Helping others in the community starts around the dinner table.  The recently released “Civic Life in America” report,  (, says that eating dinner with your family, talking to your neighbors, or just keeping in touch with people online all are associated with higher levels of participation in other aspects of civic life.

I’m hoping this blog will be like a big, virtual dinner table, sharing information about the great volunteer projects and programs in our community. I’ll also be updating you on the progress of an exciting new Volunteer Center project. Let’s discuss what your agency, family, community group or religious organization is doing to make our community a better place.  I’ll be profiling volunteer opportunities for families, teens, groups and more.

 More about the Volunteer Center project –  In April, 2010, the Volunteer Center of Oak Park closed after 25 years of service because of funding shortfalls. This summer, community volunteers, the West Cook YMCA and the Wednesday Journal began a series of discussions to address the community need for a new Volunteer Center. There’s lots of enthusiasm and support for this new project – other organizations have expressed support, including the Retired Senior Volunteer Program, housed at Triton College.  In the coming weeks, you will see the emergence of a new Volunteer Center initiative, which will feature an online calendar and resources, a phone-in center and a dedicated space at the West Cook YMCA.   The new Volunteer Center aims to fill volunteer needs in our community, and to raise awareness of volunteerism and of important community agencies.

Want to learn how to get involved in the Volunteer Center project, or how to volunteer through the Volunteer Center? Email us at  Need volunteers for community organization or service project? Send us an email at

 As the “Civic Life In America” report demonstrates, the more we communicate with each other, the more we reach out and get involved in our community.  So take a seat at the table and let’s talk – I can’t wait to hear your stories!

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Joanna Skubish

Born and raised in Miami, Joanna Skubish has been calling Oak Park home for nearly a decade. Although she misses the Sunshine State in February, she is constantly warmed by the generosity of her community....

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