Volunteering Forum

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  • 1.  Do you spend time volunteering?

    Posted 06-25-2020 16:44
    Hi Connectors!

    Finding time to volunteer can be hard, especially now with so many different priorities. Today we are wondering about your current experience with volunteering. Be sure to participate in the community poll ( on the right side of your Connect Through Volunteering community home page) to provide quick feedback. We'd also love to know, if you are able to find the time to volunteer, what are you doing? How are you volunteering your time or skills? If it's not a current priority, or maybe you're not able to spend as much time as you would like, what would you be interested in doing? 

    I'll get us started:
    Volunteering is currently not part of my life, but I want to change this. I would love to find opportunities that help me connect with others (people or animals).

    I can't wait to hear how other Connector's are volunteering their time/skills or what you all are are interested in.

    Emily Stamm

  • 2.  RE: Do you spend time volunteering?

    Posted 06-26-2020 14:11
    With the world in such chaos, I feel strongly that volunteering would help me contribute to a solution. There are so many areas in acute distress, how do you choose?  First, what do you feel most strongly about?  Second, how much time can I reasonably give considering everything going on in my life? Third, where do I find the outlet?

    After the 2016 election, I was shocked at how few people voted, particularly young people. For me, voting is critically important as individuals and as a democracy. It is the single act that demonstrates your commitment to democracy and our constitution. I took action and  I decided to become a deputy voter registrar and do voter engagement, i.e., getting people to register and commit to voting. There are myriad ways to do it, the easiest place to start is with is the Board of Elections (https://chicagoelections.gov/en/serving-as-a-voter-registrar.html ). They'll be able to tell you where training is held, etc.  I went to a free session at the local library. 
    Another activity for voter engagement is to write postcards to registered voters who didn't vote in the last election and urge them to go to the polls.  These efforts are organized by groups like Indivisible Illinois. There are local chapters of Indivisible and you can find them on Facebook and other social media outlets. 

    When the pandemic hit and so many people were displaced and put out of work, I felt I needed to contribute to my immediate community in some way to help support them.  I am so blessed to have been able to transition seamlessly from office to home office, without interruption. Because we have some very active community activists, a mutual aid group was quickly formed and partnered with other community service organizations to raise money for food and other needs. They have a hot line where people call for help and we either arrange to provide food, grocery cards or other material or connect them with the right agency.  My small bit is shopping for groceries and delivering them or delivering grocery cards or whatever else.  It is a great way to directly serve your neighbors and help keep them safe.

    I'm grateful that I can volunteer as much or as little as my schedule permits and each of these actions make a difference individually and in the aggregate. 

    Start with what are you most passionate about? Once you figure that out, it's not too hard to find an organization who's doors are open for you.

    Colette Martin-Wilde
    Back room office, 1st floor, brick house.