My friends, as you can see from the picture, June’s Volunteer of the Month has slow danced with dolphins. He’s also: been an extra in a slew of movies (several involving Oscar-nominated actors), done yoga in Costa Rica, and engineered for Ford. He goes curling once a year in Canada. He has a totally hyper dog named Logan. Also, he owns not one but TWO boats.
None of this has anything to do with his time as an 826michigan volunteer, but it does sort of have to do with why he’s Volunteer of the Month this month. You see, all those points illustrate the fact that Chris Hiltz is a renaissance man. A jack of all trades. And, wouldn’t you know it? He’s also turned out to be a renaissance volunteer, a volunteer of all trades.
We’ll take you through his tenure with us as systematically as possible. Readers of this feature know that we are, shall we say, prone to bullet-pointed lists. We sort of feel one coming on. Read on to see what happens!
Chris came to our January orientation. Within the WEEK of being oriented, Chris was one of our illustrious crew of In-School Residents AND he had joined the ranks of our highly regarded Robotiers. What does this mean, exactly? Right after orientation, Chris started going into Chapelle Elementary School every Thursday morning to work for several hours in Mr. Rood’s third grade class, and he had a weekly shift in the Liberty Street Robot Supply & Repair. (We said it the first way because it sounds fancier. And Chris is kind of fancy. Remember the boats?) The week after that, he was tutoring on Wednesdays.
Since that time, oh, bullet-point list, here we come!, he has:
- Made our store windows “work” by doing everything from making hurdles from scratch to getting that pesky bot to actually pedal the bike
- Worked the door at the Love Hangover (and begged local businesses for small bills)
- Been one of the experts of Davison, Davison, Davison, and Squirrel, our skilled team of product development specialists who recently visited University Prep in Detroit to teach fourth and fifth graders all about writing in advertising (more on this soon!)
- Said yes pretty much every time we’ve frantically emailed him looking for last-minute help with everything from workshop facilitation to subbing in the store
- Currently acts as co-captain of Better Bot’s ONWARD ROBOTS!, our kickball team (the losingest team in the league!)
- Developed a certain-to-be incredible workshop (happening Friday) wherein students will write the dialogue and sound effects for old robot movies
- Somehow found a slew of boxes just in time for our Robot-Costume-Building Workshop for Festifools, and THEN helped make the costumes, and THEN kept all our young bots together in the parade
- Voiced one of the more hilariously cartoonish Dr. Blotches we’ve ever heard
- Given rides, given advice, and given easily several hundred hours of his time to 826michigan
…in addition to the aforementioned in-schooling, robot-storing, and tutoring. And lots of other stuff, no doubt, that we, through no fault of our own, neglected to mention.
It should be noted, Chris Hiltz is currently looking for employment. If it was not already implied by this feature, we COULD NOT RECOMMEND HIM MORE for ANY sort of employment. He teaches! He tutors! He engineers! He kicks and catches! He does all of it with dignity and panache! And a sense of humor! He’s reliable, punctual, and whatever you give him to do, he does it above and beyond your expectations. (We’d be happy to talk with you, at length, about his many fine qualities and skills. If you are thinking of employing him, please just give us a call.)
Chris: we think you’re the best! Thanks for* A L L T H E M A N Y *things you’ve done and continue to do for us!