BY EMMA GONZALEZ / APRIL 11th, 2017

Spring into Action Part I

At Jayne Alofs’s Partners, we like to create home through trust and helping clients reach their goals. In this blog series, we aim to look at building trust through time and service.

As Chicago transitions to the spring and summer months there are ample opportunities to get outside and explore your neighborhood. It is important to create connection and give back to the community that has made you feel at home. Volunteering has numerous benefits, especially to your health and wellbeing. More importantly, it can greatly benefit the people around you.

Lakeview

Lakeview is the second largest community area located on the Northside of the city. The fruitful origin of Lakeview and the history surrounding it has made it one of the most notable Chicago communities. With trademark dining and Chicago activities, we decided to examine some of the organizations that operate inside of Lakeview.

National Runaway Safeline.

The National Runaway Safeline started out as Metro-Help in 1971 to fill the needs of young people in Chicago- specifically runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth. NRS provides confidential support through information and referrals, messaging services, and other ways to creativity support young people.

Volunteers fuel the core of National Runaway Safeline at more than 120. They can meet several needs and services to provide care to youth. No matter how much time you have to donate, National Runaway Safeline has a way for everyone to contribute.

Being a hotline volunteer is a direct service position that helps aid individuals in crisis. While that can seem like a lot, NRS makes sure to prepare you with training and an experienced

Photo by: Mohammad Jangda

supervisor to make sure you can provide the best knowledge and resources.

You can also put your office skills to work in an administrative support position. From filing to data entry, you can offer skills utilized in your work for  a good cause. Who would have thought general office work could make such an impact?

Sit Stay Read

Sit Stay Read works to improve literacy skills in children from low-income neighborhoods. Through trained volunteers and certified Reading Assistance Dogs, Sit Stay Read operates in 16 Chicago Public Schools to bring confidence and practice to children working on their reading skills.

The volunteer core is at the heart of Sit Stay Read volunteers go directly to the classroom, where they help deliver the joy and excitement of reading.

With one hour a week for 8 weeks, you can work with children anywhere between the 1st to 4th grade to cultivate their reading and writing skills. The dogs bring excitement and ease to children who want to read, but still need some extra time and practice. Plus, who wouldn’t want to read to a dog?

 

Erasing the Distance 

 The power of art and storytelling can change our hearts and minds. Erasing the Distance aims to expand awareness around mental illness through the power of performance. As their website highlights, they use the arts to “disarm stigma, spark dialogue, educate, and promote healing surrounding issues of mental health.” More importantly, the stories they collect are based on true events as they sculpt them into ways we can easily identify and understand. This is followed by an insightful and open discussion and dialogue which binds together community support.

While you might not want to revisit your dreams of becoming an actor and acting alongside George Clooney, there are multiple ways of helping this organization. Your volunteer experience can be anything from learning the mechanics of ushering a show, becoming trained in story-telling and transcribing the stories of others, to offer a special skill you might use elsewhere in your life.

 

 

 

Spring Into Action: Lakeview