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 founder of I Support Community, Marion Ruthig, one of our Lead Volunteers for the Inside Out Club, Karina Derhake, and our Marketing volunteer, Christy Gallagher.
Marion Ruthig, Executive Director and Founder
One of Marion’s goals when she started I Support Community was to “increase [her] kids’ perspective of their community and get them involved in a meaningful way that would be with them for the rest of their lives.” I Support Community has evolved into a nonprofit focused solely on developing kids with character inside and out through their Inside Out Club program. As the Founder and Executive Director, Marion “works alongside the Board of Directors and volunteers to ensure the Inside Out Club is the best it can be and furthers our mission.”
When she is not working on I Support Community, she enjoys spending time with her family. She sees the impact the program has had on her children and even herself, which makes her happy and proud.
Marion says “it’s amazing to witness a young child experience what it might feel like to walk in another child’s shoes that has less. Children that grow up thinking outside themselves, caring for others and getting involved in the community are children that can make a better future for everyone.”
Karina Derhake, Lead Volunteer
Having previously worked as a School Social Worker in District 204, and recently moving back to Naperville, Karina found out about I Support Community at the Naperville Park District Summer Concert Series put on by Continental Motors. As the featured nonprofit that night, I Support Community had a table set up, as well as the chance to speak to everyone about what they are doing. Karina was hooked.
Karina believes that the Inside Out Club benefits both families and children stating “there is no better way to ‘teach’ kindness, compassion and empathy then with these ‘hands on lessons’ and community outreach opportunities.”
Currently, Karina volunteers as a Lead Volunteer for the Inside Out Club at Elmwood Elementary, having worked with the K-2nd graders this past fall, she is moving to the 3rd-5th graders this spring. Karina is also a support volunteer at St. Joan of Arc for the 4th-5th graders, and even volunteers at the weekend Inside out Club events when she can.
Aside from volunteering her time with I Support Community, Karina also volunteers with Edwards Hospital and teaches CCD at St. Thomas the Apostle. When she is not volunteering, Karina enjoys spending time with her family in the Chicagoland area, traveling and reading.
Karina states “there are so many economic, mental health and social issues in every community, it is important for all of us to work together to do a little bit for the good of each other.”
Christy Gallagher, Marketing Volunteer
Currently working as the marketing volunteer she posts social media communications for Inside Out Club events. Christy thinks that I Support Community “makes it easy for people to find a great charity, and an easy way for them to volunteer often! It is also a perfect way to get your children to see how rewarding volunteer work can be, either by activities for them, or by example by the parents.”
In Christy’s spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading, running and playing tennis, but also spends time volunteering with Special Spaces, a non-profit she found through I Support Community. In that role she decorates bedrooms for sick children.
Christy notes “you will never regret giving your time to a worthy cause.”