Volunteer of the Month

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

WednesdayMarch 2015

Cat Batsios

“I’ll be cold for you.” These five words effectively sum up the amount of dedication and eagerness to help that our Volunteer of the Month, Cat Batsios, offers to the Detroit team. When it was uncertain if there would be enough support during a volunteer orientation session on a treacherously frigid Tuesday night, she offered to trudge through the least welcoming environment a Michigan cold front can provide. 

A proud native of Flint, Michigan, Cat has been instrumental in the development and execution of nearly every new program we’ve hosted in Detroit. Now in her third semester of interning, she logs countless hours (well, we actually do keep count but it’s A LOT!) helping students in our programs each week. Last summer, she designed and ran a spectacular writing workshop for teens in the Metro Youth Policy Fellows program that focused on recognizing and developing personal mythologies and encouraged some truly inspiring writing. Her passion for teaching and mentoring adolescents is invaluable to our work and she always allows it to shine.

When she’s not spending time volunteering for 826michigan, she’s baking delectable treats, showing up with a box of homemade soaps (SERIOUSLY–really nice soap she made by hand), donating gorgeous handmade necklaces to fundraisers, and painting any sort of 826michigan bits and pieces that come up. “Renaissance woman” does not begin to describe the versatility of her interests or gifts.

A graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Creative Writing, she continues to hone her craft through an incredible workshop, driving to Lansing on a weekly basis for study, writing in poetry groups and then submitting pieces for journals, while still making time to design lessons, type student work, train volunteers, and copyedit the most adorable student writing. Did we mention 826michigan isn’t even the only place she volunteers?!

Essentially, Cat is a gem of human being. As the first intern to serve in Detroit, she has set the bar incredibly high. One day there will be an award in Cat’s honor. The only problem is that the award must encompass so many talents, that Cat Batsios may very well be the only recipient.

Check out a tiny bit of Cat’s own poetry here.

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…

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….

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