OUR MISSION: Hands On Tokyo provides meaningful bilingual volunteer opportunities to foster volunteerism and develop leaders to serve the needs of our community.
Hands On Tokyo was founded in December 2006 with a working Board of Directors comprising both Japanese and foreign nationals who are committed to making volunteer activities more accessible and committed to accelerating the growth of volunteerism in the Tokyo area.
Hands On Tokyo has been a recognized non-profit since 2009, and was certified by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government as an “Approved Specified Non-Profit Corporation” in 2017. Since becoming a non-profit organization, our mission has remained the same, working with special needs organizations, non-profit organizations, welfare facilities, children's homes, educational institutions, local hospitals and health care providers to plan and provide volunteer opportunities that meet the needs of the community.
Through our volunteer activities, we address the needs of a diverse range of community partners, including children's homes, special care homes for the elderly, special needs schools. By providing opportunities to participate in volunteer activities in both Japanese and English. We aim to encourage local people to participate in volunteer activities and contribute to the local community by working in the community.
During this COVID-19 pandemic, we are focusing on “what can we do now to support our community,” and how can we support that community as quickly as possible. We are working with various community groups, to deliver masks, handmade PPE gowns and “Thank You Baskets.” Each of these include a handwritten thank you message, and various sweets. These are delivered to our partner hospitals, local hospitals, welfare facilities, etc.
■Our Focus Areas
Infants' Homes, Children's Homes
Approximately 45,000 children in Japan are unable to live with their families for reasons such as domestic violence, mental disabilities and financial difficulties. Hands On Tokyo‘s volunteer programs support these homes by providing opportunities and options to inspire and shape their future. We do gardening, vegetable gardening, crafts, English Classes, Self-reliance support activities, Tohoku projects with children.
Youth in Need
Due to the long-term effects of COVID-19, young people who had graduated from childrens’ homes at the age of 18 and started living by themselves independently are in great need. To support them, childrens’ homes are putting more effort than ever in connecting with them, hearing about their situation, and providing them supplies on a regular basis. In response to these community needs, Hands-on Tokyo is proceeding with a project to deliver care packages (relief supplies) containing groceries and daily necessities donated by our volunteers to the childrens’ homes.
There are approximately 7.4 million physically and mentally challenged individuals in Japan. Our volunteer programs support individuals with Special Needs through educational & physical activities that enrich their quality of life. English conversation, tennis and jogging with the visually impaired, and through sports and fun events, computer classes, and English conversation classes with various challenges.
Because of COVID-19, our regular in-person programs continued to move online. On-going activities with nursing homes and senior homes included a program of stretching, exercises, and tango with online volunteers. We also presented seasonal decorations and daily calendars handmade at home by individual and corporate volunteers.
We focus on the environmental issues we have in this society and the world. We work to make all of our lives safe and more sustainable.
■About Hands On Network and Points of Light Foundation
In the late 1980s, a group of young people in New York created an organization called New York Cares that offered new opportunities for residents to volunteer in their community. The founders did not have a lot of money to give away, but the one thing they had to offer was their time. They organized group projects on evenings and weekends so that people could volunteer around their work schedules. Inviting others to a meaningful, hands-on project without long-term commitment, they made it easy for other volunteers to participate. After volunteering, the participants felt they had made some sort of a difference in their community. As word of this organization spread to friends across the United States, the founders of New York Cares started similar efforts in Washington D. C. and in Atlanta, Georgia. Today, the HandsOn Network has merged with the Points Of Light Foundation to become the largest volunteer network in the United States and includes more than 177 HandsOn Action Centers in 38 countries, including Japan.
Hands On Tokyo is the Tokyo affiliate of Hands On Network-Points of Light Foundation. Much like other HandsOn affiliates, Hands On Tokyo collaborates with many local organizations to encourage senior citizens, revitalize playgrounds, deliver food to the hungry, support people with visual impairment, inspire children in children’s homes, and the list goes on.
Points of Light Foundation
■If you would like to support us financially, please visit the Hands On Tokyo website (https://www.handsontokyo.org/topics/20/). Your financial contribution enables us to provide meaningful service opportunities every week of the year. We would like to thank you, once again, for your continued support.