“A new type of volunteer opportunity is coming to the Fox Cities this spring in the form of the Give Back Bus. For a small donation, the Give Back Bus will transport riders on altruistic adventures around the Fox Cities area. But there’s a twist – destinations will not be revealed until the bus arrives at its final stop. Trips are generally four hours long and there is no limit to the scope of projects planned. Volunteers could help clean up a local park, serve meals at a shelter or build a house for a family in need.
This initiative was pioneered by members of 2017 Leadership Fox Cities, a community-based professional development program which is part of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with The Volunteer Center in Appleton.
The Give Back Bus experience will inspire passengers to do good again – at work, at home and in their community,” says Kristin Cates, marketing director for The Volunteer Center.
The Give Back Bus is modeled after similar programs, the closest of which is located in Washington County. Its goals are to bring excitement to volunteering while connecting people and organizations, as well as promote civic engagement and build community pride by focusing on education and urgent, sometimes invisible, needs in the community.
The bus offers two types of rides: community rides for local residents and corporate rides focused on team bonding excursions. The first community ride is scheduled for Saturday, April 14 with the goal of hosting monthly trips. Trips are currently recommended for participants ages 18 and up, but family-friendly rides are being planned for the future.”
I was given the opportunity to join the April 14th bus after a few people cancelled. However, that was the weekend of an April blizzard and I note on the web page that the first ride of this extraordinary idea didn’t leave the garage. I’m on an email list for future dates and hope to find out first-hand where the bus will take its passengers and how we can give back to the Fox Cities community.
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