Helping hands. On Oct. 3, about 50 members of the Gift of Life Donor Program community painted their hands and placed them on the hood of Joey Gase’s No. 35 race car, which he then drove in the NASCAR Xfinity Series at Dover International Speedway on Oct. 5. Gase’s artsy tradition, “Handprints of Hope," encourages transplant donors, recipients, volunteers, and their families to decorate his racers with colorful handprints and inspiring messages to help raise awareness about organ donation. It started as a partnership between Gase and Donate Life Texas, a statewide organ-donor registry. The driver, whose mother died and became a donor in 2011, decided to take the idea on the road and stop at transplant-donation programs on his way to his next race. This was his first visit to Gift of Life, which has coordinated organ donation and transplantation in the region for the last 45 years. The event was held outside the nonprofit’s nearly 10-year-old Family House at 401 Callowhill, a 30-room hotel for transplant patients and their families. For more information or to register, visit donors1.org.
Community serve. On Oct. 4, three new tennis courts were opened at East Poplar Playground at 8th and Poplar Streets in North Philadelphia. The courts’ installation was the result of a collaboration between Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, and the Down the Line and Beyond Foundation. The nonprofit, a National Junior Tennis and Learning organization affiliated with the United States Tennis Association, uses tennis as a means to provide children in under-resourced communities with character-building guidance. The Poplar courts will join the nonprofit’s 17 other affiliated locations in hosting free tennis-related clinics, after-school programs, and lessons for adults and children living in the area. For more information, visit downthelineandbeyond.org.
Volunteers needed. On Oct. 12, Volunteering Untapped PHL hosted a recruiting event at Thomas Holme School in Torresdale to enlist do-gooders to help the school with some light remodeling. The repairs, made possible by a $10,000 beautification grant from Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation, will primarily focus on building an outdoor “Learning Garden” as an oasis for students to plant flowers during the spring. The remaining funds will be used to repaint playground equipment and reimagine the layout of its asphalt recess yard of the 600-student, K-to-6 elementary school. The nonprofit hosts volunteering events on the second Saturday of every month to help create a service-based community among younger Philadelphians. For more information, visit vu-phl.org.