Prior to 2018, Mike and Donna were just your average, run-of-the-mill, Plant Chicago Market attendees and Whiner Beer enthusiasts.
Plant Chicago: When was the first time you came to The Plant, and why?
Mike and Donna: We first starting going to The Plant for Plant Chicago and Great American Cheese Collections’ markets to buy way too much cheese. We’d see Plant Chicago in the news occasionally and finally decided to attend a volunteer orientation. Fell in love with the people, place, and the mission. And now here we are!
Bright eyed and bushy tailed, Mike and Donna attended their first orientation January 2018, and immediately began volunteering! Pretty quickly they started showing up practically every Saturday. They completed tasks that no one would ever dream of: flushing out a massive aphid infestation from our media bed aquaponic system, cleaning poop from the chicken coop, building a 4 tiered worm composting farm, and sweeping the farmstand with the tiniest broom known to humankind.
Often times, they would one-up other volunteers (and Plant Chicago staff) by literally running eight miles round trip to The Plant for their volunteer shift. Although, they were asked to do gross, challenging tasks, they kept coming back with smiles on their faces and no* complaints.
Plant Chicago: What is your favorite thing about volunteering with Plant Chicago?
Mike and Donna: The people. It’s a joy to meet and work with the people (and chickens!) that are part of The Plant. We also love interacting with volunteers, vendors, and customers on market days.
Plant Chicago: What is your greatest/most memorable moment volunteering?
Mike and Donna: The first time Donna volunteered to be a replacement chef for the farmers market cooking demonstration, and we had to race around on our bikes to get the ingredients and buy a blender.
Throughout 2018, Mike and Donna each racked up 100 volunteer hours (that’s 200 hours total!). The most hours ever recorded** in the history of Plant Chicago volunteering! With that new knowledge in mind, we wanted to take this moment (and blog) to thank Mike and Donna, and all of our volunteers, for all of their dedication and hard work this past year. Truly, this organization would not function without you.
If you’re interested in volunteering with Plant Chicago, consider attending one of our volunteer orientations! The next orientation will be Saturday, April 6th from 10-11:30 am. Who knows, maybe you’ll even catch a glimpse of the famous Mike and Donna.
*Okay, let’s say very few complaints.
**log your volunteer hours!