This is Where I Volunteer…

This is the McCormick Museum at Cantigny Park. In addition to being a docent here, I also volunteer a couple times a year for the Kane County 4-H Program. And in the past, I’ve helped out at the Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Garden as a volunteer.

Here is my in my “uniform” ready to give a tour of the McCormick Museum:

I shouldn’t have to tell you that volunteering is really rewarding. Even though I really don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to it, I give 3 hours a week to being a docent at Cantigny, and then about 10-12 hours a year to 4-H teaching art classes and judging at the Kane County Fair. For The Morton Arboretum, I used to help organize and design the invitation for their annual volunteer banquet and I even painted their “Treetop Puppet Stop” for the children’s garden. Here it is:


I also painted one of the head cut-out scenes for a past Parisian-themed event they had. Here it is:


And for Chicago Botanic Garden, I’ve taught floral design classes to other volunteers for their annual Roadside Flower Sale. Here are a couple of the dried floral creations made during the classes:


I think volunteering is very important, and my mom really instilled the need to volunteer in our family. My mom actually volunteers at Volo Bog giving “Bog Walks” and teaching people about the bog and my sister volunteers at the Brookfield Zoo and helps design the newsletter for Volo Bog. I think many people think volunteering involves working in a soup kitchen, halfway house or cleaning up trash…but those are only some of the places that need help. Animal shelters are in desperate need for volunteers and so are many under-funded not-for-profit and state organizations (such as the 4-H Program). And you don’t have to give 40-hours a week to them, usually a few times a month is what they desire. There are also benefits beyond just the warm, tingly feeling you get after helping people–you can also get a free membership or even an award for being an awesome volunteer.

So use your talents and time to benefit others and become a volunteer today!

Here are some places looking for Volunteers:

  • P.A.D.S. shelters, homeless shelters
  • Assisted Living/Elder Care facilities
  • Hospitals
  • Churches/Missions
  • Soup Kitchens
  • Goodwill, St. Vincent DePaul, Salvation Army
  • Animal Shelters (A.D.O.P.T., P.A.W.S., Humane Society & other local shelters)
  • Kane County 4-H (also Dupage County 4-H, DeKalb County 4-H, & Lake County 4-H)
  • The Morton Arboretum
  • Chicago Botanic Garden
  • Cantigny Park
  • Lincoln Park and Brookfield Zoo
  • Naper Settlement
  • Chicago Park District (and other local Park Districts)
  • Dupage/Cook/Kane/Lake County Forest Preserves
  • Frank Lloyd Wright house (Oak Park)
  • Many Museums, Parks, Historic Buildings/Homes, also need volunteers
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