Author: Volunteer Center Board

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Volunteers Needed for Community-Wide Document Shredding Event Saturday, November 13th



The Volunteer Center and New Trier Township are sponsoring a free community-wide Document Shredding and Disposal Event  — and we need volunteers!

WHEN:    Saturday, November 13th from 8:30am-11:30am

WHERE: In the parking lot of Regina Dominican High School, at 701 Locust Road in Wilmette.


This safe, contactless, drive-through event is a great opportunity to protect your financial privacy and prevent identity theft by destroying financial and other private documents before you dispose of them.

We are looking for volunteers to help unload documents from donor’s cars and loading them into the shredding truck, and to help with cleanup.

To volunteer, or for more information, email Barb Tubekis at


Celebrate Earth Day 2021 with The Volunteer Center and our Partner James Martin Associates Saturday April 24th

Get down and dirty and help “Restore our Earth”!

The Volunteer Center and James Martin Associates
Host A Special Opportunity to Honor 
Earth Day

 Saturday, April 24th, from 9:30-11:30 am

Individuals and families are invited to participate in this year’s National Earth day theme, “Restore Our Earth” by removing invasive plants and other projects that will help restore native habitat for birds and pollinators in Harbert-Payne Woods in Evanston on the North Shore Channel.

Registration is required, as the project is limited to 30 people, ages 5 through adult 

In order to accommodate safe distancing — and to facilitate small group led projects by the Woods’ lead volunteers — registration is limited.  Please do not delay your reservations!  To Reserve space(s),  email Barb Tubekis at  Once we have your registration we will provide you the exact park location to meet us the morning of the 24th. We will also email you a waiver to sign and bring with you from the City of Evanston as protocal. There will be some supplies available, but volunteers are encouraged to bring shovels or hand trowels, work gloves, water bottles and sun protection and Masks are required. There are no fees required, but donations are welcome for the Channel Habitat Fund to purchase more plants to support the restoration work at Herbert-Payne Park and the Ladd Arboretum.

More info About the Project and Harbert-Payne Woods  

Allison Sloan, a steward of the Channel will provide information about the project and its importance of these three acres of cottonwood forest along the east bank of the North Shore Channel. Over time, the woods have become overgrown with invasive buckthorn bushes and strewn with dead ash trees killed by the invasive emerald ash borer beetle. Community members have come together to replace the …


It May Have Been Virtual, But This Year’s Annual Celebration of Our Super Hero Volunteers Was As Inspiring As Always!


For complete bios of this year’s Super Hero honorees  visit our official event website,


Watch Our Event Recap Here!

Make a Donation in Honor of YOUR Super Hero Volunteer Here

For more information about the Volunteer Center, e-mail Barb Tubekis at

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More Ways for All Ages to Learn and Serve on MLK DAY

Additional Opportunities to Learn and Serve on MLK Day

Although we will not be hosting our MLK Day of Service in person this year, we would like to provide volunteers meaningful ways to honor the extraordinary legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We have some suggestions for individuals or families to engage in productive activities to help advance social justice in this unsettling year of racial strife. We are inviting volunteers to make the no-sew blankets that have been a part of our MLK Day of Service since we began in 2005. See below for project details and drop-off requirements.

Also listed on this page are additional educational and impactful service resources for people of all ages and interest levels.


No-Sew Blanket Project Details

I. Make your blanket(s) in your own home, then drop them off at the Community House either on MLK Day or the following Saturday. We will deliver them to local nonprofits that support at-risk and homeless communities.

II. Drop off your completed blanket(s) at the Community House on MLK Day, Monday, January 18th or January 23rd between 10am and 1pm only on both those days. The VC board members will be collecting the blankets at the Community House in Winnetka in the Pine Street Parking lot entrance with the large awning.

III. You may purchase your own four yards of fabric at a local fabric store, or buy one of the Volunteer Center’s limited supply of 36 blanket sets (includes four yards of fleece fabric) we have available for $20 each.

  • NOTE: If you are interested in buying one or more of our 36 blanket sets, email the Volunteer Center at for information about how to reserve your blanket sets and when and where to pick them up. The blankets are on
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Although we couldn’t all be together in person for our 17th MLK Day, we were joined in spirit.  The variety of participants in the HEROS program and our annual no-sew blanket project provided perhaps a deeper impact than usual,  as those who participated felt the spirit of community combined with a shared goal of equity.

In partnership with HEROS (Healing Everyday Racism in the Schools), The Volunteer Center invited the community to participate in HEROS’ very enligtening MLK LEGACY Workshop that focused on Dr. King’s 1965 speech in Winnetka and the concrete steps we can take locally to create Dr. King’s “Beloved Community”. Over 200 people from the township and the surrounding North Shore area participated. It was very well received and provided additional ways to be active following the event. More details on this event, and ways you can work for social justice year-round, can be found here on the HEROS website.


MLK “WEEK” No-Sew Blanket Program

As service has always been a hallmark of MLK Day, the VC also invited volunteers from the community to participate in its signature DIY fleece blanket donation program for homeless shelters and refugees. Instead of working side by side, families made their blankets independently for MLK “Week”.  This year’s MLK Day remote DIY blanket program will provide over 50 blankets to Connections for the Homeless, The Night Ministry and Refugee One — with a special shout out to North Shore Country Day School for involving their parents. 

We were also touched to receive a blanket from the Chiaravalle Montesorri School in Evanston’s Pan African and Caribbean Affinity group (P.A.C.). by 1st and 2nd grade class members. The P.A.C. is a group dedicated to listening, highlighting, and empowering black and brown voices within our rich and growing community.


Happy Holidays — and Happy Volunteering — from The Volunteer Center

Happy Holidays — and Happy Volunteering — from The Volunteer Center

We’ll post holiday volunteer opportunities as we receive them, so check back regularly.  In the meantime, you can also peruse our listing of nonprofits and contact them directly
to see if they need volunteers.


Holiday Baking Volunteers Needed

Do you enjoy baking, singing holiday songs and spreading cheer? We are looking for volunteers to sign up to support Lambs Farm Bakery & Country Store during our busy holiday season. We need help at the Bakery making delicious treats which helps provide income and meaningful employment for the farm’s residents that includes people of all abilities. Tasks that you may help with are: baking, packing, chocolate-making, labeling, cookies, bread, truffles, dog biscuits, muffins, granola, jams…it is our busy time of year so anything goes!

When:  November through December, Monday – Saturday

Where:   Lambs Farm Bakery and Country Store production areas

Available Shifts:  9:00 am – 12 Noon, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Contact:  Angela Ramert, email


Holiday Gift Program and Food Pantry Donations Needed

The New Trier township is collecting donations for their Holiday gift Program and the Food Pantry.

For details visit their website here.


Suggestions to Safely Help Others During the Coronavirus Pandemic


To our generous volunteers:

The current Coronavirus Pandemic is challenging us to protect our own health which also keeps others well. As a result, it has also brought us a new formula for social norms which require distance and isolation from family and friends — and make traditional ways of volunteering and human connection particularly challenging.   As usual, compassionate volunteers are eager to support the frontlines as much as they can. But we will get through this together!



Important Universal Ways to Help All Nonprofits

  • Donate Financial Support: If you were going to give time, give that value in other ways. Resources are needed now more than ever. Help that pet shelter, senior home, or advocacy organization that had to cancel its spring event keep its doors open. If your company gives you paid time off for volunteer time, see if they will convert that to cash to match your donated funds.
  • Donate technology, hardware and software: Get your company involved too. Most nonprofits don’t have these important resources to operate and promote their efforts. Work with your company to donate critical technology if possible.
  • Use Your Voice:  Post on your social network to advocate for them and their cause.
  • Educate Yourself on the Issues:  Awareness of issues and the impact of these environmental forces on our communities is a necessary step for us all to take action, particularly when we transition from emergency response to recovery.

Quick and (Somewhat) Easy Suggestions to Help 

  • Donate Gift Cards from local restaurants, services, and retailers to shelters who house low income individuals, families and seniors, and residential disability facilities. Buy some for yourself and celebrate after life returns to normal.
  • Give Blood – Consult the Red

Don’t Miss Our Next Training Event: “How to Fully Fund Your Nonprofit Every Year!”

Any nonprofit looking to grow its large donor base cannot afford to miss this game-changing training program.  Register Today!

The Volunteer Center and the Winnetka-Northfield Chamber of Commerce invite you to a luncheon and a results-based program lead by Sherry Quam Taylor, President of Quam Taylor LLC.  Sherry teaches nonprofit leaders how to shift from small-dollars to investment-level donations.  Working with Sherry, you’ll learn how to confidently prepare and ask for the donations that fully fund your programs and mission every year.

Luncheon and Program
Wednesday, February 12, 2020
Kenilworth Assembly Hall
410 Kenilworth Avenue, Kenilworth

Together, we’ll each create a practical step-by-step path to grow your organization’s funding. And she’ll also share the things you might be doing that are keeping larger donors from giving to you. You’ll walk away with hands-on strategies you can use immediately to help you get larger donations.

Check out Sherry’s Website:


Sherry’s Results Speak for Themselves…

Sandi was struggling to grow her charitable giving. Working with Sherry she learned the 3 most important things she needed to prepare for solicitations.  After she applied them, her organization’s annual gala grew from $75,000 in 2018 to over $200,000 in 2019.

Bing was struggling to secure and grow larger gifts for her nonprofit. Major corporations gave regularly, but their gifts were relatively small. Using the engagement strategies she learned in Sherry’s program, Bing built relationships with the decision makers. This strategy grew an annual gift from a major financial institution from $5,000 gift to $25,000 the 1st year.

David was faced with the high start-up costs of a Capital Campaign for his new Nonprofit. David knew he had a few large donors in his network, but didn’t have knowledge or experience in asking for large gifts. He invested in Sherry’s LET’S GROW …