Community outreach

Orphans of the Storm takes an active role in working with our community. One of the most important ways is with our education and community service programs. We work with members and groups of the community to offer speaking appearances, presentations to schools and community groups, supervised tours at our shelter, and attending charity fairs and conferences. If you would like to schedule a visit from one of our representatives, please contact us at

Speaking appearances

Orphans of the Storm will speak to your community group. Our outreach program has presentations that are tailored to your audience. Whether yours is a youth group, high school assembly, or a rotary meeting, we have the appropriate presentation that will introduce your group to our life-saving mission. Our presentation may consist of one-on-one petting time with a preschool park district or may include a more in-depth discussion with students at a local high school.

We have brought our message to local groups throughout the north shore of Chicago and beyond: scout troops, corporate headquarters, corporate family events, women’s clubs, schools, churches, and even birthday parties.

Our presentation includes the following vital information:

  • A bit of the history of the shelter
  • Our current work with stray and abandoned pets
  • Why spay and neuter is important
  • Current events in the animal world, especially when they affect the pets in our area
  • How anyone can help to make a difference

We can even bring a dog and/or cat along to help make our point!

Shelter tours

Upon request, a shelter representative will meet your school or community group at the front gate of the shelter and lead you through a supervised tour of the facility. This is an opportunity to see first-hand how a large animal shelter operates, and experience the real result of the pet overpopulation problem, specifically in our area.

These tours will explain the procedure from receiving the animals, what the pet’s life is like while living at the shelter, right up to their adoption day.

The tour will wrap up in the cat wing where you are welcome to spend some time in our adult cat room. Here adult cats live peacefully together while waiting for their second chance in life.

Tours last approximately 40 minutes and we ask that each group of children be accompanied by chaperones and that they bring a donation for the animals (please call the shelter to find out what is most needed, or see our wish list on this website). This could include a collection of snacks, food, toys, newspapers or blankets.

If your group is curious about just how an animal shelter operates, then contact us and we’ll schedule a supervised tour. Please call the shelter at least one month beforehand to arrange it or email us at

Tours are available Monday through Friday.

Corporate events

The orphans animals are always ready for an outing. Consider inviting Orphans of the Storm to your next corporate event. Whether it’s blue jean Friday or family day on the corporate campus we can customize an event that will excite and engage your employees. It may be as simple as an information table manned by a few of our knowledgable volunteers – to a full blown adoption event during lunch. We can also come to visit your company or town sponsored charity fair.

If you would like to schedule a visit from one of our representatives, please contact us at

Off-site adoption events program

Not only do these events offer the dog or cat a break from the day-to-day routine at the shelter, but they are also an opportunity to network with the community and our supporters.

These off-site events offer a selection of adoptable dogs each weekend throughout the year. For some who may be overwhelmed by the shelter experience, this is a unique opportunity to meet a variety of dogs in a relaxed atmosphere. One may interact with pets one-on-one without the distractions of a busy shelter. One adopter commented, “Seeing the dog that I was considering adopting interact with other dogs and children assured me that I was making a good decision.”

Our off-site adoption events are staffed and run mostly by volunteers. They handle and introduce the animals to potential adopters. 

The volunteers are familiar with each animal’s history, the adoption procedure, and the shelter policies.

By working at these events, the volunteer has the opportunity to become acquainted with the animals on a different level than they could at the shelter, and by doing so they are moved to take a personal interest in the animal and make it a personal goal to get them adopted.

All volunteers are invited to begin their relationship with Orphans of the Storm at these events.