Volunteer Month

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April is National Volunteer Month

The Franciscan Outreach community of volunteers makes a big difference in the lives of those in need. Last year, more than 2,100 volunteers contributed 15,502 hours to help Franciscan Outreach provide critical services to hundreds of men and women who are marginalized and homeless.

volunteer spotlight - shakeshackSince April is National Volunteer Month, we are highlighting some of the ways in which volunteers offer their support to Franciscan Outreach and our guests. Through our new Volunteer Spotlight, we are featuring volunteers who are dedicated to helping us make positive changes in the lives of our Chicago neighbors in need.

A Community of Volunteers
At Franciscan Outreach, we count on our compassionate community of volunteers for their invaluable commitment to the organization. Volunteers offer their services in a variety of ways, including serving meals to guests, organizing food pantry shelves, sorting donated items, providing support through group activities, assisting in our administrative offices, and working on beautification projects at our facilities.

Would You Like to Join Us?
Franciscan Outreach is fortunate to have a community of caring, hardworking volunteers who dedicate their time as individuals, with their families and friends, through church groups, corporations, school groups and other nonprofit groups.

We could not do the life-changing work we do without the help from our strong community of volunteers. Take a look at the different types of individuals and groups who volunteer at Franciscan Outreach. See if you might fit into any of the following categories:

Individuals – Many people are prompted to volunteer at Franciscan Outreach after seeing a homeless person in their community. People come in alone or with a family member or friend. They help out in any number of ways. We find that people contact us because they simply want to give back by spending time in service to those in need. Individual members of our volunteer community often leave with a feeling of satisfaction or are humbled by their volunteer experience. This is a win-win for our guests as well as the individual volunteer.

Church groups – Franciscan Outreach has the great privilege to host more than 10 regular church groups, some of which have been volunteering for more than 10 or 20 years. A majority of these groups also prepare the meals they will serve. Other church groups prepare meals and deliver them to be served by a different group of volunteers. For church groups, providing service to others and developing a community of fellowship are critical components for their volunteer experience. Their volunteer service, whether in providing a meal or serving, is so very valuable to our organization.

Corporations – We have a growing number of corporate volunteer groups at Franciscan Outreach. We find that after the first volunteer experience our corporate volunteers keep coming back. And, we love it! Some corporations contact us to volunteer as a team-building exercise with their colleagues. Other companies volunteer as part of their corporate volunteer programs that they find help them increase employee engagement, improve the ability to recruit younger employees, and increase the company’s visibility in the community. Corporate volunteer groups often bring along in-kind or monetary donations to aid in our service to the many homeless and marginalized guests we support every day.

School groups – Many school groups contact us to help students obtain their service hours for the year. Once students spend a fulfilling day providing service to Franciscan Outreach guests, they often return with family or friends. Students must be 18 years old to volunteer individually. Or, if they are under 14, they may volunteer with an adult. It’s always great to hear that student volunteers enjoyed their service so much that they keep coming back.

Other non-profit groups – Franciscan Outreach is sometimes contacted by other non-profit groups who are interested in learning more about helping men and women or are marginalized and homeless. Most often, volunteering with Franciscan Outreach is not only rewarding experience, but it is an educational one as well.

Click here for more information about volunteering.