Reaching Out Volunteering as a Family

KUC Blog

Reaching Out
Volunteering as a Family

Through the Outreach program at Kenilworth Union Church, members and their guests volunteer to give back to charitable organizations.

For the Wigdale family of Winnetka, that means serving an evening meal to the less fortunate. The Wigdale’s, with one student in high school and two students in elementary school, eagerly anticipate their evening of service at A Just Harvest, a soup kitchen just six miles south of Kenilworth.

There are people in need close to home, according to Brad Wigdale, who appreciates the opportunity to serve as much as he does the chance to open his children’s eyes to another part of society. It’s an opportunity to educate children on what it means to give back, he says, and to see the results first hand.

“We feel like we are truly blessed and we should be giving back,” said Wigdale, who enjoys seeing his children take on various responsibilities in the soup kitchen and discussing the experience later.

Why A Just Harvest? Although Wigdale had heard about soup kitchens throughout his life, he had never visited one until he signed up with this program five years ago. Since then, he has returned at least once per year with his family. On each visit, they are able to meet new people and have new experiences, which he says have always been positive. From serving food to talking with patrons to cleaning the dining hall after meal, there are a number of ways to participate.

KUC has a once-a-month commitment to provide volunteers for A Just Harvest. KUC volunteers are invited to sign-up a few months in advance of their volunteer date. It takes just 2 to 3 hours to volunteer under the guidance of trained staff, in addition to financially supporting the costs of the meal for the evening. According to Wigdale, it’s a small price to pay for a priceless opportunity.