Get connected: Here’s a way we can link volunteers to the Sauk Valley organizations that need them

Charlene Bielema

Time, treasure and talent.

These are three words I continue to remember after a recent discussion at the Dixon Chamber offices with community leaders and volunteers. Philanthropy was the focus of the discussion.

Now, whenever I’ve defined philanthropy, I’ve automatically thought of someone walking in with a big check and handing it over. And sometimes it is that – a sharing of one’s treasure.

But there are other ways philanthropy plays out. No doubt funding is important, but there also is a great need for volunteers who give of their time and talents. That’s exactly what is needed for everything from large community events and rec sports to Honor Flights and parades.

Don’t know where to start?

The best place is identifying your passion. Maybe it’s animals; shelters always can use the help. Or maybe it’s sports and assisting with the local kids’ baseball league. Feeding the hungry by volunteering at the local food pantry, signing up to help with a festival, raising funds for a cause – all are important.

After that, it comes down to deciding where to give your time, treasure and/or talent.

Your city’s chamber of commerce, city hall or United Way are great places to contact to find out what organizations are out there.

Here’s how we want to help

It would be easy to list a few organizations in this space to point people toward. However, there are way more organizations and needs out there than we know of.

So here’s an invitation: If your organization has a need for time, treasure and talent from the community, let us know by sending us information about your organization, what it does, what it needs and how people can contact you. You can email us at and we’ll publish your information as a volunteer spotlight.

We recognize the need in the community to make things happen. Our hope is that we can help potential volunteers get connected to the organizations that need the help.

And those who volunteer also will get something in return: a sense of goodwill knowing they are on the frontlines of enriching their community.

Charlene Bielema is editor of the Sterling Gazette and the Dixon Telegraph.

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema

Charlene Bielema is the editor of Sauk Valley Media.