Wackerlin Center’s Volunteer Fox Valley continues to connect volunteers to area opportunities
Since its launch, Volunteer Fox Valley (VFV) has been connecting nonprofit organizations to community members seeking volunteer opportunities. Fox Valley United Way and Aurora University’s Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action teamed up to launch the easy-to-use platform in February. Since then, more than 85 nonprofit organizations and almost 500 community members and AU students have registered for the virtual volunteer center.
“Our goal is to not only increase the number of organizations having a profile and sharing their needs, but also to build the number of individuals and groups that are having a positive impact on our communities,” said Barb Calvert, Director of Programming for the Wackerlin Center for Faith and Action.
One local organization benefiting from VFV is the Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. “We are always struggling to have enough volunteers to staff our food distribution process,” said Kristan Ensminger, Director of Operations Aurora Area Interfaith Food Pantry. “So when we were approached about Volunteer Fox Valley, we knew we wanted to be a part of it.”
Volunteer Fox Valley has helped relieve the pantry’s struggle by bringing them inquiries from nearly 20 people. One of the first people to volunteer from those inquiries was community member Pat Fabian. Fabian saw VFV as the perfect way to help her get involved.
“The benefit came from being able to easily find a wonderfully fulfilling volunteer opportunity,” said Fabian. “I would recommend Volunteer Fox Valley to anyone interested in helping the community—whether on a short-term basis or through an ongoing commitment. A large number of positions are described on the website, which is really simple to navigate.”
The positive experience VFV provided Fabian went further than just on the site—it transitioned into her experience with the pantry. “My experience with the food pantry has been very positive, beginning with the almost immediate response I received from Kristan Ensminger to my expression of interest in volunteering there,” she said.
“She is such a wonderful and dedicated volunteer,” said Ensminger. “She comes to the pantry every week to volunteer for an entire distribution day.”
For more information, visit volunteerfoxvalley.org.