Thursday, January 26, 2012

Giving Back

"I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something, and because I cannot do everything I will not refuse to do something that I can do."
--Edmund Everett Hale, Writer

This quote came across my desk recently and I was immediately struck by it.  Edmund Everett Hale captures the essence of what drives many of our volunteers to give their time and energy to LPCS and its guests.  Since the recession hit, like many organizations, we have seen an increase in the number of volunteers.  Our volunteers come from all walks of life.  Many have been with the organization since its beginnings in 1985, others have only been volunteering a short while, while most fall somewhere in between.  We always ask new volunteers why they want to volunteer at LPCS.  More often than not, their response is about giving back to their community.  More and more we are hearing that people want to volunteer not only to give back and help those in need, but because they are grateful--grateful that they are lucky enough to still have a job, a home.  Stories like these are what the quote above reminded me of.  Volunteering has been a part of our nation since its inception and it is important that we continue this tradition today.  Even our guests give back to the community through the GIVE program (Guests in Volunteer Experience), donating their time to area nonprofits while networking and building skills.  

Think you are too busy to volunteer?  Try micro-volunteering!  Sites like Sparked are popping up, connecting busy individuals with organizations (including LPCS) that have projects that don't necessarily need to be done on site.

So for those of you who volunteer, either at LPCS or elsewhere, thank you for continuing a meaningful tradition.  In case you are interested, you can read more about the history of volunteerism here.

--Heather Pressman, Community Relations Manager

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Keeping the Neighborhood Safe

Last winter, LPCS received a surprise one day--we had been awarded "Excellence in Sidewalk Snow and Ice Removal" from the Chicago Department of Transportation and the Mayor's Pedestrian Advisory Council!  LPCS was nominated in conjunction with Lincoln Park Neighbors for Safety, a neighborhood organization.  Over the last several winters, Lincoln Park Neighbors for Safety has employed our guests to snow blow and shovel the neighborhood.  This is a great partnership that not only benefits our neighbors and guests, but pedestrians who are trying to make their way through the neighborhood as well.  LPCS is proud to partner with Lincoln Park Neighbors for Safety to help keep the neighborhood safe and navigable in the snow.  As the city readies for the first storm of the season, our guests are ready to get to work to keep the neighborhood safe for all!

You can read more about LPCS' snow removal efforts in an article written just after last year's historic blizzard: