Congratulations to our August Volunteer of the Month, Fran Nelms.  Fran has been photographing participant events like the holiday party and Community Thanksgiving for the last four years, in addition to cooking at Inspiration Cafe.  Thank you, Fran!

How did you hear about Inspiration Corporation?

A friend brought me to Cafe Too (now Inspiration Kitchens) for brunch when I moved to Uptown.  She told me a little bit about the organization as we visited.  Ironically, I had been trying to find a place to volunteer, so I checked it out not long after that.

What is the most enjoyable part of volunteering for you?

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Fran (right) with Inspiration Cafe Kitchen Coordinator, Keith.

I enjoy being involved with the community I live and interacting with so many wonderful people.

What aspect of volunteering are you most excited about? What is the most challenging?

The most exciting part of volunteering is working with Inspiration Cafe and being part of their mission.    Inspiration positively impacts so many lives and I am proud to be working with such a high-quality organization.  The most challenging variable is finding shifts on Volgistics.

What is your volunteer background?

I studied at Eastern Illinois University.  There I worked with several organizations through the Newman Catholic Center, including Habitat for Humanity, Fair Trade Coalition, and Haiti Connection.  I have been to Haiti four times over the years to work with different communities with the most recent time being last summer.  When I first moved to the city I volunteered at Lincoln Park Community Shelter for 4 years.  I assisted in their computer labs.

Why do you volunteer?

I volunteer because we are all part of a community.  Communities take care of each other and it is important to me to be involved with my community.   At Inspiration, I am working with and giving back to my local community.  When I volunteer internationally, I am working and giving back to my global community.

Describe one of the most interesting experiences you’ve had as a volunteer.

Choosing one specific interesting experience that I have had volunteering with Inspiration is hard for me to pinpoint.  I have found working with IC in different ways over the years has been interesting and has taught me different skills.  Plus, you never know who you are going to meet or what you might learn on a shift.

What are your hobbies, besides volunteering?

I thoroughly enjoy music, photography, and travel.

What have you learned from your volunteer experience?

The world is a beautiful place full of smiles and everyone has a different story to share.