Note from the Editor
While we haven’t been able to engage volunteers in a way we normally would, we want to share some
of the ways our volunteers have stayed involved throughout COVID and quarantine.

We need our volunteers and they are important to Avenues. As we begin to navigate a new normal, we will be reaching out with new opportunities. Please watch for these opportunities as Illinois and Avenues move forward with the reopening process. 

Thank you for your support through the pandemic and all of those who have reached out. If you have a talent you would like to share with Avenues and the clients, please reach out to Phyllicia Davis at
Fall/Winter 2020 Activities
Concert at Sasser-
Tuesday Night Friends
One of the Tuesday Night Friends organizers, Kathy Seiwert, reached out to Park Ridge native Collette “Coco” Hawley, who has been offering free concerts during COVID-19. Collette visited Sasser Family House in September, where Avenues residents gathered outside safely for a concert. The group started with their favorite Christmas carols and then sang some rock and roll. The Avenues residents were very excited to spend the afternoon dancing and singing. Thank you to everyone involved for making this memorable activity possible.

For nearly 25 years, volunteers Lynne Hjelmberg and Kathy Seiwert, along with the help of local high school students, have organized monthly gatherings for Avenues residents.
Avenues residents enjoy the outdoor concert at Sasser Family House.
Collette "Coco" Hawley leading the concert outside Sasser Family Home
Ice Cream Socials
Staying Active Through Quarantine
Co-Creator of PomSquad Fitness Jena Ertel, and Miami-based Yogi Laura Gordon continue to keep Avenues clients active through chair yoga and dance. Thank you for keeping Avenues clients engaged and moving throughout quarantine!

Thank you to all of these wonderful volunteers for keeping Avenues clients' spirits high.
PepsiCo Enable Picnic
Every year, employees and family members of the PepsiCo Team hold the Annual PepsiCo Enable Picnic for Avenues residents. During COVID-19, Avenues residents had pizza parties in their own homes in lieu of the traditional get-together. In addition to pizza, PepsiCo also sent snacks, games and activities for the residents to enjoy. This year marked the 14th annual PepsiCo event.
Pizza Parties
Thank you to Joe Marchetti who sent a pizza dinner to the Avenues residents during COVID-19. The residents sure appreciated this tasty meal.
On New Year’s Eve, Avenues supporters JoEllen and Steve Leturno had pizzas delivered for all of the residents to enjoy. Thank you for helping our clients ring in the New Year!
Suburban Partnership Board: Holiday Cheer
Every year the Suburban Partnership Board, accompanied by Santa and his red jeep, hosts a holiday party for the clients at the Center for Independence.

This year, Santa collaborated with the Suburban Partnership Board and the staff to visit each of the Avenues homes in his red jeep and safely deliver presents to each of the Avenues clients.

A big thank you to the Suburban Partnership board and Avenues staff for spreading the holiday cheer during the year of COVID.
Local Business Providing Holiday Meals
Thank you to Benny Velazquez and the Park Ridge Jewel for donating Thanksgiving and Christmas meals to the Avenues residents. The Park Ridge Jewel also employs several Avenues residents. Thank you for being a great part of our community!
Share your talents and skills with Avenues!
More ways to get involved
  • Join a committee - Help with major fundraising events, such as our annual gala, Love Affair or the annual Avenues Golf and Tennis Classic

  • Social and Learning Activities - Share your money management and computer skills, arts and crafts knowledge or healthy lifestyle programs, or help organize a game night or other social events for our participants

  • Advocate for Legislation - Encourage your representatives to end budget cuts and fund programs that support adults with developmental disabilities

  • Thrift Shoppe - Volunteers are needed a minimum of four hours each week to help at our Thrift Shoppe. You can also support the Avenues AveVenture program and shop the online Thrift Shoppe here:

  • Promote Community Employment- Contact employers you know who may be able to hire one (or more) adults in our Job Placement Program

  • Shop Online - Use for your shopping needs and select Avenues to Independence as your charity of choice; Avenues will receive a percentage of sale proceeds from participating stores

  • Be a Friendraiser – Tell your friends and co-workers about Avenues or invite them join one of our events
For the safety of the clients, staff and community, volunteers will be limited to virtual sessions or social distancing practices when applicable.
If you or your organization would like to donate your time to Avenues, please contact Phyllicia Davis. If you have a talent you would like to share with the clients of Avenues such as; music, dance, crafts, gardening, and more, please reach out to Phyllicia Davis
at We value our volunteers and their time, and creativity. We hope to see everyone soon with as we continue to reopen.
Avenues Thrift Shoppe Updates
The Avenues Thrift Shoppe is open with normal hours:
Monday - Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Only six customers will be allowed in the store at all times. *Please note dressing rooms will not be available
The online store is up and running. Please visit
Store-front curbside pickup during regular store hours. 
*Please note there are no deliveries, refunds, or exchanges.

DONATIONS are accepted by APPOINTMENT ONLY. To make a drop off appointment, call 773-631-6230 and press 3.

*Volunteer Opportunity*
The Thrift Shoppe is looking for cashiers!
Four-hour shifts are available for anyone comfortable working inside the store
with a mask on at all times. Retail experience is a plus, but the system is easy to learn. Volunteers receive a 50% in-store discount. Please contact Will Sterba or call 773-631-6230.
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Avenues to Independence  |  515 Busse Highway
847-292-0870 | WEBSITE | EMAIL