May 272013

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

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 ( 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.

Feb 282013

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve been spending some time in the woods–engaged in ecological restoration projects both in Cook and Will Counties. Earlier this month, we were working out in Lockport, IL along the Des Plaines River to restore the very rare dolomite prairie of the Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve—a 285-acre stretch of land acquired by the preserve in 2011. Dolomite prairie is quite interesting as the soil base is no more than a meter thick and is very rocky, and so the flora it supports is unique in its adaptive qualities. The Lockport Preserve is home to a variety of plant species including the federally endangered leafy prairie clover and the federally threatened lakeside daisy. Wildlife includes the federally endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly and other rare species. Our time there was spent cutting back invasive buckthorn and burning brush to allow for natives to take hold once again.

Similarly, in Palos Hills, IL about 20 of us headed out to the snowy woods last weekend to restore the diminishing Oak Savannah. Working beside a chainsaw crew, we hauled fallen silver maples—an invasive, “weedy” tree not native to the highland area in which we were working—and stacked seven burn piles nearly three meters tall each. The work was rigorous, but the positive impact we made to the landscape over the course of just three hours was immediately seen. With consistent efforts like this, in the years to come, we hope to see the oaks return. Special thanks goes to long-time volunteer stewards Joe Neumann, Roger Keller and everyone with the Palos Restoration Project for their invitation to join them this day and to patiently teach us the importance of this work.

Feb 142013

Don’t forget, this Saturday we’re heading out to the woods for a morning of ecological restoration. Please join us. Work will occur outdoors in the preserve, so please bring work gloves and dress for the weather. We’ll be cutting and piling brush to help remove invasive species that threaten the native plants. Registration is required. Please contact FPDWC organizer Renee Gauchat at 815.722.7364 or e-mail to register for this event. The actual work will occur at Lockport Prairie Nature Preserve on Division Street—east of Route 53/Broadway Street in Lockport, IL.