Volunteer of the Month

Care to meet the elite team of supervolunteers whom we’ve honored over the years?

WednesdayFebruary 2015



While a lot of 826 volunteers participate in many different programs, it seems that most have a favorite program, that is near and dear to their hearts. I think it is safe to say that Abby Ruehlmann, February 2015′s Volunteer of the Month, has found her favorite program at 826michigan in our In-school Residency program.

Over the past year and a half, Abby has distinguished herself as an effusively enthusiastic in-school volunteer, taking on as many regular classroom residency gigs as she can fit into her busy schedule. She has been a first- and second-grade support at Mitchell Elementary in Ann Arbor and Erickson Elementary in Ypsilanti. She has supported ELL high school students at Ypsilanti Community High School and summer school students at the Summer Learning Institute.

One place in particular that we have seen Abby shine is at Huron High School for our Young Authors Book Project. Abby worked side-by-side with high school students every Thursday and Friday this fall, supporting and encouraging them as they wrote the bedtime stories they wish they’d had when they were younger. Abby helped some students facing particularly difficult circumstances to find the words to express themselves, share their feelings, and become more confident with their writing and beyond.

When talking to Abby, it is not uncommon for her to become emotional (code for real-life tears in eyes) about how much she loves working with young people and how amazing they are. She is the picture of conviviality with other volunteers, making friends wherever she goes. As you can imagine, teachers LOVE Abby, and so do we. Abby Ruelhmann, we cannot thank you enough for bringing your incredible spirit, talent, and generosity into our lives. You are going to make an magnificent educator—we cannot wait to see you when you have your own classroom!

WednesdayJanuary 2015

One of the magical things about Lucy Huber (and trust us, there are MANY) is that she first came to 826michigan by way of another incredible 826er, Katie Jones, who left Michigan to pursue her graduate degree in writing in North Carolina. We had no idea how we would carry…

FridayDecember 2014

All sources agree: Pat Gold is PURE GOLD. True to her name, she really does seem to have the Midas Touch (in the good sense); everything she touches turns to sparkles and magic. For the past two school years, Pat has been a fixture at our Creative Writing Club at…

WednesdayOctober 2014

Since October 2013, Barb has been a model Robotier in our store on weekday mornings. She brings the words reliable, friendly, and helpful to new heights. Sometimes staff pause what we are doing on the other side of the curtain to listen to Barb greet customers and families, because it…

ThursdayOctober 2014

Sarah is a rock star student in the School of Education at the University of Michigan. Last spring, she held a store shift and served students in the Adams Creative Writing Club as a volunteer. This summer, she took her commitment to 826michigan to the next level, as an intern. This…

MondaySeptember 2014

Christopher Ankney is a phenomenal part of the 826michigan volunteer team. For nearly two years, he has served in our robot shop as a robotier, treating the store as if it were his very own–during his TWO separate store shifts. He is so dedicated in fact, that he spent his…

MondayAugust 2014

A Force of Goodness: August’s Volunteer of the Month is Megan Gilson! We have so much to say about Megan Gilson. When Megan began her undergraduate journey at the University of Michigan, she planned to study neuroscience. Very quickly, however,  she realized that the way she most wanted to help…

TuesdayJuly 2014

A Weekly Wonder: July’s Volunteer of the Month is Robyn Charles! Since Robyn Charles joined our volunteer corps last December, she’s been consistently amazing us by jumping into a wide variety of tasks with remarkable alacrity. This reporter had to Google what that meant for sure before putting it into…

SundayJune 2014

A Student and a Teacher: June’s Volunteer of the Month is Ariana Orozco! One of the many (many) great things about working at 826michigan is how many truly good people you get to meet.  People who freely give of themselves and their talents. People who make commitments and follow through….

ThursdayMay 2014

A Star Behind The Scenes: May’s Volunteer of the Month is Dane Larsen! We’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately about this thing a nonprofit calls “capacity building”, aka what happens behind the scenes and how that contributes to our ability to make things happen in front of the…

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