Quite often, we are asked by a caring supporter, “Do you have any ways I can volunteer.” Until recently, I haven’t had a simple answer to that question. Organizations like ours comply with strict regulations when bringing new staff and community members into our programs. For good reason — these regulations exist to protect the rights and safety of the people we serve. So my answer usually consisted of hoops through which a volunteer would have to jump.

A few months back when the Loves Park Lions Club invited us for lunch, a few of their own volunteers shared stories of how they welcomed one of our homes and the people we serve into their neighborhood. They loved knowing the ladies from Goldie Floberg and enjoyed seeing them “garage-saling” in the neighborhood. Each Spring, neighbors pitched in to pull weeds, till beds, and plant annuals at our home. Then throughout the summer, they stopped by to water and, in turn, get to know their neighbors by name.

We have 22 residential homes throughout Winnebago County, from Cherry Valley to South Beloit. Imagine the impact on spirits and your community if you and your neighbors spent an afternoon bringing new life to a group home’s landscaping, planting decorative pots for a front walk, or planting strawberries to enjoy all summer long. To learn if there is a group home near you where your time and green thumb could help us make connections to new friends and
beautify our neighborhood, please contact me, Laura Speer, Director of Fund Development: 815-708-7479