On May 24, the annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner was held at the 19th Century Club in Oak Park to recognize and reward the 1000+ loyal volunteers that help Housing Forward bring programs and services to those in need in our community. Volunteers were treated to dinner catered and donated in part by Jimmy’s Place of Forest Park, followed by tributes to long-time volunteers, Joanne and Ted Despotes, Prevail Program volunteer, Mary Wacker, and moving remarks from former client, Theodore, who attended with his daughter Yasmine.
Housing Forward’s volunteers play a vital role in our solution to homelessness by helping nurture the basic well-being of our clients and encouraging their work toward self-sufficiency goals. Volunteers also help with fundraising and special events, contribute professional expertise (e.g. design, photography, legal and medical counsel) and lend a diversity of talents and perspectives to our Board of Directors, Associate Board, Auxiliary Board and Friends of Housing Forward Advisory Committee.
While we appreciate our volunteers every day of the year, this annual dinner is our one opportunity to bring them together and show them how much we care. It was a special evening, as you will see from the photos below.