Volunteering Fall 2019–A message from Amy

Hi, Everyone!

Things are starting to look like fall here at The Children’s Farm!  We’ve got pumpkins and corn stalks, the leaves are starting to change, and now we just need all of you to help make our fall fundraising season another great success!  

Our fall activities rely on volunteer help in order to provide an educational, exceptional experience for all members of the community that visit our farm. Our volunteers wear many different hats, and we are asking you take part in making fall extra special for our visitors.

Our “season” officially kicks off this Saturday, September 21st with Palos Park’s Autumn in the Park event.  On Saturday, the 21st The Children’s Farm will be participating in the Palos Park parade and will then host a petting farm for the day at the Village Green.  We need volunteers to ride along on the hayracks for the parade as well as to help with the petting farm.  The parade begins at 11am and the petting farm goes from noon to 4pm.  Anyone wanting to participate in the parade is asked to meet in the Palos Park Metra station, no later than 10:45 am.  (Please note, due to parade route road closures, you will need to enter the Metra parking lot from 80th Ave to 121st Street) In past year’s we have won the “Best Spirit” parade award and we’re hoping to win again this year, but we need lots of participants!  Can you help us??

The next major event is our Fall Festival on Saturday, September 28th. The Fall Fest runs from 10 am to 4 pm and is always a great event at the farm!  This event relies on volunteer help!  If you’re willing and able to help out, please email me back and let me know your preferred duty and what shift(s) you’re available for. We’d love for you to stay for the whole fest but if a half day works better for you, we split the day into a 10 am to 1 pm shift and a 1 to 4 pm shift.   If you’re accustomed to one particular “job,” that’s great and I will do my best to get you in that role again this year.  If you’re looking for something new, the general list of needs is; food concessions (grill, bake sale, popcorn, root beer), barn help, kid’s game attendants, face painters, hayrack drivers and loaders, ticket takers, horse walkers, cashiers, craft assistants, horse walkers and pumpkin helpers!  If you’d like to help before the event, we are also looking for bake sale donations!  Any baked goods can be dropped off on Friday the 27th to our main office.  

Following the Fall Festival, our Farm, Pumpkin Playland and you-pick pumpkin patch will be open every Saturday and Sunday in October from 10 am to 4 pm.  Each weekend in October we will be running hayrack rides to the pumpkin patch, helping guests purchase and load their pumpkins, grilling & selling lunches, running a s’more sale, popping popcorn and showing off all the animals. This means that each and every weekend shift in October needs about 20 volunteers! 

No Fall season would be complete without a Haunted Hayride!  On Friday & Saturday, October 25th & 26th, our farm trails transform into a spooky atmosphere for The Haunting, which is a family friendly event with spooky stories, a haunted hayride and marshmallow roasting and “spider cider.”  This event needs dozens of trail spooks!  If you’re interested in helping, please reach out!

Don’t worry, volunteer needs are not just limited to the weekends! If weekdays work better for you, we are in dire need of more help with our school tour program. Volunteer tour guides take a group of children around the farm for an hour and help them interact with the animals. We teach children that chickens lay eggs and cows make milk. The time commitment is minimal; if you are willing to commit just a couple hours a week for the month of October that would help us immensely. No experience is necessary and training will be provided.

Over the next 6 weeks, we truly do NEED your help!  One shift, for one event will be a great help so please, please reach out and let us know when we can expect you.  The Fall season at The Children’s Farm is a laborious undertaking for staff and volunteers however it’s a magical experience for our community and it’s tremendously beneficial in helping to raise money for The Center’s operating fund.  Please consider volunteering if you are able.  We could never thank you enough but your gesture of volunteerism is felt by many and appreciated beyond words.  

I look forward to hearing from you!

Amy DiDominicis
Program Director