volunteer [vol-uh n-teer]: a person who voluntarily offers himself or herself for a service or undertaking.

The official definition almost sounds too simple. But synonyms describing the word – “step forward,” “take initiative,” “submit oneself” – begin to describe its spirit.

At the Fox Valley Park District, we rely heavily on the selfless work and commitment of around 3,500 volunteers per year to help deliver premium services, events and activities our residents deserve.

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.

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.

“Our volunteers comprise a vital base of unity, camaraderie and teamwork,” says Debbie Smith, the FVPD’s community outreach manager. “For many, volunteering is a way to gain experience, acquire new skills, meet new people, advance career aspirations and even reduce stress.”

The District’s volunteer network is as diverse as our community. Families may team up to remove debris along the Fox River and shorelines of our lakes and tributaries; students home from college may teach fundamental skills, good sportsmanship and playing strategies in practice and game situations as a youth coach; seniors may assist club leaders in setting up and decorating for meetings and parties at our Friendly Center Club. And on and on …

“Volunteering goes beyond doing good deeds,” says Smith, who noted District volunteers collectively donate more than 20,000 hours of their skills and service on an annual basis. “It strengthens the community and fosters new connections between us.”

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 always remain present. If you’re interested in supporting your community through volunteerism, contact Debbie Smith at dsmith@fvpd.net or 630-966-4555 or visit our volunteer page for more info!

A humble thank you to all who offer their selfless service – past, present and future!