In this season of giving, let's not forget about giving back to the community. Here's a look at five agencies or programs that are looking for volunteers to lend a hand.
Program volunteers (we've talked with a few) have been hard at work organizing and matching wish lists with donations like grocery gift cards, clothes and toys. Now, those gift baskets need to be moved, sorted and delivered — that's where you can help.
Contact: Patty Henek at (708) 771-6159, ext. 244 or emailing email@example.com
The OPRF Food Pantry offers plenty of opportunities for those looking to help. You can start by unloading deliveries, stocking shelves, picking up produce and groceries from local stores or prepping the pantry, located at First United Church, 848 Lake St, for distribution. An orientation session for volunteers, which takes place on the third Wednesday of of every month, is required. No walk-ins, either — volunteer shifts must be scheduled in advance.
Contact: Kristi Braun at (708) 386-1324 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Organizers here rely on more than 1,000 volunteers to assist with overnight and early-morning shifts at the PADS network of emergency shelters, and to help out with all sorts of operations at the agency's Maywood Support Center. A volunteer orientation is required; the next one takes place Dec. 12 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
Contact: Emily Aker at (708) 708-338-1724 ext. 228 or by emaling email@example.com
There are many ways to get involved at the hospital, from the front desk to food services. Organizers say volunteers are placed based on "personal interests, availability, general health, interpersonal and communication skills, background and experience, as well as specific department needs." Volunteering here does require a 40-hour committment over a three-month stretch for high school and colleges students. For adults, there's a minium of one four-hour shift per week over a period of six months to one year.
Contact: Cynthia Vasquez at (708) 660-5684 or emailing Cynthia_J_Vasquez@rush.edu
Located at Calvary Memorial Church, 931 Lake St., the Emergency Clothes Closet provides free clothes to individuals and famiies in need. The organization needs "legions" of volunteers to sort donations and "workers to help clients on Saturdays fulfill their eseential clothing needs while others provide child care for the volunteers serving clients."
Donations of clothes always welcome, too, especially warm clothes like winter coats and boots.
Contact the program at (708) 386-3900