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Meet Nicole Antoinette: A blogger making real change

March 30, 2009

handsinA few weeks ago I wrote a post on 25 ideas for how to use your blog to create change. It has since become the most popular post I have ever written (mostly thanks to getting linked in Feministing, so thanks Ann). One of the ideas I had from that post was about profiling young people who are using blogs and social media to create change.

I would be a lame hypocrite if I didn’t take my own advice, so that’s exactly what I’m doing today. I was really excited recently when I stumbled upon a post about HandsIn, a new nonprofit idea created by fellow twenty-something blogger Nicole Antoinette.  Check out the following interview with Nicole to learn more about her and her new organization, HandsIn.

nicole

Tell us about yourself and your blog.
I’m a freelance writer, perpetual nomad, cheesecake connoisseur, children’s day camp Director, and overall person of intense passion.  My blog, More is Better, is a chronicle of my shenanigans where absolutely nothing is off limits.  It’s also a way for me to explore my Life List and keep myself accountable for everything I want to accomplish. 

If you had to describe your blog in five words what would they be?
Best blog in the universe.  Or, less narcissistic: Girl lives life out loud. 

What is HandsIn? What are your goals/ vision for HandsIn?
HandsIn is an organization that harnesses the unique energy and creative passion of 20-somethings, inspiring them to connect with each other through volunteerism and empowering them to change their world through dedicated service and a shared commitment to a sustainable lifestyle.

My goal is to break the stereotype of 20-something apathy, to prove that us Gen Y-ers do care about the world, and 

are taking it upon ourselves to help change it. 

What inspired you to start HandsIn?
HandsIn was born after a particularly stressful bout of how-can-I-make-my-world-a-better-place-itis.  So much of social media and social networking is about the individual, and I wanted to create a way for it to be bigger than that, for people who care to come together and take action.

Well said! I’ve written recently about how I worry not enough Gen Y bloggers are using social media to create change and make a difference. Do you think Gen Y/20something bloggers care enough about social and political issues?
I actually think they care more than a lot of other people, and are often more informed because of how plugged in they are to the internet.  20-somethings are passionate and fiery and when they believe in something, they believe in it pretty fiercely.  I think the challenge is that sometimes, they don’t know how to get more involved in those causes, or they get too bogged down in their “quarter life crisis” to stop and do something. 

What issues are you passionate about?
I’m most passionate about issues of human rights, and childhood poverty/malnutrition.  I think a lot more attention needs to be paid to the hungry, impoverished children of the United States.

How can people get involved with HandsIn?
There are lots of ways to get involved with HandsIn, and they’re all quick and easy, perfect for the 20-something lifestyle.  The first step is to join and subscribe to our RSS feed, and after that? Get involved in the projects that move 

you, write about the efforts you’re making to change your community, network with like-minded people etc.  Getting involved means making a commitment to change, because change won’t happen overnight, it’s going to happen one person, one small act at a time. 

How did you create HandsIn.org? 

HandsIn was created in a coffee shop, on about twenty sheets of scratch paper, after a serious caffeine overload and a major session of inspirational brainstorming.  The website itself came together pretty quickly, about a month from start to finish, thanks to lots of dedicated work by myself and Aram, the guy I turn to when the coding gets too complicated for me.  Now that the site is up, I’m constantly looking for writing submissions and creative ideas from readers.  My goal is for the site to grow organically, highlighting the work of dedicated 20-somethings, and inspiring new people to take action each and every day!

Twitter handle: @nicoleisbetter and @handsin

Check out HandsIn.org today and sign up and participate — it definitely looks like a fantastic project.

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3 comments

  1. Thank you for this post, Nisha. Geez, just when I was thinking of starting similar, you tell me someone has already done it ;). Which is great news though, because I’m just so happy to find people who care! I’m going to sign myself up now.


  2. Great post! I love profiling people who are doing great things. It’s always inspiring to find young people who are passionate and motivated.


  3. Thank you so much for doing this interview! The more people we can get involved, the better the world will be 🙂



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