- Posted by Sarah Swiston
- On April 10, 2023
- chicago metropolitan area, Chicago suburbs, Domestic Violence, domestic violence agency, National Volunteer Month, National Volunteer Week, northwest chicago, Volunteer, volunteer chicago, volunteer chicago nonprofit, volunteer domestic violence agency, volunteer domestic violence shelter, volunteer opportunities, volunteering near me, volunteering with WINGS, WINGS, WINGS Program
April is National Volunteer Month. Over the last year, WINGS had 1,840 volunteers donate 53,488 hours. This is the equivalent of 26 full-time employees. Volunteers empower WINGS mission to end domestic violence and donate their time in many ways. Meet WINGS volunteers Bonnie, Preeti, Linda and Lily.
Bonnie – Safe House Volunteer, Children’s Groups
“WINGS found me. I was at an ‘event’ somewhere locally and met Rebecca Darr (WINGS President & CEO)…I volunteered at the Logistics Center for a very long time.
February 2014, I completed the 40-hour domestic violence training and became a part of the safehouse volunteer “team” helping with the children’s group. I love my teammates so much,” Bonnie shares.
Bonnie has had a rewarding experience. “I’m honored to be given the opportunity to make a difference. I’ve gotten to see some of the kids over the years: growing up, believing in themselves…and that is priceless.”
“Meant to Be”
Not only has Bonnie seen her impact firsthand, but as a result of volunteering she has uncovered some truths about her family.
“One day I was on the phone with my mom, telling her how cute a 3-year-old girl at the shelter was. When all of a sudden, I could hear my mom crying and she asked, ‘Why are you helping those women? You don’t know them or why they are there.’
Somewhat surprised at her comments I said, ‘It’s all about helping someone get back on their feet…If someone wouldn’t have reached down and picked me up through the years, I might still be down there.’
My mom then says, ‘Oh, I thought you were doing it because of grandma,’ and she started crying harder. ‘Why do you think she put me and your uncle in a bus from Nashville to Chicago. Grandpa was beating her.’
I said, ‘Wow! Now I know where I get my strength from.’
Bonnie learned that her Grandma was 15 when she had her mother in 1932. After getting away from her grandfather, Bonnie’s grandma survived her trauma and went on to live a successful life.
“I feel that my connection to WINGS is meant to be,” Bonnie adds.
Preeti – Administration and Special Event Volunteer
She shares, “I first heard of WINGS around 2010 when I was working at Allstate. During my time there, I learned about WINGS through Allstate’s Purple Purse Challenge and volunteered with a group of other employees at the Schaumburg Resale Store.
Once I decided to stop working and was looking for volunteer opportunities, WINGS was naturally one of the places that came to mind.”
Ways Preeti’s Assisted
Preeti’s attention to detail has made her an ideal volunteer for WINGS administrative office tasks and special events. She has helped with donor database work, prepared raffle, and silent auction items, and assisted with registration at WINGS special events.
Preeti also created several murals, signs, and furniture decoration at the Niles Resale Store, helping bring the manager’s vision to life.
“I came for the cause, but I stayed because of the people. I have truly enjoyed working with WINGS staff…I love the opportunity to give back and help make our society a little better and safer.
It also gave me a sense of belonging that I lost in some part when I stopped working full-time. I love that WINGS makes it easy to volunteer,” Preeti says.
Linda and Lily Voyles – Resale and Event Volunteers
“We started out volunteering at the Schaumburg Resale Store and then started helping at fundraising events.
We participated on the WINGS Fashion Show Planning Committee for several years: soliciting raffle and auction prizes as well as setting up the fashion show boutique,” Linda says.
Throughout their years of volunteering, Linda and Lily have always focused on how to make the most of the amazing donations WINGS receives.
They have sorted jewelry for WINGS Resale Stores and even set up some general jewelry sorting guidelines. To better display the jewelry and generate more sales, the two focused on creating a more upscale way to showcase the quality of the pieces.
Linda shares, “One of my favorite Wings resale stories was a woman at Schaumburg questioning the price on a vintage sterling silver charm bracelet.
Before I could even answer, another woman said, ‘I donated most of my late sister’s collection of jewelry to WINGS. I was pleased that WINGS saw the value of my sisters’ items and priced them accordingly to raise money for the WINGS mission.’
After hearing that, the first lady bought the charm bracelet, and a pair of earrings.”
“Add a Little Sparkle to Your Wardrobe”
Linda and Lily recommend WINGS Resale Stores to everyone, especially for amazing vintage and antique jewelry items.
Linda continues, “WINGS has an amazing collection of antique/vintage pins, sterling pendants, charm bracelets and pearl necklaces. Remember its 50% off accessories on Wednesdays and Senior discount day is Tuesday. Volunteer discounts apply at any time…
And if you, or any of your family, have excess jewelry (fine or costume), that you no longer wear, you can donate it to WINGS.
We hope you shop for something new, vintage or antique to add a little sparkle to your wardrobe, all while supporting WINGS mission at the same time.”
Are You Interested in Volunteering with WINGS?
WINGS is currently recruiting Mentors, Lobby Volunteers at both Safe Houses, Resale Volunteers and more.
Learn about all of the ways to volunteer here:
Learn other ways you can make a difference here: