I Support Community Inside (and) Out
There are many people that are involved in I Support Community, whether that be through a role on the Board of Directors, a volunteer with our Inside Out Club, or a corporate partner, I Support Community would not be what it is today without each and every one of them. This month we feature the Secretary of the Board of Directors, Emily Bartlett, and two of our Lead Volunteers for the Inside Out Club, Dominique George, and Karen Southwick.
Emily Bartlett, Secretary of the I Support Community Board of Directors
Emily started on the board in December 2014, after meeting Marion Ruthig, Executive Director and Founder. Wanting to find a way to give back to the community, Marion introduced Emily to I Support Community and Emily never looked back. Emily has a passion for helping children and giving back to the community, and currently sits on the Board of Directors and volunteers her time to assist wherever needed.
Emily believes “it is important for others to get involved, especially in the Inside Out Club, as kids then have the ability to learn about others that may not be as fortunate as them.” Her favorite part of volunteering to help at Inside Out Club is the fact that “we are able to reach families that may not usually have the opportunity to volunteer” and “even a three year-old can color a card to send to the troops overseas.”
She adds that “I Support Community has given me an outlet to give back to a great community that will continue to get even greater.”
In her spare time, Emily enjoys spending time with her family, including her two year old nephew, as well as reading and doing puzzles.
Dominique George, Lead Volunteer
Dominique, became involved in I Support Community through the Educators Rising program at North Central College. She was helping find service opportunities for the group,heard about I Support Community and knew immediately it was a great fit.
“I am passionate about it because I see the value of teaching kids about topics they otherwise might not encounter,” Dominique says.
She had the pleasure of being a Lead Volunteer in the Inside Out Club for a class of 23 students in 2nd and 3rd grade.
She adds “I Support Community helps kids become exposed to new things that will help them become well-rounded people with hearts to give back and be empathetic.”
As a busy college student with classwork, cheerleading, church and not much free time, Dominique spends anytime she does have with her friends and family, and also enjoys reading, watching Disney movies, and looking forward to her study abroad trip to London, England in December.
Dominique believes others should get involved because “being able to teach kids life skills and give them knowledge about people and places different from where they life and how they live is priceless.”
Karen Southwick, Lead Volunteer
While attending a Chamber of Commerce networking event, Karen met Marion Ruthig, Founder and Executive Director of I Support Community, and as soon as she heard about I Support Community, Karen knew she wanted to get involved.
Currently, Karen is a Lead Volunteer for the Inside Out Club at St. Joan of Arc School in Lisle, which has two clubs; one for grades 1 thru 3 and one for grades 4 and 5. She wanted to become a volunteer for Inside Out Club because she says “as much as I loved volunteering, I also wanted my kids to have an opportunity to participate in the Inside Out Club.” She was able to get the Inside Out Club in her children’s school, of which she has a fourth grade daughter, a second grade son and first grade daughter, due to the support she received from the school Principal.
Karen says “I am passionate about this program because it embodies the tenets that I try to live by – caring for and being of service to others. This program incorporates everything I want for my children, and children everywhere: love, empathy, understanding, and giving back to our community.”
In her spare time, Karen loves spending time with family and friends and spending time outdoors, including gardening, which she spends many hours doing to be able to see the beauty that emerges every spring.
Karen adds that being a part of I Support Community “is well worth the effort it takes … when I hear students say they wish they could have the Inside Out Club every week.”