Volunteering at Bethel

Volunteers are an important part of every program we operate at Bethel. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please review this volunteer guide to see all the great opportunities available. 2013 Volunteer Guide

The Bethel Christmas Store

The Christmas Store at Bethel New Life gives West Side families the chance to participate in both giving and receiving. Churches and businesses donate thousands of gifts. Hundreds of volunteers help out. Over three days, we sell the gifts to families in the community at an affordable price: $1, $5, or $10.

At the store, families spend cash and “Bethel Bucks” they’ve earned by participating in our programs, completing a financial literacy course, taking positive parenting classes, earning A’s and B’s on a report card, and more. Cash proceeds are used every year to support one of Bethel’s education programs.

To sign-up a volunteer group from your church or business and/or round up gifts, contact Tina Levy at tlevy@bethelnewlife.org, or (773) 473-7870 x 160. And join us at our kick-off meeting each September to learn about the upcoming store.

“Parents, we discovered, would much rather work and earn and purchase presents for their children than they would stand in free toy lines with their proof of poverty… Everyone in a community, no matter how destitute, has something of value to exchange. And in the process of exchange, human worth is reinforced.” -Robert Lupton, And You Call Yourself a Christian

Article that inspired the Bethel Christmas Store

Here’s a story from a family that volunteered from St. Charles, Illinois. If you’ve never been to Bethel New Life in Chicago, you must add it to your list of things to do. Our family got the opportunity to go with other families from Bethlehem Lutheran to help out at the Bethel Christmas Store. It was an awesome experience! The building was much bigger than I had anticipated and everyone there was SO friendly. This is what my kids had to say about it:Adam, 12: “When we went to Bethel, I didn’t know what to expect. I helped Mrs. Hildebrandt wrap presents. All the people that we wrapped presents for were so thankful and happy with what they had bought.”Abby, 13: “I worked in the child care area with kids ranging anywhere from babies on up to 12-years-old. Some of the stories they told made me realize just how lucky I am. I also enjoyed seeing them laugh and have fun. We ran around and played duck, duck, goose hundreds of times! Seeing the smiles on these kids’ faces was the best part for me.”

Curt and I worked in the store itself as personal shoppers. Curt was in charge of gift cards where the shoppers were allowed to buy one at a major discount. I helped people pick out clothes and gifts for their family. I loved doing this as I got to chat with people and hear about their families.

It is an amazing program that Bethel offers and we were so glad to be a part of it. To be able to spend a little bit of our Christmas vacation helping out those less fortunate was so rewarding. We will definitely be going back! —Gail Walker