Exactly one year ago – as winter began shedding its blanket, uncovering a sign of hope that only spring can provide – we collectively anticipated another calendar full of events and activities, the usual bustle to which we’d grown so accustomed.

But then an unknown virus quickly transformed into a global pandemic and normalcy as we knew it vanished in a blink.

With the cancellation of so many activities, the closure of facilities and the general realization that “What always used to be isn’t anymore,” perhaps one thing stood out more than most: The absence of people, their helping hands figuratively tied.

No events – not to mention mandated restrictions (think park, trail and playground closures) – also meant the temporary recess for our stable of trusted volunteers.

When you consider that “under normal circumstances” the Fox Valley Park District relies heavily on some 3,500 volunteers who donate more than 20,000 hours annually, it became clear that goings-on in our diverse community – and the folks who selflessly strive to make it better – would be put on pause for an undetermined span.

But this spring a new, much different hope abounds. Along with greening grass and blossoming tulips, hope arrives in the form of vaccine rollouts, as cautious optimism supplants the inevitability of another cancellation.

With the return of events and activities will come the request for voluntary service. Though we don’t know exactly what the next few months will entail, or how they’ll look, we do know that volunteer opportunities will return in some capacity.

And that’s where you, or perhaps someone you know, come in.

The District has an assortment of volunteer opportunities that can offer challenging and rewarding use of leisure time. Volunteer participation in the FVPD instills a sense of ownership and responsibility.

We believe volunteerism is one of the highest forms of recreation. Community involvement – the giving back part – is a vital key in staying active and making a difference in others’ lives, while at the same time enjoying a personal sense of pride, involvement and accomplishment.

There are many ways to volunteer with the FVPD. Come as an individual, family, business or neighborhood group to help in areas of need. The choices are many and the needs will again arise.

If you’re interested in supporting your community through volunteerism, contact us at fvpd@fvpd.net or 630-897-0516.

Our tagline here is “Where Fun Begins.”

By working together, it will indeed return.