Recognizing Our Invaluable Community Volunteers

December 01, 2023

One of the ways the Magoon Institute partners with community-based organizations is through providing Lurie Children's employees and physicians with fulfilling, mission-aligned volunteer opportunities, from food pantry distributions to fun-filled days of service. Our Community Volunteer Program encourages Lurie Children’s employees, physicians, and members of the community to work hand in hand to create, support, and advance positive change in our communities. 

We focus our efforts on Austin, Belmont Cragin and Hermosa neighborhoods. This past year, Lurie Children’s partnered with 15 community organizations in promoting health education and wellness, help provide food to families in need, clean up and beautify park and local community farms throughout Chicago.

One of our partner community organizations in Belmont Cragin is Iglesia Evangelica Emanuel (IEE). On the second Thursday of each month community volunteers from Lurie Children’s come out to provide food to the community members. Lurie Children’s HRIS Analyst Nina Padgett, who has joined us a few times at Iglesia Evangelica Emanuel, shared:  “I find that volunteering through Lurie provides valuable opportunities to meet fellow Lurie employees from other departments that I would not normally have the pleasure of meeting.” The Community Volunteer Program builds a community of like-minded individuals to serve where children need us most, at the heart of their community. Padgett adds, “the most meaningful part was getting to know my co-workers and their pride of giving back.”

Community volunteers come out with smiles on their faces and ready to serve the community. Food pantry volunteers provide food to an average of 600 individuals monthly. Many of the volunteers said that seeing the families and the direct impact of the work they are doing was the most meaningful part of the experience for them. 

In addition to facilitating community volunteer opportunities for Lurie Children's employees and staff, the Magoon Institute also leads the Community Volunteer Corps (CVC), an opportunity for Chicago-based community members to support volunteer efforts during the summertime. CVC member Indira Martinez believes in giving back to the community especially in the one she lives in. She said, “I work in healthcare technology, and it is very easy to do my job on a computer, but I will not know how to innovate in this industry unless I interact with the community. I decided to join volunteer corps because I wanted to be part of bringing health equity and education into my community.”

“The most meaningful part is being able to interact in a playful manner with our youth and make sure they learn the importance about nutrition, poison control, and clean community areas. It is also imperative that our youth sees people with similar backgrounds as them giving back to the community, and hopefully they can emulate being volunteers in their future” continues Martinez.

So far this year, we had 229 volunteers dedicated more than 650 volunteer hours serving the community at 45 events. Community volunteers have served over 8,500 individuals throughout Chicago. We would not be able to do this work without members of our workforce, like Nina, and community members like Indira, dedicating their time to volunteer in the community and our community volunteer corps members. We are thankful to our community volunteers today and every day!