We Are HandsOn Battle Creek

Our History

HandsOn Battle Creek was established as the Volunteer Bureau in 1949 by the Junior League of Battle Creek. The first offices were located in the Council of Social Agencies at 20 Kingman Building. In 1953, the office was moved to the Community Service Building on Van Buren Street.

The Volunteer Bureau launched an information and referral service in 1974, which began our long involvement in I&R. In the late 1990’s a number of community studies identified access to human services information as one of the single most pressing needs for our county’s residents. The results of these surveys were used in discussions with The Coordinating Council (Calhoun County’s multi-purpose collaborative body), county government, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to build a case for 2-1-1 and how this 24-hour service could help solve this access issue. The Volunteer Bureau gained designation as a 2-1-1 provider in May 2002 and launched our 2-1-1 service on August 1, 2002. Calhoun County’s 2-1-1 Call Center was the first to receive this designation in the state of Michigan.

The Volunteer Bureau changed its name in 1999 to The Volunteer Center of Battle Creek with offices moving to downtown Battle Creek to our current location in Riverwalk Centre.

In August of 2008, our name changed to HandsOn Battle Creek, an affiliate with the Points of Light Foundation & Volunteer Center National Network. Based in Washington, D.C., the Foundation advocates community service to deliver solutions that address community problems. We are also a member of Volunteer Centers of Michigan, the statewide association for Volunteer Centers in Michigan.

In July 2013, HandsOn Battle Creek merged with the newly established United Way of the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo Region and continues to mobilize volunteers and connect people to information and services in order to build a strong caring community.