Holiday volunteer options open

By Stoney Stone

Local organizations are offering opportunities to give back to the community this season.

Feed’em Soup Community Project

Feed’em Soup, 122 S. First St., is a nonprofit organization which provides patrons with a restaurant-style atmosphere and cuisine, regardless of their means.

Feed’em Soup offers volunteer opportunities for those who are able to commit their time to helping out the community.

“Normally I work with the baking program and help out with late nights,” said volunteer Destiny Johnson. “I’m here whenever I can be here. If you’re interested [in volunteering], you can always sign up on the website, [or] you can come in on a Wednesday and talk with someone.”

Those unable to volunteer can sell food at night after the bars close. All proceeds go to the Feed’em Soup Community Project.

“Late nights is our after-dark benefit,” Johnson said. “We’re open from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. as a late-night tapas. There’s sliders, there’s potatoes, there’s pancakes, all this good stuff. We get late night people who are out on date nights and [at] bars. It’s a good crowd. All of the benefits go back into our pay-as-you-can meals.”

Hope Haven

Hope Haven is a homeless shelter at 1145 Rushmoore Drive.

The mission for Hope Haven is to provide not only shelter and food for those in need, but also to teach life skills they need in order to get back on their feet.

For those interested in volunteering, Executive Director Lesly Wicks recommends calling ahead.

“First, contact us and we can discuss the different options,” Wicks said.

Hope Haven is accepting donations for items they use all year, like cereal, breakfast foods, cleaning supplies and office supplies.

Hope Haven will host its first annual Gimme Shelter event from 6 p.m. to midnight Jan. 25 at Cabana Charley’s, 1470 S. Peace Road in Sycamore.

Tickets for the island-themed A Night in the Tropics are available for $40, which includes food and drinks, live music and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased through Hope Haven.

“Come support our fundraiser, and try and get involved with the community,” Wicks said.

Safe Passage

Safe Passage is a nonprofit organization set up to help reduce or prevent domestic violence.

Safe Passage offers services including short- and long-term housing for those in need and crisis intervention and medical and legal advocacy.

“We are DeKalb County’s violence shelter and rape crisis center for men, women and children who have been the victims of domestic violence,” said Marj Askins, Safe Passage community educator.

Safe Passage offers internships for students with at least a junior standing. All volunteers must commit to at least 60 hours of training in order to work with client contact.

“Apply online. We provide training on site. It’s free for volunteers and interns,” Askins said. “We only ask that you stay on for either a six-month commitment [for volunteers] or two semesters for the internship.”

Volunteering training courses will be Jan. 28 through Feb. 15.

To apply for volunteer opportunities, visit and click the volunteer tab.