Evanston Volunteers Surpass 150,000-Hour Goal Weeks in Advance!

Posted on Tuesday Nov 19, 2013 in Volunteer

The City of Evanston is nearing the end of its year-long celebration marking 150 years since its founding. The theme for the sesquicentennial year has been “Volunteer. Celebrate. Engage.” Last year, the Celebrate!2013 Working Group “The 11th Idea” set a lofty goal for the community to log 150,000 hours of service during 2013. The effort was led by volunteers Patrick Keenan-Devlin and Lori Osbourne and organized through Volunteer Evanston. Volunteer Evanston is an ongoing community partnership of the City of Evanston, Northwestern University, School Districts 65 and 202, and the Evanston Community Foundation.

The City of Evanston is pleased to announce that on November 6, 2013, this goal was surpassed! The accomplishment was celebrated at the Evanston City Council meeting on Monday, November 18. Many of the community partners and volunteers who made the program a success were in attendance.

Because Evanston has a vast network of non-profit organizations and residents with the true spirit of volunteerism, Volunteer Evanston capitalized on that spirit during the milestone anniversary to give back to the community 150,000 hours of volunteerism. People who live, work, or study in Evanston were invited to take a pledge to help meet the community's goal.

The Volunteer Evanston website was used to connect volunteers to opportunities in Evanston and to assist the local organizations and community partners that serve the Evanston community. Throughout the year, 124 organizations and 1,584 registered individuals participated in the program. Organizations posted their volunteer opportunities online, then residents matched their skills and availability to specific tasks and volunteered their services.

Volunteer hours_Woman's Club 0097.jpgOn November 6, 2013, the Woman’s Club of Evanston logged the 425 volunteer hours associated with their Fairy Tale Trail event held in late October. This entry pushed the City over the sesquicentennial goal by reaching 150,055 hours!

Volunteerism is one of our community’s greatest assets. Each hour logged by Evanston residents not only strengthens our entire community, but also helps realize our shared vision of making Evanston the “most livable city in America.”

The Evanston150 initiative’s team played a crucial role in promoting the Volunteer Evanston website by signing up individuals to participate and team members are logging a significant number of hours themselves. Here is a list of organizations that contributed to the success of Volunteer Evanston in 2013 and their volunteer hours logged:
Northwestern University: over 14,000 hours
CARE: over 12,000 hours
Evanston150: over 10,000 hours
ETHS: 9,500 hours
Woman’s Club of Evanston: over 6,500 hours
Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and NW Indiana: over 6,000 hours
Evanston Public Library: over 5,000 hours
Interfaith Community Service: 3,500 hours
School District 65: 2,500 hours
Senior Connections: over 2,000 hours
YWCA Evanston/North Shore: 1,000 hours

Volunteer_Evanston_ceremony_group_0101.jpgThe City of Evanston thanks everyone who has participated in helping us to achieve our goal. Volunteers are continuing to log their hours; the most recent tally was 151,781 hours. People who live, work and study in Evanston are encouraged to log the many hours they will be donating over the busy holiday season.

A final tally of hours volunteered during 2013 will be posted in January 2014 at www.volunteerevanston.com. The Volunteer Evanston website will continue beyond the year 2013. Who knows how many volunteer hours Evanston will reach in 2014 and beyond?

Top photo: Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl, left, recognized the efforts of the Woman's Club of Evanston for submitting the volunteer hours that surpassed the annual goal. Representing the Club was Kathy Rocklin, center, and Chris Gretchko.

Bottom photo: Members of the Evanston150 Steering Group, the Celebrate!2013 Working Group and partners for Volunteer Evanston celebrated surpassing the 150,000-hour goal on November 18, 2013.