Have a Hart Day Illustrates 21st Century Volunteering

Have a Hart Day is a volunteer initiative started by Hannah Hart, a YouTube star, actor, author, and comedian best known for her web series My Drunk Kitchen. Hart is by no means the first celebrity, of any scale, to start a charitable organization, but Have a Hart Day, often shortened to HAHD, isn’t a charitable organization. It’s a model of volunteering that is focused on building community and helping others.

Hart has a philosophy that she refers to as “reckless optimism,” which entails moving forward and staying positive as much as possible. It’s helped her through some rough times in her own life, and it’s something that she’s had success sharing with others. Part of that process is a mantra of “when in doubt, help someone out.” HAHD is exactly that, it provides an opportunity to help others, at soup kitchens, food banks, or anywhere else that volunteers are needed.

Because the focus is on helping out, and not on helping particular people or in a particular place, it has a wide, global appeal. It also capitalizes on the fact that many of the volunteers who attend HAHD events are young, Hart has a lot of teenaged and “millennial” fans, and still trying to figure out what they want to do with themselves, in their lives, professions, and charitable work. HAHD events happen all over the world, with some cities seeing more events than others, with some bigger or smaller.

Unlike a charity fundraiser, there’s little chance of a HAHD event failing. Any number of volunteers are better than no volunteers at a soup kitchen in Seattle, for example. With enough planning events can be large and have a big impact, but Hart’s fan base, the people who are largely being drawn into these events, can get together and help out at almost a moment’s notice, without great expenditure on their part, or on the part of the group they’re working with.