They provide homecooked meals made with love. They serve those meals to hungry clients hoping to fill their bellies and warm their hearts. They welcome everyone who enters Pillars Resource Center and Pillars Adult & Family Shelter with a smile from the front desk. They transport donations that clients desperately need. They become the listening ear and the shoulder to cry on for clients looking for a friend. They do all of this and more without a complaint and without expecting anything in return. They are Pillars volunteers.
In 2020, 909 volunteers served 12,919 volunteer hours at Pillars. That includes 109 volunteer groups. Even during a global pandemic, these selfless men and women answered the call to donate their time and energy helping their neighbors in need. Their dedication to service moves the Pillars mission forward in the community day after day, even in the darkest of times.
April is National Volunteer Month dedicated to honoring and appreciating the hard work, sacrifices, and dedication of volunteers in the spirit of helping others. Even though Pillars is not hosting a volunteer appreciation event this year to protect the health and safety of everyone in the community, we still want say THANK YOU.
“I am so blessed to get to work with volunteers every day. Volunteers are not getting paid, they are not doing it for recognition; volunteers donate their time because they believe in the mission of Pillars, they believe in the service they’re providing. To work with volunteers every day is not only a blessing for Pillars, but for me as well. Thank you to all of you that volunteer your time and talent at Pillars.” Tony Schneider, Volunteer Manager
“’Grateful’ and ‘thankful’ aren’t big enough words to describe how much I appreciate our volunteers! Pillars would not be able to operate without the dedication of this amazing group of people that support us in so many ways on a daily basis. They are kind, generous, thoughtful, caring, and compassionate and I feel so lucky every day that I get to work alongside them.” Karlyn Barthel, Operations Coordinator
“Volunteers make the machine of our organization run even more smoothly and quicker!” Anne Ozminkowski, Data Analyst
“Deb Hetland has been a huge asset to Pillars Resource Center. She helps with training our new volunteers and puts out emails encouraging volunteers to sign up for slots at Pillars Resource Center. She engages with clients and encourages them to get involved and signed up for activities and community partners that come in. Our volunteer desk would not run as smoothly without Deb.” Kim Juve, Pillars Resource Center Advocate
“Thanks to the volunteers who come into the Adult and Family Shelter who are able to provide support for the Shelter Clients Advocates by filling in at the front desk, helping to serve dinner, or filling in as an assistant; allowing the SCAs to dedicate more of their time assisting clients. Many of our front desk volunteers take the time to connect with clients which clients always appreciate. Clients are often greeted by a smiling volunteer when entering the building which can make a new client feel comfortable and welcome when first attempting to access shelter. Our volunteers are the backbone of our organization and without them our staff would not be able to complete their jobs.
The dedication of our volunteers is astounding. The number of volunteers who come to Pillars and stay as a volunteer for years is simply amazing. It would be cool to see how many folks have been volunteering here as far back as Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley or even before that! One volunteer at the front desk said she used to volunteer back when this shelter was being run out of the old house by the police station. I couldn’t believe she went so far back. Can you imagine how selfless she must be? It truly is amazing and so inspiring to think that people care so much that they give years of their lives to supporting us fighting homelessness and fighting homelessness themselves while not getting nearly the credit they deserve. It just gives me goosebumps thinking about it. Thank you.” Christine McCain, Pillars Adult & Family Shelter Manager
“Volunteers, you make so much of the magic happen here at Pillars! You give our clients the gifts of community, care and compassion. Thank you for being part of the team!” Lisa Strandberg, Community Engagement Director
“Our volunteers at Pillars Adult Shelter are more like family than volunteers. They treat our clients with respect and dignity, and we trust them like our own! Our volunteers are the glue that keep us together and keep our facilities running during hard times. We wouldn’t be anywhere without our volunteers, and we appreciate every shift they work with us.” Lauren Moen, Adult Shelter Manager
“We appreciate all of our front desk volunteers so much! They make being able to get our daily tasks done so easy! Honestly, the building would fall apart without them! We have met so many wonderful people from all different walks of life who volunteer their time to help us out at night. Additionally, all the people who help out with dinner whether it be providing or serving are so appreciated! Taking the time out of their day to cook amazing food for our clients and serve them dinner is so wonderful! The clients always love the food, and it puts smiles on their faces and our faces.” Sarah Kuhrt and Aime’e John, Shelter Client Advocates
“Thank you for choosing to serve our clients as a way to serve your community! We could not do what we do without you!” Martha Baldwin, Crisis Housing Director
“Pam Garman is AWESOME! Pam is willing to do whatever is needed – helping at the main office front desk, data entry, running to the store, events committee – you name it, Pam has probably done it! We are so grateful for all Pam does to make sure our clients have what they need to succeed. Thank you Pam!!” Lisa Geiger, Community Engagement Coordinator