Local Organizations Offer Opportunities for Volunteers

A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park (AND) provides confidential counseling, education, advocacy and support to families affected by domestic violence. AND provides services at no charge to the client and is largely supported by financial contributions from the Beverly/Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood, Evergreen Park and Oak Lawn communities. Donations, volunteers and dedicated board members are invited to support the AND mission. Learn more: www.anewdirectionbmp.org. Contact/info:  Jessica McCarihan, jessica@anewdirectionbmp.org or 773-253-7226.

Beacon Therapeutic Diagnostic & Center, 10650 S. Longwood Dr., provides therapeutic day schools and homeless outreach services including mental health services to some of Chicago’s families who are most in need. People can support Beacon’s work through monetary donations that support all of the organization’s programs or host clothing, book, school supply, toiletries, household products or toy drives that directly benefit clients. Learn more: www.beacon-therapeutic.org. Contact: Peggy Rourke, prourke@beacon-therapeutic.org or 773-881-1105.

Beverly Area Arts Alliance (The Alliance), a volunteer-led non-profit, coordinates art-focused events and projects fostering collaboration between artists and the community. The Alliance advances Beverly/Morgan Park as a hub of culture and creativity, working with community leaders, organizations and artists to create a vibrant environment in which to live and do business. The Alliance’s annual cornerstone event is the Beverly Art Walk in October. Other programs include pop-up exhibitions, educational opportunities and The Frunchroom, a quarterly reading series. Donations are welcome (501c3 status pending) and directly support events and programming. Suggestions, feedback and volunteers are welcome. Learn more: www.beverlyarts.org. Contact/info: Monica B. Wilczak, monica@beverlyarts.org or 773-213-7406.

Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA), 1987 W. 111th St., has been serving the Beverly/Morgan Park community for nearly 70 years with programs designed to foster neighborhood pride, improve quality of life and support a thriving residential and business community. Support BAPA with a membership, donation or sponsorship. Volunteers are needed for special events and programs, to serve on committees, and to support program areas. Become a member/learn morel www.bapa.org. Contact/info: Margot Holland, mholland@bapa.org or 773-233-3100.

Beverly Arts Center (BAC), 2407 W. 111th St., is a multifaceted organization building community through diverse, quality arts programming, education, and entertainment for all ages and levels. People can support the BAC by becoming a member and enjoying a variety of benefits and discounts for classes, concerts, entertainment and special events. Volunteers are needed to help in the café; ushering for BACinema, concerts and programs; and more. Donations to the not-for-profit BAC help to bring arts programming and entertainment to the south side. Learn more: www.beverlyartcenter.org.  Contact/info:  Shellee Frazee, Artistic Director, shellee@beverlyartcenter.org  or 773-445-3838, ext. 216.

Beverly Hills Junior Woman’s Club, a member of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, is a volunteer service organization dedicated to the personal growth of members through participation in informal programs and charitable fundraising events, working toward the resolution of problems that primarily affect women within our community and around the world. Each year, they award a scholarship to a female student at Morgan Park High School. The club has also supported the Maple/Morgan Park Food Pantry, Easter Seals Brandecker Center, Beacon Therapeutic Center, A New Direction, Mercy Home for Girls and BAPA. Last year, the club held a successful luggage drive for foster children in Illinois. The Beverly Juniors meet on the third Monday of every month (Sept. – May), 7 p.m., at Christ the King Gleeson Center, 92nd and Hamilton. New members are welcome. Learn more: Facebook — GFWC Beverly Hills Junior Woman’s Club. Info: Carla Herr, 312-593-1129, alrac3@gmail.com or beverlyjuniors@gmail.com.

Beverly Improvement Association (BIA) is the civic association that serves North Beverly with social and service programs and activities that improve the area and unify neighbors. BIA is always looking to include more of neighbors and new families in activities that promote local businesses and to provide a forum to discuss issues that affect the community. The Board meets monthly and a general meeting is held each October. Learn more: thebia.org, Facebook – thebia1. Contact/info: Molly Sullivan, mollysullivan810@gmail.com.

The Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association (BRHA) is a not-for-profit civic organization initially established in 1939 serving residents in the area bounded by the Rock Island Metra tracks to Western Avenue from 95th to 103rd Streets. BRHA is here to listen and respond to the needs of the neighborhood, help improve the parks, green spaces and other vital assets, ensure a safe environment for all residents and organize social, family-orientated and community building events. BRHA is always looking for residents interested in volunteering to help with programs and events, as well as offering support through an annual membership fee. Together we can help preserve and improve the quality of life in the Beverly Ridge area for years to come. BRHA meets at Ridge Park the second Monday of every month, 7:30 p.m. Info: beverlybrha.com and Beverly Ridge Homeowners Association Facebook page.

The Beverly Ridge Lions Club welcomes new members and donations to support its humanitarian efforts.The centerpiece of their local effort is to support worthy charities and activities for the blind and deaf. The biggest annual fundraiser is Candy Day, held on the second Friday of October. Used eyeglasses and/or donations can be sent c/o The Beverly Review, 10546 S. Western Ave. Lunch meetings are held weekly at Beverly Woods Restaurant, 11532 S. Western Ave. Learn more: www.facebook.com/BeverlyRidgeLionsClub. Info: Bob Olszewski, bobo@beverlyreview.net or 773-238-3366.

Located in the iconic blue house at 1825 W. Monterey Ave. is the Catholic Youth Ministry Center at Morgan Park High School. Open to all MPHS students, the Center offers programs, workshops and a place to be with friends to do homework or socialize. They welcome community volunteers as speakers for the PLANS (People Learning All New Strategies) Educational Workshops, facilitators in yoga or meditation, and instructors for art projects. Like anyone with high school students, they are always in need of pool cues and Wii and Xbox games. Info: Peggy Goiddard, 773-881-0193, www.cymcatmphs.com.

Kiwanis Club of Southwest Chicago is a volunteer service organization that is part of Kiwanis International, and dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time. The club supports the Maple Morgan Park Community Food Pantry; the Boy Scouts; the SkyART visual arts program for youth; GoBabyGo, a program that modifies battery-powered children’s cars for children with mobility issues; camps, research and treatment programs for children with spina bifida; and much more. They raise funds through the Kiwanis Peanut Day collection each fall. The club is active in Beverly/Morgan Park, Mount Greenwood and the southwest suburbs, and meets on the first and third Tuesday evenings at Smith Village, 2320 W. 113th St. Contact/info: Mary Zeronas, 312-369-9202.

Founded in 1981, the Maple/Morgan Park Community Food Pantry is located in the Morgan Park United Methodist Church, 11130 S. Longwood Dr., and serves area families with food distributions on Tuesdays and Fridays, 1 to 2:30 p.m. Each month, about 400 qualified families and individuals in the 60643 and 60655 zip codes are served and distributes 600-800 bags of groceries for holidays. The not-for-profit food pantry is an agency of the Greater Chicago Food Depository and a ministry of the Beverly/Morgan Park Community of Churches. It is operated by local volunteers and funded by donations. Donations are accepted all year, but the Pantry asks for special donations of $15 to fund turkey dinners for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. Volunteers are needed to help unload delivery trucks three times a month on Friday mornings. Local organizations also support the pantry through food drives – dry goods are especially needed. For information on donating (monthly pledge donations invited) and volunteering, contact Lillian Hennings, Executive Director, 773-239-3013 or email foodpantry11030@outlook.com.

Mercy Home for Boys & Girls has broken the cycle of abuse and neglect for over 30,000 kids since 1887.  They endeavor to pave the way to a brighter future for troubled children and teens in Chicago. Volunteers are needed as tutors and mentors at the Walsh Girls Campus, 11600 S. Longwood Dr. Mentor information sessions are held twice a month; dates & location vary, and are available upon request. All Mercy Home children benefit from donations of toiletries, school supplies, gift cards, and new toys/gifts for children age 4 to 18. Learn more: www.mercyhome.org.  Contact/info:  Dee Atkins, Director of Corporate & Volunteer Relations, deeatk@mercyhome.org  or 312-738-9584.

Morgan Park/Beverly Hills Garden Club offers an enjoyable and stimulating variety of educational, environmental and conservation programming.  The rewards of belonging to a garden club go far beyond the pure pleasure of growing things, they expand interests and build lifelong friendships while bettering the community and the environment. The garden club meets on the first Monday of the month (except Jan. and July), 9:30 a.m., Bethlehem Evangelical Lutheran Church, 9401 S. Oakley (enter on Oakley side), and also schedules regular times for planning, maintenance and planting of both the Beverly Art Center courtyard and the small BAPA garden (both gardens are approved by the University of Illinois Extension for the accruing required Master Gardener volunteer hours).  Contact/info: Barbara Gyarmathy, bgyar@hotmail.com or 773-447-4926.

Morgan Park Junior Woman’s Club is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to community service, fostering connections in community life, and making a difference through active involvement with other non-profit organizations. Service projects include the annual Work Out to Wipe Out Domestic Violence which raises funds for A New Direction Beverly Morgan Park, the annual garage sale that raised funds for the Maple Morgan Park Food Pantry, and providing volunteers to assist with BAPA’s home tour and Ridge Run,  the 19th Ward’s Beverly Turkey Trot, and Beverly Arts Center’s auction. The Juniors also participate in initiatives that support children, military service personnel, and civic and charitable organizations. Prospective members are welcome at any general meeting, 1st Wed. of month, Oct. through April, 7 p.m., Ridge Historical Society, 10621 S. Seeley Ave. Info: morganparkjrs.wordpress.com or Donna Dalton, president, donnadalton1951@gmail.com.

Ridge Historical Society (RHS), 10621 S. Seeley Ave., preserves the history of the Beverly/Morgan Park community. Volunteers are needed to assist in researching requests regarding history, people and homes in the area. Hours are Tues., 12 to 4 p.m.; Wed., 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.: Fri., 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.; or by appointment. Learn more: www.ridgehistoricalsociety.org. Contact RHS: ridgehistory@hotmail.com or 773-881-1675.

The Southwest Chicago Diversity Collaborative supports diversity and inclusion in the Beverly/Morgan Park and Mount Greenwood communities by creating space for voices that are underrepresented through discussions and action around racial justice, religious freedom and equality. SCDC meets on the first Wednesday of every month, 7:30 p.m., BAPA Community Room, 11109 S. Longwood Dr. Happy hour is the 2nd Friday of every month; location rotates and updates are posted on public Facebook at scdcollaborative. Info:  swchicagodiversity@gmail.com.

Southwest Morgan Park Civic Association (SWMPCA) serves the area bounded by 111th and 119th Streets, Longwood Drive to Western Avenue, collaborating with residents for a better neighborhood. Neighbors are encouraged to become involved as members, volunteers and leaders. SWMPCA meets quarterly on the f1st Tues., 7 p.m., St. Walter Church, Community Room, 117th and Oakley; next meeting: Feb. 7. Learn more on Facebook, searching Southwest Morgan Park Civic Association. Info: David Lauryn, 773-445-3782 or lauryn@wideopenwest.com.

Volunteers are needed as docents and for other tasks at the Vanderpoel Art Association gallery, located in Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. Gallery hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1 to 4 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Learn more from Irene Testa, 773-840-3098.

Vanderpoel Improvement Association (VIA) works to improve the quality of our neighborhood by developing a sense of community and by working together for the common good. VIA serves the area bounded by 95th and 99th Streets, Charles to Wood Streets. All residents are welcome to participate and annual dues are $10.  Projects include distributing a newsletter, designing and installing the street medallions that highlight the community, the annual Resource Extravaganza, and the newly formed Garden Committee which will meet Sun., Dec. 4, Markland Hubbard Gourmet Provisions, 1739 W. 99th St. VIA meets three times a year at Beverly Library, 95th and Damen. Info: Gary Jenkins, president, 773-320-229 or Caroll Vaughn, vice president, 773-209-0855.