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Volunteering with a twist

Posted on Jul 9, 2018, by

Volunteer Fox Cities has combined volunteering and mystery into one large mobile movement and they call it the Give Back Bus.

The Give Back Bus is a fun, new program created by Volunteer Fox Cities that has generated lots of excitement in the community. The bus puts a spin on traditional volunteering by adding the element of surprise. Volunteers sign up without knowing where they are going until the day they board the bus.

“It’s a fun way to connect community members with issues that they may not even know exist, and potentially turn them into a long-term volunteer, donor or advocate,” said Kristin Cates,  Marketing & Events Director at Volunteer Fox Cities.

Volunteer Fox Cities got the idea for the Give Back Bus from the Washington County Volunteer Center, whose program is the Do Good Bus. Volunteer Fox Cities worked with Washington County in the planning stages to find best practices and to understand how the bus worked and its impact on the community.

“We were excited about the possibility of bringing one to the Fox Cities,” said Cates.

With the help of a $25,000 Bright Idea Fund grant from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, Volunteer Fox Cities will be able to hold monthly community and corporate bus rides. The bus will support 24 local nonprofits, connect 960 community members with volunteer opportunities, and provide $92,000 of economic impact through 3,840 hours of service.

The Give Back Bus had its first ride on May 19, with 40 registrations in just two weeks, and the excitement hasn’t stopped there.

“We get calls and emails almost every day from families, businesses, individuals… all just wanting to know more about the bus and how they can get on board,” said Cates.

If you would like more information on the Give Back Bus, check out Volunteer Fox Cities’ website at

Individual volunteers are urged to sign up for the mailing list to receive the first announcements of upcoming dates and times for the bus. Corporate and nonprofit applications can also be found on their website.

You can make the Bright Ideas burn even brighter by adding your support.

Check out our current Bright Idea Fund results from 2018 – 2019!
See how our Bright Idea fund impacted our community last year.

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