Q: I want to join H4H, but how can I if there is no chapter near me?
A: That's ok! You can start your own H4H Chapter! :D
Q: I don't know how to begin though. I only know of 1-2 other people besides me who would be interested in joining. How many people does an H4H chapter need?
A: That's perfect! All you need to start a chapter is 2-3 members, including yourself! We don't believe in measuring success by numbers- we'd far rather have a few hard working members committed to their cause and making a difference in their communities, than a lot of random people who don't want to be here.
Q: Ok, so suppose I do start up a chapter with 1-2 of my friends. We eventually want to have more members. How do I increase membership?
A: That is a good point you have there. There is no correct or set way on how to gain membership- there are countless ways! Our best suggestion to you is to develop your reputation first as a group of dedicated people who welcome everyone and are committed to serving others. Enjoy what you do, have fun! People are more likely to join clubs that look fun, inviting, and accepting. The most effective methods of recruitment for us have been activities and the members themselves. People hear about what we've done, and they want to join. Also members bringing family and friends into H4H activities helps a LOT. Encourage your members to bring friends with them to meetings or activities.
Q: Ok, that sounds like a good plan. But how can I make H4H more fun and inviting?
A: Look at what your members like. Each club is different. A simple approach we've found to work is food. Bringing a little sweet treat to meetings- candy, cookies, cupcakes, etc- will greatly increase interest for new members and boost attendance amongst your regular members. :P Also, don't let all your H4H activities just be strictly business. Have an activity every once in awhile where you all can just hang out and have fun! Picnics, bowling, watching a movie together, etc. This is a great way for members to get to know each other more and just have a good time. The best clubs are clubs where everyone knows and trusts each other. That is most important above all.
Q: I'm a high school student, but I was wondering if H4H is only for high schoolers. I know some elementary school kids, middle schoolers, college students, adults, etc that would like to join. Is this allowed?
A: Yes!! That is awesome. :] Accept everyone, because in H4H, everyone is welcome. Differences are embraced, especially among ages. The more diverse your club is, the more people can identify with! Younger members would know more about the kinds of things kids like, so you'll be able to more effectively create gifts for the kids. Older members might be more experienced with how to get donations, how to plan events, where to donate your presents to, etc. It's good to have connections everywhere!
Q: What can I do? I don't know how to crochet.
A: That doesn't matter! :) Most of our members didn't to begin with, and so we taught them how. Everyone learned how to make bracelets because it was an easy and low-cost project that helped to jump-start our club. However, if you're not into crochet, that's perfectly fine! We encourage everyone to branch out and find out projects they like- drawing, making friendship bracelets, sewing, knitting, weaving, anything creative you can create that would make a kid's day. :) This is a great opportunity for you to develop your artsy/creative skills by teaching others what you know, and also learning about what they know!
Q: We're a new chapter, and we don't have any money. :( What can we do?
A: Fundraise! :) Some common fundraising ideas;
-Asking for donations at local grocery stores
-Having clothing or candy sales
-Making some things [such as baby hats, stuffed animal outfits, bracelets, drawings, etc] to sell
-Apply for grants! There is an AMAZING website called DoSomething.org that has helped us get started! By signing up on their website as a club, you are eligible to apply for a start up grant and other grants as well. You'll be required to post all your projects up on the website and fill out the applications for grants, but it is completely worth it!
Q: What's the benefit of being our own H4H chapter?
A: For one, you get your own website! :D Once you've gotten your chapter under way, let us know so that we can make you a website and send you the login and password. We'll then link it to this website so that anyone who browses our website can then browse your website and check out your chapter. :] On the website you can post all your latest news, projects, activities/events, etc.
Another thing is that in H4H, there are NO hours requirements! This is an excellent way to do community service YOUR way! If you only have time at odd hours of the day, like 2am in the morning or something crazy, you don't need to wait for club activities/events in order to put your ours in. When you take out the time by yourself to make the handmade gifts to donate, that is service. So anytime you put in hours, just log it down so that your president/advisor can sign off on it at the end of the year. :]
Q: Ok, now that we've gotten all the setting up details out of the way- are their any requirements that we as an H4H chapter have to fullfill?
A: Good news for you is that there really aren't. :] All we ask is that:
-You do at least 1-2 events/activities per year. Events/activities can be anything. We won't tell you what to do, this is your creative license! Just keep us updated on all the fun you're having! :)
Some past events/activites of ours have included:
*December party- We collected over 100 stuffed animals and stuffed animal outfits, 500 bracelets, etc and donated them to Clara Maass Hospital. A hospital representative came to visit and party with us! We celebrated our work by having a giant pizza party complete with music and all our members, as well as some new members!
*DoSomething.org activities- Because we're a DoSomething club, we were invited to participate in the DoSomething Social Action Boot Camp in NYC in April, as well as attend the DoSomething Awards in NYC in June!
*Crochet Day- we decided to teach others in the community how to crochet bracelets. We went to the children's library and had a great time teaching kids and their parents how to make them. It was a lot of fun, and a lot more fun afterward when we had a bagel picnic across the street on the Green! :)
*End of Year party- Same kind of thing as December party, also celebrating the end of our first year together as a club! It was a great way to end the school year and say goodbye to everyone for the summer.
-Keep us updated on everything! At the end of the year, we'd like a list of the names of all members, so that we can add you to our website's Staff List as well. :)
-If possible, we'd like all clubs to have an advisor. The advisor doesn't have to run the club- we leave that up to the President, VP, Secretary, Treasurer, etc. But we'd like an advisor for the boring official stuff- anything legal you might need, like someone to supervise field trips, or talk to parents, or sign off on your Volunteering hours- an advisor is pretty handy to have. :) The advisor can be anyone- one of your parents, a friend, a member- as long as they are over 21.
Good luck with starting your new chapter! Let us know if you need any help! :]