Volunteer Rally Excites Community with Volunteer Opportunities in Aurora

Deborah Collins speaks on behalf of Volunteer Fox Valley at the recent Downtown Volunteer Rally at The Riverfront Playhouse.

Deborah Collins looks on as an Aurora University student speaks on behalf of Volunteer Fox Valley at the recent Downtown Volunteer Rally at The Riverfront Playhouse.

Jenna Gagliano was looking for ushers, Eric Dhom wanted fun and responsible adults, Ramona Wood asked if anyone wanted to get dirty, and I thought I might find a few folks who were eager to join in on the lively arts scene in downtown.

We all were hopeful to gather up some generous locals at the first Downtown Volunteer Rally on March 12 at The Riverfront Playhouse on Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora.

The public was invited to learn about volunteer opportunities in downtown and throughout the city at the rally organized by The Riverfront Playhouse and Culture Stock with assistance from Aurora Downtown.

A couple dozen community members learned about a variety of volunteer opportunities in the area as representatives from several local organizations took to the stage.

I spoke on behalf of Aurora Downtown, an organization of downtown business and property owners, and I was joined by local non-profit organizations: Aurora Veterans Advisory Council, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Marie Community Garden Park, Rebuilding Together Aurora, Paramount Theatre, Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry, Humane Society of Aurora, SciTech Hands On Museum, Aurora Historical Society, The Riverfront Playhouse, Culture Stock, and Volunteer Fox Valley.

Since Aurora Downtown sponsors First Fridays and Downtown Saturdays, I was excited to tell the audience about how they can get involved in events such as these. First Fridays is in need of venue greeters and we’re also looking for artists, musicians, and other creatives to assist in grassroots events in downtown.

I was able to explain the role of Aurora Downtown when it comes to many incredible downtown events; I was followed by Nicole Mullins, who had the chance to describe what happens at an all-volunteer bookstore.

We were in a room of big hearts and every organization rattled off opportunities for citizens to get involved with the community. Volunteer opportunities ranged from playing with furry friends at Humane Society of Aurora to unloading boxes at Marie Wilkinson Food Pantry. There was something for everybody.

In downtown, we heard about ways to get involved at SciTech, Paramount Theatre, Aurora Historical Society, Culture Stock, and The Riverfront Playhouse.

For the finale, Deborah Collins with United Way spoke about Volunteer Fox Valley, an online volunteer portal that connects individuals and businesses seeking volunteer opportunities with not-for-profit organizations in Kane and Kendall Counties.

We all left feeling more motivated knowing that our community grows and thrives on those who are willing to give back a little.

Visit www.volunteerfoxvalley.org to explore volunteer opportunities in the area, including with Aurora Downtown.