In The Community
Special Recognition/Donor Spotlight
Volunteer Corner - Bill Bialeschki
By Kristen Bosch, Development & Marketing Director
Crisis Nursery celebrates National Volunteer Week from April 21-27. The Nursery relies on over 150 volunteers per week, including one of our favorites, Bill Bialeschki. Read Bill’s story below.
We first met Bill Bialeschki on May 25, 2011 when he brought a generous donation into the Nursery. His obvious enthusiasm about supporting the Nursery instantly endeared him to staff. After a brief conversation, Bill shared that after 26 years working at Willard Airport, he was ready to retire. He said he loved babies and asked a few questions about volunteering on the floor with the children.
Six months later, in November, we saw Bill again when he made another donation to the Nursery. He took his time walking back to the administrative offices, pausing to smile at a baby and chat with a little girl. This time, Bill asked staff for volunteer paperwork and seemed eager to get started.
“I was interested in being a volunteer for awhile,” Bill recalls. “I’d been supporting the Nursery financially for years. When bringing in donations, I’d seen first-hand the great help and support the Nursery gave parents and the love and compassion for the children.”
Fast forward a year to October 2012. It had been awhile since we’d seen or heard from Bill. But, here he came one day, with another donation, his completed paperwork and a kind smile. He said he’d retired in July and it was time to get started. After an orientation later that week, Bill was finally set to volunteer on the floor with the children at Crisis Nursery.
And what an impact he’s made! Bright and early, every Thursday morning, Bill can be found on the floor with the kids. But, there’s no telling what he might be doing. We’ve found him curled up on the floor, cooing at babies and playing peek-a-boo. Or helping a toddler into a doctor’s outfit and dutifully playing along, taking the prescribed medications and getting his blood pressure checked. He might be even snuggled up, with a little guy on each side, reading Snow White or Horton Hears a Who.
Bill’s been known to grab a hammer or paintbrush to fix a broken cabinet or give a scuffed-up toy a facelift. His can-do attitude and willing spirit were helpful in November when we were moving Holiday Shop items from the Nursery to Lincoln Square in less than ideal weather. One staff member described Bill as “the muscle of the Nursery.”
But, Bill’s favorite volunteer role is feeding and rocking the babies. “I had one boy who was 13 months old. He just wanted to be held and talked to the whole time I was here. When it was time for me to leave, he thrust his arms up with a pleading look in his eyes. Needless to say, I stayed late that day.”
There’s no job too big or too small for Bill. He’s the perfect example of a selfless man who continually gives his time, talents and resources to Crisis Nursery. In just the six short months since he started volunteering, his humble and appreciative nature has charmed children and staff alike.
Now’s the perfect time to start volunteering at Crisis Nursery! Maybe you only want to volunteer a few months of the year? We're desperate for volunteers in December, May, June and July. Don't want to commit to a weekly shift? Consider our 'share a shift' option where you share the same time each week with a group so you only volunteer once or twice a month.
Long story short, we're willing to work with you. Crisis Nursery is a great place to volunteer and while the process may seem lengthy, from paperwork to fingerprinting to training, the payoff is worthwhile. Keeping kids safe and making them feel loved - doesn't get much better than that! Stop by for a tour, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 337-2731 and we'll answer all your questions.