That crushing statistic stared back at me as I volunteered at the North Side location of Vital Bridges, an organization that supports people in the Chicagoland area living with AIDS/HIV. I've been in a funk lately and decided to get up, get out and do something and boy did that stat give me the swift kick in the butt I needed to remind me that the fight against HIV/AIDS is alive and well.
Do you want to hear another crushing statistic, pre-Obama just over 26% of Americans volunteered at least once per year. Hol' up, Hol' up, Hol' up. You mean to tell me 3 out of 4 people ARE NOT volunteering.
Let me tell you a little more about Vital Bridges. Vital Bridges’ mission is to help people throughout metropolitan Chicago impacted by HIV and AIDS to improve their health and build self-sufficiency by providing food, nutrition, housing, case management and prevention services.
Started in 1988, Vital Bridges has provided more than 10 million meals, 600,000 nights of shelter and 250,000 hours of counseling to over 10,000 clients. I friggin' love this organization. It's grassroots, it's full of love and it's run like a well-oiled machine - or organized chaos, however you want to call it. LOL!
I help with the food pantry, which is called Groceryland. A few years ago, I used to volunteer regularly at the South Side location. Now that I'm sans vehicle, I'm moved my efforts over to the north side. Same operating procedure though: Clients come in with grocery lists, we run through the pantry with carts to fill everything out and clients leave with food for the week (or sometimes two weeks).
I volunteer through Chicago Cares, my favorite volunteer org in the Chi. Let me know if you want to come with me one Saturday. Maybe we can have a Tea & Such volunteer day.
So... what's your favorite volunteer project/opportunity?