Volunteers of All Ages Honor Dr. Martin Luther King With Remote Service Projects

2022 MLK DAY OF SERVICE : Due to the recent rise in COVID cases, The Volunteer Center (VC) offered this year’s MLK Day of Service volunteers remote project kits to finish at home and bring back to the VC for delivery to local nonprofits. The volunteer community responded with overwhelming generosity, and made 164 blankets and hundreds of other meaningful goods for the struggling clients of many supportive organizations. Continue reading to see pictures of some of our loyal volunteers and their finished products. And if you’re looking for activities to do at home with your friends or family during this wintry, indoor season, you’ll also find some great ideas — with complete instructions — that you can do anytime.

January 6, 2022

Mark Your Calendar Now for Our 20th Annual Make A Difference Day on Saturday, October 22nd

This year we’re celebrating 20 YEARS of “upcycling” at our Annual Make A Difference Day on Saturday, October 22nd from 9-noon. Start gathering your donations now! Then drive through and drop them off at the Indian Hill Train station in Winnetka, where 17 local nonprofits will be collecting everything from gym shoes to winter coats, school supplies to sporting goods, textbooks to toys — and the always popular pet supplies! Continue Reading below to see a complete list of requested items and instructions on how to sort and bag them. This is a great way for individuals, families, schools and community groups to make a difference in our community!

September 20, 2021

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…

January 11, 2021


Our annual Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration looked a little different this year, but the Volunteer Center still found ways to honor his enduring legacy of social justice and service by sponsoring 2 Covid-safe community initiatives. First, we were proud to partner with HEROS (Healing Everyday Racism in the Schools) to engage the community in a thought-provoking 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”. Then, in keeping with our tradition of engaging in service on MLK Day, the VC also invited volunteers from the community to participate in our signature DIY no-sew fleece blanket donation program for homeless shelters and refugees. Instead of working side by side, families made 50+ blankets remotely during MLK “Week” that were distributed to local nonprofits. Continue Reading for more details about these 2 meaningful community events.

January 8, 2021

Kids Against Hunger is POSTPONED!

Due to the public health threat of the coronavirus, the Kids Against Hunger food packing event scheduled for Saturday March 14 at the Community House is postponed to a future date to be determined. We will not be packing food this Saturday.

Public health officials are encouraging citizens, particularly those 60 years and older, to avoid public gatherings. We want to be a part of the efforts to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, so postponing Saturday’s event is the right thing to do.

We hope to reschedule the event to a date after the coronavirus threat is gone. Watch this website for updates.

As we have already funded the bulk food and packing materials for this event, if you have already signed up, we hope you can wait until we identify a new date before requesting a refund of your participation fees. Of course, if you do request a refund now, we will honor it as soon as we can. Refund requests and other questions should be directed to info@wnrotary.org.

Thank you for your support of this project and for partnering with the Volunteer Center to feed starving children.

March 9, 2020

MLK, Jr. Day of Service 2020: “Give Back in Harmony!” A Special Community Celebration

The Community House in Winnetka was once again the location of this year’s MLK, Jr. Day of Service, hosted by the Volunteer Center and Winnetka Youth Organization (WYO) on Monday, January 20. Hundreds of generous volunteers participated in hands-on projects that benefitted multiple local nonprofits. NEW THIS YEAR — All levels of musicians and vocalists were invited to perform in honor of Dr. King’s legacy of peace, equality, patriotism — and harmony. Continue reading for more details about the day, and nonprofits who were grateful beneficiaries.

January 7, 2020

Our Biggest Make A Difference Day Ever!

The Volunteer Center would like to thank the volunteers and donors that helped make this year’s Make A Difference Day a smashing success even during this challenging time — with a special shout-out to our amazing partners Highcrest Middle School and Wilmette Junior High PTOs. Individuals, families and community groups turned out with trunks full of donations for 15 local nonprofits working on the front lines to help people (and animals!) in need. Hard-working volunteers and generous donors adjusted seamlessly to the safe, socially-distanced, no contact drop-off process — and a new location — donating everything from winter coats to prom dresses, school supplies to sporting goods, textbooks to toiletries. Continue reading for more details. See you next year!

October 8, 2019

Can’t Make it to Kids Against Hunger This Year? You Can Still Support Them — and Enjoy a Fun Night Out — at the KAH Benefit Concert Thursday, February 21st

Join us at the 2nd Annual KAH Benefit Concert on February 21st at Little ricky’s in Winnetka. While you dance the night away to great music, you can support the lifesaving work of Kids Against Hunger. Find our more here.

February 13, 2019

Kids Against Hunger 2019 Exceeds Goal, Producing 100,440 Meals for the Hungry

The VC is grateful for the hundreds of volunteers who showed up on Saturday, March 16 for one of our most meaningful days of service. Tables filled with family, friends old and new, and community groups who helped assemble 100,440 nutritious meals for starving Nicaraguans, which surpassed our 100,000 goal! This is always a fast paced and fun service project that has become an annual tradition!

February 4, 2019

Thanks to Everyone in the Community Who Turned Out to Support Our 2018 MAKE A DIFFERENCE DAY on Saturday, October 27th!

Cars lined up all morning to drop off everything from diapers to dog food, bikes to blankets, and sportswear to school supplies for 15 outstanding nonprofits Saturday, October 27th in Winnetka. Families, schools and community groups from all over Chicago’s North Shore came together to support our 16th annual Make A Difference Day — and our nonprofits left with truckloads of donations they desperately needed. Make a Difference Day always makes a difference!

September 12, 2018
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