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Stiemke: Want to help this holiday? Here are a few ideas

Are the holidays getting you in the mood to give back?

Here are a few ideas to consider:

• Operation Christmas Cheer with Senior Services Associates – Crystal Lake: Help them help hospitalized veterans at the North Chicago VA Hospital. They are inviting any volunteer groups looking for a worthwhile project for the holiday season to help with Operation Christmas Cheer. Maybe your church group or neighborhood friends would like to participate?

• Hearthstone Manor, Woodstock: Help add festive cheer to the surroundings for seniors and their guests. Volunteers are needed to put up decorations for the holidays throughout the year. You could do this on your own or involve Hearthstone seniors – maybe you will even make a new friend or two. 

• Gift wrapping at Spring Hill Mall with Home of the Sparrow: In the spirit of the holidays, Home of the Sparrow will be participating in a gift wrapping day at Spring Hill Mall. They are looking for volunteers who would like to help wrap presents Dec. 19 at the gift wrapping center. Any donations given for the gift wrapping service will be a donation to Home of the Sparrow, supporting the homeless women and children they serve.

• Hearthstone Village, Woodstock: Are you a crafter? Bring your talents and creativity to help research, plan and complete craft projects with senior citizens who have a variety of skill levels and abilities. Projects could include holiday decorations, centerpieces, jewelry boxes, decorated tote bags, door hangers, welcome wreaths, scrapbooking, sewing, needlework, knitting, jewelry-making, photography, painting and more. Bring your ideas.

Find out about these and many other ways of helping your community at If you need help finding a place to volunteer or are an organization looking for volunteers, contact the Volunteer Center at 815-344-4483 or visit the website.

• • •

Training opportunity: Volunteer Management Training will be Jan. 17 and 18.

This training covers topics such as developing job descriptions; interviewing, orientating and training volunteers; supervising volunteers; risk management; and dealing with difficult volunteer situations. Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion. If interested, contact the volunteer center.

• Rebecca Stiemke is the director of United Way McHenry County Volunteer Center. She can be reached at 815-344-4483 or


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