Michael McGuire

I believe that learning happens best by living and engaging in the world around us. I also believe that service, civic engagement, and social responsibility are at the heart of healthy communities and a better world. Please join in doing your part. As Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, "If I can't do great things, I can do small things in a great way." Let's do small and great things together.

Oct 062014
 
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This is an election year, and each one of us needs to be well informed on the issues that matter most to our country and to our communities. It’s difficult to wade through all the messaging and manipulation that comes with election season, but don’t let this difficulty send you into the voting booth blind or keep you from voting altogether. Don’t forfeit the power you have to participate in your government and to shape the decisions that shape our lives in this country. Vote. But do it smart. Project Vote Smart can help.

Project Vote Smart is a powerful and easy-to-use resource that brings you millions of facts on over 40,000 politicians. Their online tools make what might otherwise be an overwhelming task quite doable—and actually kind of fun. Easily find critical information regarding where your politicians stand on the issues that matter most to you.

Check it out → Project Vote Smart

Oct 062014
 
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It’s been a while coming, but our resource page is growing with many valuable resources and links to help you take your service learning projects to the next level. We’re adding resources more quickly now than ever before. Currently you’ll find information across many categories including advocacy/policy, civic engagement, curriculum, service learning, voter education, and topical/social issues. You will also find links to quality lectures on subjects related to education and democracy.

As with other areas of this site, we also welcome your input to help build it. If you know of a valuable resource link that you think should be added to our resource page, suggest it here → Recommend a Resource.

Jun 262013
 
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Happy summer! Our Act Out Now big summer project is underway. Many expressed interest in the hygiene kit collection and assembly we are doing for Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach. This is a great opportunity for families with kids of all ages! If you still want to join in on this worthy project, and have yet to contact us, there is still time. Here are all the details of our drive and how it will work.

Who We Are Collecting For

We will be collecting the materials for Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach. Mission Outreach is a not-for-profit organization that addresses unmet medical needs of people in developing countries. The hygiene kits are a valuable product that help save lives. These kits are used as learning tools in literacy, hygiene, nutrition and health classes. The kits are also distributed to people who understand hygiene, but have limited resources.

Items for Each Hygiene Kit

To assemble one hygiene kit, the following items are required:

  • 1 hand towel
  • 1 wash cloth
  • 1 fingernail clippers (no toenail clippers)
  • 1 bath-size bar of soap (3oz or larger)
  • 1 toothbrush in package (no child-size)
  • 1 tube of toothpaste (6.4oz or larger)
  • 6 band-aids
  • 1 comb (large and sturdy)
  • 1 one-gallon zip lock bags

Our Collection Goal

We have an initial goal of at least 25 hygiene kits (of course more would be great!). We hope each family can commit to a certain number of items (e.g. 25 toothbrushes,15 hand towels, etc.).

How to Collect Items for the Drive

  1. Contact Us: If you are interested in participating in the drive, and have yet to be in touch with us, simply send us a quick e-mail to let us know which item(s) from the list above you would like to focus on.
  2. Get creative with collecting: Some ways that you can collect items might include purchasing the items yourself, trying to collect items from family/friends/neighbors, doing a letter writing campaign to companies to see if they will donate items, etc.
  3. Try a Neighborhood Collection: Here you can download a note that can be attached to bags and left for neighbors—you would just need to fill in the blanks on the note, deliver them throughout your neighborhood, and then go back on the date that you indicated to see if anyone donated items.

The Project Timeline

  1. The Drive: The drive/collection will run through the summer.
  2. The Packing: We will meet with all the donated items in August to assemble the kits. The exact date will be determined as we get closer. The location of the assembly will depend on the total numbers of participants for this drive. (Maybe we’ll meet at one of our homes or at the local library.)
  3. The Field Trip (optional): We are planning to visit Mission Outreach to learn more about what they do on Friday, July 19th. Due to their safety/liability rules, Mission Outreach asks that anyone coming to their facility be at least 9 years of age or older. If this outing interests you, please let us know about that too.

That’s it for now. Thank you again for your assistance with this drive. If you have any questions please let us know. We’re really excited about working with all of you on this project. It’s going to be great.

May 272013
 
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Act Out Now is looking to kick off a project to assist Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach. Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach addresses unmet medical needs of people in developing countries. These kits will be used as learning tools in literacy, hygiene, nutrition and health classes. They are also distributed to people who understand personal hygiene but have limited resources. Our project would consist of collecting and assembling materials needed for hygiene kits. This would be a great service project for families with kids of all ages.

We hope to have this project up and running in early June, but right now we want to assess the level of interest in helping with this project. To help us determine the interest, please send us a note in response to the following two questions:

  • Would you be interested in participating in a hygiene kit drive? This would consist of collecting/purchasing materials and then coming together to assemble them. This would be ideal for families with kids of all ages.
  • Would you be interested in participating in a field trip to the Mission Outreach facility? This field trip would be for kids 9 and up. Mission Outreach is located in Bedford Park, IL.

Let us know what you think, and we’ll get this show on the road. It’s going to be a great project. Thank you. We look forward to volunteering with you.

May 272013
 
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We’ve got some exciting service-opportunities already on the calendar for June. Check them out, and more are on the way.

Sertoma Centre Super Sale

June 1 and 2, 2013 9:30 – 5:30 (half shifts available): The good folks at Sertoma Centre need about 40 volunteers to staff their annual fundraising housewares “super sale.” There are many positions available–something for everyone. Also, they will be signing off on community service hours, so if you know of anyone who needs hours for school or clubs, let them know. This is a great opportunity for 7th and 8th graders through High School students as well as college aged individuals. Come volunteer as a family—they would love to have you.

Also, do not forget about the VOLUNTEER ONLY Preview Party and Sale. For any volunteer participating in this event, there is a Preview Sale Day just for YOU! You get to purchase any items you would like before the sale opens to the public. The special preview sale is set for Friday, May 31st from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm on location at 4331 W. Lincoln Highway. All merchandise is deeply discounted. Do not miss out on this great perk.

If you are interested in volunteering for the sale on June 1st or June 2nd, please e-mail Laura Gardner with the day and shift you are available, and she will get you on the list. Dress comfortably. Volunteers will be asked to wear a volunteer shift during their shift. Lunch and snacks will be provided. Just do it. It’ll be a great experience for the whole family. Contact Laura at lgardner@sertomacentre.org.

Romeoville Prairie Nature Preserve Restoration

June 1, 2013 8:00 am – 12:00 pm:The Will County Forest Preserve could use your helping hands. Volunteers will cut, haul, or stack brush; learn about why the District takes such great care of the preserves it owns and manages; and feel a deep sense of accomplishment for a job well done. Please dress for outdoor work and the weather. Wear long pants, closed-toe shoes, and work gloves. Registration is required. Please call 815.722.7364 or e-mail Renee Gauchat (rgauchat@fpdwc.org) for more information or to register for this event.

Feed My Starving Children

June 11, 2013 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm: Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) is always a great way to do good for others. FMSC packs specially formulated food for children who are on the brink of starvation in many developing countries around the world. You can literally save lives by participating in this event. It’s a great way to spend a couple of hours with friends (old and new) and family. It’s a child friendly service opportunity too, so get the little ones involved. Act Out Now will be at FMSC on June 11, so please join us. Just click the link: RSVP NOW.