One of my favorite events to attend growing up was the Coffee and Doughnut Sundays held once a month in the downstairs kitchen area of our church.
My mom chaired the committee, and volunteers signed up on a rotational basis to bring doughnuts, cookies, pastries, pies, and all sorts of baked goods. The sweet treats eaten in between church services helped “sweeten” waking up early on the weekends.
I never remember signing up, but my mom drafted me into service as a volunteer. One of my duties as a volunteer was to make pots of coffee and go around to the tables with a carafe to refill cups as everyone sat, snacked, and chatted. Surprisingly, not many people wanted decaf coffee at 9 a.m., but the extra strong caffeinated coffee was always a big hit.
Volunteering taught me not only how to make a great cup of coffee, it also taught me the importance of helping others and giving back. I loved chatting with others and hearing what they’ve been up to over the past month. It was also a way to help my mom, who was busy overseeing everything.
As Director of Agricultural Literacy, I’ve been pretty busy lately overseeing things: our Ag in the Classroom program, two Ag Days, teacher workshops, grant opportunities, and multiple events.
Summer is the busiest time of year for our program, with events nearly every week. The events range from library programs, booths at community fairs, and summer camps.
Our programming wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers, who lend a hand in various ways: helping set up or take down, gathering and organizing materials, assisting at booths, etc. Volunteers also have unique skillsets and personality characteristics that enhance our programming and events as well.
Volunteering is an easy – and free – way to get involved with agricultural literacy and education. If you have some free time, want to meet others, and are interested in teaching Cook County residents of all ages about agriculture, don’t hesitate to reach out!
Email me at [email protected] for more information about volunteering. I hope to see you at our next event!