VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES WITHIN THE SIERRA CLUB'S RIVER PRAIRIE GROUP


There are many exciting volunteer opportunities within the Sierra Club's River Prairie Group. These volunteer opportunities offer participants exciting challenges, introduces them to new adventures, and gives participants the feeling that they are accomplishing something important and worthwhile. These volunteer opportunities require as little as one hour time commitment a month to numerous hours a week. Each volunteer determines his or her time commitment. What follows is a brief description of some of the many volunteer opportunities within the Sierra Club's River Prairie Group. If you're interested in participating or learning more, please see the form at the end of the page.

1. Welcome Wagon Hosts. These volunteers direct inquiries from callers to the appropriate chairpersons for more information. Most of the calls are generated from the group's hotline number. Volunteers take these calls at home and direct the callers. A detailed manual has been developed for the RPG Welcome Wagon Hosts. This is an excellent at home volunteer activity that probably requires a few hours each month.

2. Membership Chair and Membership Coordinators. The Membership Chair keeps the records on a computerized system of our 2800 members. When the chair receives an inquiry from a potential Sierra Club member, he or she mails the interested party a package of membership materials. The chair also helps with the coordination of the membership coordinators. Membership coordinators distribute flyers advertising group meetings and functions on bulletin boards of libraries and other public places in their communities. The Membership Chair requires a few hours each week, and the Membership Coordinators require a few hours each month.

3. Publicity Coordinators. These volunteers send out letters to local newspapers advertising group meetings and other activities. This activity can been conducted right at home. The volunteer never has to even attend one meeting. A typewriter or a computer with a word processor would be most helpful. This activity would require a few hours each month.

4. Fund Raising Committee Members. These volunteers help with fund raising activities to raise money for the group. All ideas on how to raise money for our group are welcomed. A member who enjoys being creative and enjoys seeing his/her ideas developed into programs that generate revenue for the group would greatly enjoy this committee work. This activity could involve as little as a fixed number of hours once a year to a fixed number of hours each month. Each volunteer would determine his or her level of involvement.

5. River Monitoring Collectors and Testers. These volunteers will participate in one of Chicagoland's oldest and most diverse grassroots river testing projects. The project is run by two groups of volunteers working together: collectors retrieve water samples from Salt Creek and the DuPage Rivers (east and west branches) and then testers analyze them using titration and a spectrophotometer. For more information or to join, click here River Monitoring.

6. Program Committee Members. These volunteers will help with finding speakers for our group general meetings. The Sierra Club's River Prairie Group generally has four meetings each year that require a guest speaker. Committee members would conduct a search to secure good speakers.

7. Outings Leaders and Assistant Leaders. These volunteers will help learn how to lead hikes and other outing events. This is an excellent way to bring volunteers to the great outdoors and follow the example of our founder, John Muir, in developing a great love and appreciation for our environment. The time commitment would depend on the number of outings the volunteer would want to do each year. For more information on becoming an outings leader, please contact the Outings Chair.

8. Sierra Club Festival Coordinators. These volunteers will help run and set up Sierra Club booths at one of the county fairs. Volunteers could do just one or numerous county fairs each year. We already have the tables, chairs, flyers, and literature. All we need are the coordinators to pick a county fair, set up the tables and chairs, arrange for some volunteers to join the coordinator, and distribute the Sierra Club literature.

9. Cool Cities Volunteers.These volunteers work within their own communities to reduce the threat of global warming by asking their mayors, village presidents or board of trustees to sign on to the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and reduce local CO2 emissions by 7% below 1990 levels by 2012. Once a municipality has signed on to the US Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, volunteers may have an opportunity to participate in formulating, implementing and monitoring a climate action plan.

10. Phone Tree Members. These volunteers will learn about environmental legislation and make phone calls to their elected reps. The Sierra Club's River Prairie Group phone tree is called The Bluestem Network and deals with state and federal issues. The time commitment is less than one hour a month or less and can be done entirely at home.

11. Volunteer Lobbyists. These volunteers will learn how to make a home district lobby visit to their Illinois State Representative, Illinois State Senator, U.S. Congressperson, and/or local DuPage County Government Officials. Volunteers will be provided with training and placed on a team with an experienced Sierra Club lobbyist. This activity is the classic example of activist citizens practicing democracy in action. Our U. S. Constitution in the Bill of Rights guarantees all citizens this basic fundamental right to lobby our elected representatives. The time commitment would be a fixed number of hours once a year prior to an actual lobby visit.

12. Newsletter Editors. The Sierra Club's River Prairie Group is considering expanding the number of times our group newsletter will be distributed. With this increase production cycle, additional editors will be needed to help layout and organize our group newsletter. This activity would be excellent for volunteers who are creative and have some prior newsletter experience (or are willing to learn). Access to a computer would be required.

13. Group Treasurer. A volunteer who has had experience with handling volunteer group's funds and/or been a treasurer of a church or other volunteer organization would welcome the challenge being offered by the River Prairie Group.

If you are interested in learning more about one of the above volunteer opportunities and/or wish to participate now, please fill out the coupon below and mail it to Joseph Pokorny, 1627 Buckingham Avenue, Westchester, Illinois 60154-4224. Please mark the areas of interest you have, and the appropriate activist will contact you.

Name
 Address City
 Illinois County Zip
 Sierra Club Member (yes/no)
 Home phone number
 e-mail address (optional)
 Check those areas that you have an interest in participating in:
Welcome Wagon Hosts Membership Chair
Membership Coordinator
Publicity Coordinators Fund Raising Committee Members
River Monitoring Collectors River Monitoring Testers
Program Committee Members Outings Leaders and Assistant Leaders
Sierra Club Festival Coordinators Volunteer Lobbyists
Newsletter Editors Group Treasurer
Bluestem Network Phone Tree Cool Cites Volunteer