headquarters: DC-Ward 2

Where They Operate: DC-Citywide

Age Groups Served: Youth (5-11); Pre-teen/teen (12-17); Young adult (18-24); Adult (25-49); All

Population(s) Served: Students

Schools They Work In: 2008 Work-a-thon Schools:; Anacostia Senior High School; Bowen Elementary School; Browne Junior High School; Bunker Hill Elementary School; Clark Elementary School; Deal Junior High School; Drew Elementary School; Emery Elementary School; Francis Junior High School; Gibbs Elementary School; Hart Middle School; Hendley Elementary School; Jefferson Junior High School; MacFarland Middle School; Marshall Educational Center; Maury Elementary School; Montgomery Elementary School; Nalle Elementary School; Orr Elementary School; Payne Elementary School; Raymond Elementary School; Reed Elementary School; River Terrace Elementary School; Rudolph Elementary School; Shaw Junior High School; Spingarn Senior High School; Stuart-Hobson Middle School; Whittier Elementary School; Woodrow Wilson Senior High School; Young Elementary School

Awards & Recognition

Best of Washington 2009 for Social Services
Points of Light Foundation Award, 2005
District of Columbia Board of Education, Resolution honoring Hands on DC, May 19, 2003


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Budget (FY2014)

  • $3 million or higher
  • $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • The current budget for Hands on DC is: Less than $500k

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