Web Hands

WebHands.org originally was created by e-GM, the B2C “dot.com” Business Unit of General Motors, as part of our commitment to dedicate a significant portion of the web-based technologies we develop to the service of Community-building locally, nationally - and globally. At some point the site's domain expired and the site became available. I bought it with the goal of restoring the original content via its archived pages.

The intent of the  B2C (Business to Consumers) craze of the late 1990's and early 2000's was to attract customers, earn their trust, and entice them to buy while helping integrate the firms' internal business processes. Expectations were high, In hindsight, the revolutionary changes that were expected along with anticipated savings did not materialize. However, from a historical viewpoint, seeing what GM was attempting to do  at that time with a B2C is inspiring since it focused on aiding nonprofits that would provide food, clothing, literacy training, as well as on groups tackling homelessness or try to minimize the "digital divide," which leaves many poor people without computers or computer training​. In fact by the time this website was created the e-commerce unit of General Motora Corp, E-GM, had already signed close to 3000 non profits nationwide. WebHands.org was going to be a one-stop shopping on the Internet for people who wanted to get involved with a charitable organization​.

I remember when GM launched this site that was devoted to linking would-be donors and volunteers with the universe of charitable organizations. I happened to worked for one. One of my many "job hats" that I wore was procuring our basic janitorial supplies. After doing a lot of research I found one site, CleanItSupply that offered both retail & wholesale paper towels, along with an enormous selection of other paper products such as toilet paper, tissues, dinner napkins, industrial wipes and the dispensers needed for them. They also carried just about any other type of janitorial supply you can imagine from cleaning products to mops, garbage plastic bags and trash cans. Another one of my jobs was getting our cash-strapped organization on the Web via WebHands- successfully. However it was a very stressful time for me. I was dealing with the result of father having serious complications from a Bard IVC retrievable filter medical device and discussing his case with an IVC lawyer. It turned out later through lawsuits that there were design defects in several of Bard's retreiveable IVC filters. The defects were causing grievous complications and injuries to some patients who had received them. It wasn't until 2010 the the FDA issued a safety advisory although they had been receiving complaints before 2004. My father's lawsuit was one of the earliest. It made that year memorable, to say the least.

How successful was this GM venture? The fact that there are only 2 years of archived pages tends to imply that GM moved on to other projects and this "community" venue folded. Nevertheless, below is part of the content from the original site between 2001-2002. And they did help a number of organizations during the time the website was operational.

Our Mission

WebHands.org's mission is to provide a web-enabled way
for every Person to extend their "virtual hands" -
their WebHands - to feed those who are hungry:
. . . hungry for Food,
for Knowledge, for Dignity . . . and for a Voice in the dialogue
of the Community.

Hands that Give do not go away empty either.


More Information About Clothing and How You Can Help.

Your donation of clothing can help someone survive a winter or find employment. Clothing is always needed for children in poverty, families in need of disaster relief and the homeless. Often overlooked by potential donors is the help some people need making the transition into the workplace. Most job seekers understand the necessity of "looking the part to get the part." For those struggling to enter the work force for the first time or following a crisis, the means to project an appropriate image are often out of reach. This can lead to a "Catch-22" where one is in need of a job to buy the clothes they need to get a job. Organizations around the country exist to help those in transition clear this all-important hurdle. In addition to clothing, these organizations offer individuals counseling in how to dress and maintain their personal appearance in ways suitable to the workplace.

Donations of time are as valuable as donations of clothing. You can help by organizing a coat drive, donating clothes to job seekers, or distributing donations. Whether you have an overstuffed closet or simply time on your hands, you can help.
More Information About Hunger and How You Can Help.

You can help by donating that extra can of soup or an hour of your time. When it comes to fundamentals like food, even the smallest contributions make a real difference to someone in need. And very often today, that someone is a child. The booming U.S. economy hasn't changed some alarming statistics: 10% of our population still isn't getting enough food to meet basic, daily needs. 3.7 million people experience severe discomfort or pain from lack of food.

 But the ways in which you can help are numerous and meaningful. Communities across the country have food banks, shelters, and an array of other types of efforts and facilities. All can benefit from the canned goods you have had in the back of your pantry for years, or from the excess prepared food you have left over from a family gathering. Or if you don't have extra food to give, an hour of your time can help these organizations deliver their services to those in need.


More Information About Homelessness and How You Can Help.

Think of what you do in everyday life -- in just the course of a day -- and you'll know how you can help the homeless. It could be as basic as serving a meal, or showing a family in transition around their new neighborhood. Your skills, your professional training, even your hobbies can be applied to helping the homeless. 

Increasingly, the homeless are families with children whose lives have been disrupted by a health, domestic or financial crisis. Often they work full time, but their paycheck hasn't kept pace with the economy. They are trying to regain stability, to retrieve the same routines we take for granted. 
You can always help by donating things like food, hygiene supplies and furniture. Donations of time are just as substantial and crucial. Teach a skill, organize a coat drive or prepare a meal -- different organizations are looking for people to do a variety of things, but they can all use your help.


More Information About Literacy and How You Can Help.

Teach someone to read and you'll be teaching someone how to survive. An increasing number of adults and children in our country are excluded from the everyday world because they can't read, write or perform basic computations. By some estimates, over 40 million adults cannot read written instructions, balance a checkbook, or complete a job application.

Non-readers do not belong to any particular race or ethnic group. The most consistent feature they share is poverty. Predictably, their lack of skills perpetuates their poverty. Research has shown, however, that when they learn to read, that cycle can be broken. Their incomes improve and their children do better in school. The nation as a whole benefits, because businesses save money when worker error and accidents go down.

Get involved. Literacy groups need volunteers to tutor people in subjects such as reading, math and English-as-a-second-language. But that's not all. They also need help with efforts such as fund raising, special event coordination and general administration.



Dear Mayors,

Re:     New web site for your city’s free use to help address Hunger, Homelessness, Illiteracy, and the Digital Divide in your community.

e-GM, the B-to-C 'dot.com' of General Motors, has just dedicated a national community-building web site called "webhands.org," which can be accessed through GM’s home page, http://www.gm.com, or directly via http://www.webhands.org. General Motors has donated the site for the use of local civic leaders like yourself in encouraging your own citizens to use the time and information efficiencies of the web site to become engaged with the folks in your city who are working to bridge the 'digital divide', to feed the hungry, to bring aid the homeless, and to eradicate illiteracy.

e-GM donated its web expertise - plus the high visibility and web-traffic exposure of it's own global gm.com web site home page - to energize this whole new web-based national community-engagement initiative. The site was designed with an upbeat and engaging educational front-end piece, supported by a simple user-friendly access to over 2000 local Soup Kitchens, Food Pantries, Homeless Centers, Literacy Centers and Digital-Divide-Bridging helping agencies in cities like yours across the country.

The webhands.org site was dedicated to the national civic community by Mark Hogan, President of e-GM, in an outdoor ceremony for the homeless in Detroit on December 6, the Feast of St. Nicholas - the original Santa Claus - and was received on behalf of the community of helping organizations nationally by the Rev. Joseph Barlow, president of the MOSES Coalition - a group of over 60 Metro Detroit community groups involved in these same efforts.

But that was just the first step! Here's our invitation to you and your community!

Now that we're up and running with a successfully operating site, we can show you how webhands.org will support your own local efforts to address these chronic grassroots issues and invite you to take advantage of the site - and the exposure - to bring added energy to those efforts.

In the next two weeks we will be loading webhands.org with lists of local 501 (C) 3 non profits from cities across America that are focused on providing Food, Clothing, support for the Homeless, for Literacy efforts and for bridging the Digital-Divide in their communities.

We would ask you to help us ensure that your city’s food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless centers, literacy clinics and neighborhood technology centers are included so that they can benefit from the donors and volunteers that webhands.org attracts.

We’ll need as much detailed contact information and program support description as possible on the organizations - as well as an assurance that they are legitimate 501 (C) 3s - so that we can better link donors and volunteers for their support.

So take a look at http://www.webhands.org. Look at what it can do for both your city and your local helping organizations that are struggling for attention and support from your community. Again, the intent is to get people engaged with one another in community-building efforts . . . . to begin the dialogue that leads to relationship . . . which leads in turn to an enriched living environment for us all.

There is no cost, of course, and if we can help or advise you on how to best organize your local agency information for inclusion in webhands.org, just contact our webmaster at: egm.webmaster@gm.com. Note under “Instructions” on webhands.org that we also provide linking instructions - including use of the webhands logo - so that you can link folks from your city web site to your local helping organizations residing on the webhands.org site. This is an exciting initiative. I can’t tell you how delighted we are to have been able to build this unique community-engagement site.

We look forward to building better communities together.

Colette Mac Neil
Manager of e-GM Community Initiatives
(313) 974-7111



Accessing and using the Webhands.org web site constitutes the user's acceptance, without limitation, of the following policies, limitations, legal notices and disclaimers. 
Copyright, 2000 General Motors Corporation. All rights reserved. No portion of this website may be reproduced or redistributed without the express written permission of General Motors Corporation. Webhands.org and the webhands.org logo are trademarks of General Motors Corporation. 

Accuracy and Completeness Disclaimer: Information contained or displayed on the WebHands.org web site has been obtained from or provided by web-based sources that e-GM and General Motors believe to have been accurate and reliable. However, e-GM and General Motors provide access to that publicly available information through "WebHands.org" for the convenience and assistance of the user "as is" and at the user's own risk and do not claim or suggest in any way that the list of agencies provided here is either complete or accurate. In addition to the accuracy and completeness of the information, neither e-GM nor General Motors guarantees or warrants the validity or legitimacy of information procured from sites on the World Wide Web or provided to e-GM or General Motors by webhands.org's national e-Giving partners. Neither e-GM nor General Motors endorses, sanctions, supports or verifies the information that is provided or displayed on this site or is linked to this site. Further, neither e-GM, General Motors nor any of the "webhands.org" national partners and agency list providers make any representations as to the accuracy, completeness or validity of the information that is provided or displayed on this site and expressly disclaim all express, implied or statutory warranties of any kind, including warranties as to accuracy, completeness, validity, timeliness, merchant ability and fitness for a particular purpose. Neither e-GM, General Motors, nor any of its national partners and national or local agency list providers will be liable for damages of any kind that may have been incurred as a result of information displayed or made available on or through this web site. e-GM and General Motors reserve the right, in their sole discretion and without obligation, to make improvements to or correct any error or omission in any portion of the information on this website. 

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Good Samaritan Laws: On October 1, 1996, President Clinton signed the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act to encourage the donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. This new law makes it easier to donate. 
Here's how:
•    It protects donors from liability when donating to a non-profit organization.
•    It protects donors from civil and criminal liability should the product donated in good faith later cause harm to the needy recipient.
•    It standardizes donor liability exposure. Donors and their legal counsel no longer have to investigate liability laws in 50 states.
•    It sets a liability floor of "gross negligence" or intentional misconduct for persons who donate grocery products.
•    It recognizes that the provision of food close to recommended date of sale is, in and of itself, not grounds for finding gross negligence. For example, cereal can be donated if it is marked close to code date for retail sale.

NOTICE: This website is an archived version of most of the information found on WebHands.org.