It All Begins With You 

Volunteers play a vital role in our efforts to accomplish our mission. Most likely you yourself have arthritis or someone you know does. By volunteering with us you will be helping the over 50 million Americans with arthritis and related diseases live fuller, healthier, more active lives.

Here are some examples of how you can help:

  • Join the planning committee for a special event.
  • Volunteer to help the day of a special event.
  • Volunteer as an Arthritis Foundation representative at a local health fair.
  • Work at our office helping with daily administrative tasks.

Please contact Jazzmin McKay to find out about specific volunteer opportunities and learn how you can make a difference in our community.

The mission of the Arthritis Foundation is to improve lives through leadership in the prevention, control and cure of arthritis and related diseases.

Thank you Camp J.A.M. counselors

Thank you Camp J.A.M. for all your help, dedication, and passion towards helping children with arthritis. You took the time out of your life to give back to the foundation in a meaningful way and we are very grateful for all that you have done for us as well as the children. With your involvement, you improved the lives of all the campers by showing them that there is hope while living with this lifelong disease.  The Arthritis Foundation strives to make camp an experience that builds lifelong bonds between kids who have been diagnosed with juvenile arthritis and this is only possible because of our exceptional counselors. The volunteer counselors step into the role of not only being leaders for these kids, but role models as well. Every year, we try to bring out the strength that is in each camper and it would not be possible without your help. Counselors tackle every activity from leading group craft time, cheering on rock climbing, swimming, and monitoring nature activities, to being that listening ear for those who need someone to talk to. Thank you so much for volunteering your time to a few days that makes a lifetime of difference for those who attend. Hope to see you at Camp J.A.M. 2015!

Arthritis Foundation Volunteers Lead New Advocate Webinar

The Arthritis Foundation would like to thank Ambassadors and longtime volunteers Cindy Copenhaver (from Illinois) and Kate Kuhns (from Iowa) for leading the New Advocate Webinar on March 6, 2014.  They were able to share their stories and information about our advocacy priorities to webinar participants.  

The 2014 Advocacy Summit will mark the fifth time that Cindy Copenhaver (who is also an Arthritis Foundation exercise trainer, board member & committee member) has attended.  She shared that by getting involved with advocacy, she’s had the opportunity to meet and speak in front of her legislators and feels that is truly is an honor that they really do listen to their constituents.  Legislators want to hear her story.  This is also a chance for Cindy to share with legislators the stories of her exercise participants.    

This will be the fourth Advocacy Summit for Kate Kuhns (who also serves on multiple Arthritis Foundation committees) and her daughter Delaney, who has juvenile arthritis.  She shared the importance of cultivating relationships with legislators and actively engaging children with juvenile arthritis in the advocacy process as well.  

Do you have questions about the Arthritis Foundation’s advocacy program?  Would you like to be part of our 74,000+ (and growing) grassroots advocacy network?  Your story DOES make a difference!  Join us by becoming an e-advocate:  Click here.

Learn more by listening to the recorded New Advocate Webinar:  Click here.

Got 5 Minutes & Want to Make a Difference?  Become an e-advocate!

You, your friends and family members can make an impact for the over 52.5 million Americans affected by arthritis by signing-up to become an Arthritis Foundation e-advocate. E-Advocates make their opinions and personal stories known. By signing up, you'll receive Action Alerts in your inbox when important arthritis-related issues are debated on Capitol Hill.   In 5 minutes or less, you'll be able to write your elected officials and tell them their constituents care about arthritis and how it impacts our communities. Read more.

Volunteer Spotlight

Phil Angelo has been a faithful friend to the Jingle Bell Run/Walk since the very first race in his community 22 years ago!  His employer, The Daily Journal has been a great supporter of the Jingle Bell Run/WAlk.  In the formative years of the event, the publisher of The Daily Journal at the time, Jean Alice Small, suffered with severe arthritis, and pledged the newspaper’s support.

In the early years Phil performed court measurement, table set-up and even stuffed goodie bags. He has been in the trenches and has done everything from securing race locations to sponsorship development. In the begtinning, Phil was elated when the Jingle Bell Run/Walk hit 300 participants.  He never dreamed they could do better than that.  Surprise, in 2010 the JBR had 1,500 participants and raised $65,000!  Phil has forged a great partnership with the Arthritis Foundation and he exemplifies the best of what volunteerism is all about.

The Arthritis Foundation has always been able to depend on Phil.  In more recent years Phil has served as master of ceremonies for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk.  When asked about his motivation to stay involved he said, “I really do it in memory of Jean Alice Small, a great publisher and supporter of Kankakee charity.  It means so much to me to see this event succeed.  It really has a reputation as a fun event with lots and lots of costumes!”

Phil is a true gem to the Kankakee community.  Active in the Sons of Italy, Kiwanis Club of Kankakee, member of a Sherlock Holmes club, Civil War Roundtable, Lionel train aficionado, and White Sox fan; we think the world needs many more Phil’s.  
It is because of his determination and commitment to all things Jingle Bell Run, that were are honored to have Phil Angelo as the 2012 Jingle Bell Run Honoree.


Unpaid internships are available in the development and communication departments. Junior and senior level college students are welcome to apply for semester internships for college credit. Interns receive detailed training in the field, and a strong professional experience at add to their resume. Interns are treated as a part of the staff team -- no filing, no envelope stuffing. Schedules are flexible to meet the needs of students and volunteers.

Development Department Intern

Assist development staff in all aspects of special events planning: logistics, sponsorships, volunteer management, promotion and more.  The ideal candidate is detail oriented, enthusiastic and looking for a professional experience in special events planning within the non-profit sector.

Email Sharon Tatom Garcia at or call (312) 372-2080(312) 372-2080 x 24.

Communication Department

Assist with media relations: write and send press releases, write radio and television PSA's, manage PSA's, manage media list, pitch stories and manage media follow up. This is the perfect opportunity for students with PR or Communication degree programs. The ideal candidate has taken introductory PR course work and has written a press release in class.

Email Sharon Tatom Garcia at or call (312) 372-2080(312) 372-2080 x 30. You will be asked to submit a resume and press release sample.

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