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Steimke: Get involved, make a difference

Published: Friday, July 4, 2014 11:40 p.m. CST • Updated: Friday, July 4, 2014 11:43 p.m. CST

Make a difference in your community by volunteering for local nonprofit organizations.

Volunteer Center McHenry County is your connection to building a better community, one volunteer need at a time. Don’t have the time? You can always find local nonprofit needs listed in our Wish List section. Visit us at volunteercentermchenrycounty.org to find out how you can do your part in making McHenry County a better place.

Volunteer Needs:

• Children’s Heath and Safety Fair: The fair offers health and education services to school-age children from low-income, uninsured or underinsured families in McHenry County. The Children's Health Fair Committee is comprised of individuals from various agencies throughout McHenry County in a collaborative effort to provide information and services to county residents.

• Movers needed: Help pick up large items from donors' homes as well as deliver items to customers' homes. Muscle is lacking in our current staff of mostly women, so if you don't mind lifting or moving heavy items, we desperately need your help!  Need to be strong and willing to move heavy objects. Must have a driver's license (you would use the company van to do pickups and deliveries).

• Summer in the Park (cleanup crew): Help patrol the area in Emricson Park to keep the grounds free of litter during the Summer in the Park event as well as clean up when the event is over. The hours would be from 5 p.m. to midnight July 18. The event on July 20 is from noon until midnight. We are looking for people to volunteer for two-hour shifts. No special requirements.

• Disaster Action Team (DAT): DAT volunteers are trained to respond to a number of disasters, primarily residential fires. Team members are dispatched to emergencies and provide disaster victims with immediate assistance in the form of food, clothing and shelter. Attend monthly meetings, participate in four training classes within six months and commit to a four-hour, on-call shift per week. You must provide your own transportation. 

Wish list needs

• Clothing: Our resale store relies on donated clothing, home goods and furniture to resell at reasonable prices to the community. Sales from these items fund our animal welfare programs. Even unsalable textiles are welcome as we resell those to a textile recycler. Unsalable towels and blankets are given to the animals in our care.

• Healthy snacks: During the summer we will be providing a community garden curriculum for our students. We would like to reinforce the concepts of healthy eating and healthy lifestyles by providing health snacks.  

• New or Gently Used Children’s Books in English: Books to support the families in the literacy programs at the Literacy Center.

For information on volunteer opportunities, wish lists items and/or to post your organizations needs, visit volunteercentermchenrycounty.org or call 815-344-GIVE (4483).

• Rebecca Stiemke is the executive director of Volunteer Center McHenry County. She can be reached by emailing rstiemke@volunteermchenrycounty.org or calling 815-344-4483.

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