Volunteer Spotlight: Shake Shack

April 08, 2016
Julia Weegar

Volunteer Spotlight

Corporate Volunteers – Shake Shack

shake shack groupFranciscan Outreach hosts many different volunteer groups that enhance the services we provide to the hundreds of men and women who are marginalized and homeless throughout Chicago. One group of corporate volunteers comes from Shake Shack – an international fast food restaurant with a focus on social responsibility. In addition to preparing food with no hormones and no antibiotics, it supports community programs and encourages its employees to volunteer. There are three Shake Shacks in the Chicagoland area.

Franciscan Outreach is fortunate to have the employees of the restaurant as part of our community of volunteers. Shake Shack staff provides their time in service to our guests at the Franciscan Outreach soup kitchen in Wicker Park. They also have supplied boxes of hamburgers to serve to guests for dinner. This group even surprised fellow volunteers with shakes from their Shake Shack Ohio Street location.

“Shake Shack is about giving back,” says Shawnee Scott a Shake Shack employee and volunteer at the soup kitchen. Shawnee says that a few years back she was helped by a stranger. “So now, I want to pay it forward,” she says.

“While we are serving, some of the people come up to us and start conversations. It is beginning to feel like family to us. One of the girls is always telling us stories about her family. She is amazing and has a great heart and spirit,” added Shawnee with a bright smile. “Serving in the soup kitchen hits home. I just love it!”

The Shake Shack volunteers have been serving meals twice a month at the soup kitchen for the past six months. They heard about Franciscan Outreach through their volunteer work at the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD). They wanted to find more hands-on experience in service to others. GCFD recommended Franciscan Outreach.

Stephanie Velasco, manager at the Shake Shack on Ohio Street accessed the Franciscan Outreach website to find out about the volunteer opportunities. She asked her co-workers if they were interested in volunteering at the soup kitchen. For six months, Stephanie and the group have really enjoyed their volunteer work.

“I love coming every month because it not only shows the team that I’m giving up my own time to volunteer but it encourages them to do the same,” says Stephanie. “It’s fun to have a different group every month and because we have such awareness of food service, it really doesn’t feel like work,” she adds.

Franciscan Outreach is so grateful to the volunteers from Shake Shack. They are a compassionate group of volunteers who are making a big difference in our community.

Find out more about volunteer opportunities at Franciscan Outreach. To learn more about National Volunteer Month, click here.

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