January Volunteer of the Month – Jim Borgaard
Meet our volunteers! Each month, we highlight a stand-out volunteer (or two) and how they support families. For January, meet Jim Borgaard, whose leadership in Red Shoe Society and support at a variety of events and other volunteer opportunities makes a real difference to families.
- How long have you volunteered with us?
I’ve been volunteering with RMHC-CNI since early 2016, but have been involved with RMHC/Red Shoe Society since 2012.
- Where do you usually volunteer, and what do you typically do?
I’m currently a member of the Red Shoe Society leadership team, but I’ve also run the Chicago Marathon four times as part of Team RMHC, volunteered at the golf outing a handful of times (I can’t remember exactly how many because it’s so much fun!), and have participated in other special events and opportunities where needed.All that to say, I look at myself as a kind of Jack of all trades, master of none when it comes to supporting RMHC-CNI. I have been involved in a variety of capacities, but there is not one particular signature event or task that I gravitate towards. This organization provides so many unique and rewarding ways to get involved. I’ve found that exploring these different options helps me bring some great ideas back to Red Shoe Society so we can continue to grow our impact!
- Why did you first start volunteering with RMHC, and what keeps you coming back?
I was first introduced to RMHC by my employer when I lived in Cincinnati. I was the head of our Community Service Committee at work, so I met with the development director of RMHC of Greater Cincinnati. From our first meeting I was 1000% on board with RMHC’s mission and vision. In fact, I have a close family member who would have benefitted from RMHC’s services if the organization had been around during their childhood.Because of that personal connection, along with seeing the power of the mission, I joined the Cincinnati Chapter of Red Shoe Society. Luckily, Red Shoe Society has chapters nationwide, so when I moved back to Chicago I was able to bring my learnings from Cincinnati to help Red Shoe Chicago grow their impact and footprint. It has been a truly unique experience leading this group of 50 young professionals who are all trying to make a difference.
- What is your favorite memory or experience from volunteering?
Though it might sound cliché, there are too many to count. I truly enjoy spending time in/at the Houses with the families. Seeing the pure relief, joy, elation, etc. when you do something as simple as serve a meal or make a child smile is what is so amazing about what RMHC-CNI does. The impact one individual is able to make on an entire family’s day is the most rewarding part about being fortunate enough to serve.
- What does it mean to you to donate your time to RMHC-CNI?
I look at it as an opportunity to make someone’s day a bit easier, or to give them one less thing to stress about. Being able to provide a level of “normalcy” for the families who are going through so much uncertainty is extremely rewarding. With RMHC-CNI you’re not just “checking the box” of serving a meal or donating money, you get to see the impact your donation has on each individual family.
Thank you Jim for your continued dedication and commitment to helping families get better together!