The volunteer commitment looks different for everyone. Some people give their time, some people give monetary or planned gifts. Some people have been volunteering for years across different programs and others come for specific programs. Whether it’s been passed down through family generations or becoming a new tradition, the hope and sense of community our volunteers provide youth is irreplaceable.
“Just knowing that this is directly helping my community, seeing the results in my community, make volunteering worth it. Helping people I hadn’t known were struggling and making the neighborhood better,” expressed one frequent volunteer.
Hoyleton takes a holistic approach to meeting the physical, mental, and emotional needs of youth and families, which provides numerous opportunities for volunteers to lend a helping hand. Below is a selection of ways to get started.
Staying organized is a priority for keeping an office running smoothly. Volunteers assisting with filing, phone calls, bilingual assistance, and general office duties help our staff work efficiently and effectively.
Hike & Bike and Trivia Nights
Churches and community organizations across Madison, St. Clair, Clinton, and Washington counties hold events throughout the year and give the proceeds to Hoyleton. The annual Hike & Bike is a 5K, 10K, and half marathon that donates earnings to fund specialized programs for our youth. Trivia Nights are an option that let groups have fun while volunteering and meeting new new people. Various events are shared on social media and our events page.
Back to School
Each year, kids pick up their new backpacks stuffed with pencils, notebooks, markers, and more just in time for the new school year. Our volunteers help us ensure that every child has the supplies they need to be successful in school by donating supplies, stuffing backpacks, and helping with the picnic for kids and parents.
Hope for the Holidays
For most, the holiday season is the most wonderful time of the year, but for some of the youth and families we serve, the season can be difficult. HYFS makes it our goal that every child in our care has a gift to open during the holidays. Our annual Hope for the Holidays drive urges our donors and volunteers to get involved by donating, shopping from the wish list, and wrapping presents. Join us in helping those we serve.
It Takes a Village
Over 127 years, our team members, programs, and locations have changed, but our mission has stayed the same: to help children and families build brighter futures so our communities can improve and become stronger for everyone. We cannot achieve this mission without the compassionate efforts of all our volunteers and donors. If you are searching for a way to get involved, check out our volunteer page or contact
Local Scout Helps Hoyleton Residential Campus Earning Him Eagle Rank
Oscar Speakes joined Boy Scouts of America in 2015. It seemed like a great way to connect with both communities and new friends as he moved a lot during his childhood. His father is in the Air Force and has been stationed in Kentucky, Texas, North Carolina, Arkansas, and Colorado before landing in O'Fallon, IL. Oscar is now in 11th grade at O'Fallon Township High School.
When the Speakes family moved to Illinois, Oscar and his sister became active in their church youth group. They took part in numerous summer service projects at Hoyleton Youth and Family Services. "During one of our youth group service projects, we visited Hoyleton's Children's Home campus, where a quaint white chapel sits," says Oscar. "During a visit, a storm came through the area and damaged the access ramp to the chapel."
The chapel is a gathering place for various meetings among Hoyleton's youth, employees and partners. Each Christmas, it is decorated by the youth. It also serves as an emergency shelter in the case of a power outage in Hoyleton's cottages, as it has generator capabilities and an operational kitchen.
Ramping up an Eagle Project
When Oscar joined the Scouts, his goal was to become an Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable in Boy Scouts. "To achieve this rank, a Scout must earn 21 merit badges along with other requirements, including the completion of an Eagle Project," he says. "The project must benefit a group, organization, or person outside of scouting."
Oscar was trying to determine the right project to tackle that he would be excited to undertake. "My sister had recently been back at the Hoyleton campus and told me that the ramp at the chapel had not yet been repaired," he says. It was at that moment Oscar's project began to take form.
Maneuvering around COVID
Initially, the project was going to take two weekends, with the help of 10 to 15 fellow Scouts taking part. "Because of COVID-19, we had to delay the project due to safety reasons," he explains. Months later, Oscar was given the green light to begin the project, but due to restrictions by the Boy Scouts and Hoyleton, the work had to be done primarily by Oscar's family.
They were finally able to start work in July. After long and laborious days, the Speakes family and friends, behind Oscar's leadership, was able to complete the project in September as initially proposed back in March.
"Oscar's dedication to Hoyleton and the project was amazing," says Meghan Murphy, Hoyleton Volunteer and Event Coordinator. "He worked through several obstacles with COVID and the restrictions from the pandemic, but he did not let him stop him from completing the project that he set out to do."
Oscar's project has made the Hoyleton campus more accessible for youth with any ability, and the residential care team is grateful for his efforts. His work will also pay off after a board of review at the BSA council level on Nov. 19, when Oscar officially earns his rank of Eagle Scout.
"It feels good when a youth chooses another youth agency such as Hoyleton Youth and Family Services to donate his time and resources to improve the quality of lives of others," states Alice Drobisch, Hoyleton Director of Philanthropy.
If you are interested in helping further Hoyleton’s mission, please visit: hoyleton.org/ways-to-donate/.
Share Our Work with Your Community
We invite you to get involved with Hoyleton Youth and Family Services and support our work to transform lives through our programs and the power of faith.
Hoyleton delivers the services that matter to you, in your community. Here’s why your support matters:
“I am grateful for all the things Hoyleton was able to provide for Logan because when he came home, I got my son back. Not the one who I had to send there in the beginning. I got the son I always knew I had…” -Logan’s Mom
Logan was a memorable client at the Hoyleton campus. Before coming to Hoyleton, Logan was hospitalized 38 times for extreme behaviors and was unable to read. After 8 months of therapy, Logan’s IQ jumped 22 points and was reading at an elementary school level. Recently we received an incredible thank you letter from Logan’s mom. She talked about how difficult, scary and uncertain she felt when Logan was placed at Hoyleton. She praised Hoyleton’s staff for always being available to listen when she voiced her concerns and offered suggestions and advice that eased her mind.
- Tutor a child in their foster home
- Be approved to provide childcare and give our foster parents a much-needed break or date night.
- Prepare a meal for a foster care family
- Volunteer at Hoyleton events
- Help older youth prepare a resume or job application
- Offer your expertise to teach life skills
- Purchase Christmas gifts for our youth
- Give new clothing for children new to foster care
- Buy back-to-school supplies
- Provide sponsorships for DuBois camp, or sports camps
- Provide household items for youth transitioning out of care
- Sponsor a child in an enrichment program such as dance or music lessons
- Start a foster care support ministry through your church or organization
- Invite Hoyleton staff to lead an informational meeting at your church or organization
- Use your social media accounts to blog/tweet/post our needs
Learn more about volunteering with us here, or give us a call to get involved: 618-688-4727