SueAnn’s Volunteer Story: Time Well Spent


April 24, 2024


3 minutes




To celebrate National Volunteer Recognition Week, Aspire would like to recognize and honor SueAnn Capizzi for her 22 years of dedication, support, and volunteer service!  

SueAnn’s journey with Aspire began back in 2002, a beautiful encounter that sparked her passion for service and connection. What started as occasional volunteering at resale shops and consultancy blossomed into a decade-long relationship, with SueAnn chairing Big City Night in 2006 and dedicating herself to donating time and resources until her retirement in 2016.

Yet retirement didn’t mark an end, but rather a new beginning with Aspire, as SueAnn continued to devote at least one day a week to volunteering by orchestrating thoughtful gift-giving initiatives, fostering volunteer opportunities with our community homes, and producing impact statements/reports on our volunteer involvement.  

Despite a full-time career at the American Medical Association, SueAnn noted that “I always had a special place in my heart for Aspire.” Her volunteer efforts extended far past administrative duties though; she personally engaged in various volunteer events, including visiting different community homes with groups of volunteers and crafting engaging activities for residents to do.  

SueAnn’s dedication shined brightest, though, during the challenges that Aspire faced during the COVID-19 pandemic. She adapted events and rallied support to ensure that no resident in our community homes felt isolated. From organizing virtual bingo nights to conducting outreach to friends and family to donate CD players, CDs, and movie night packages to each home, SueAnn always kept the well-being in mind for the people that use our programs.

But her efforts didn’t stop there, as she also started the Notes of Cheer program. Each month, volunteers would hand-write personalized messages of support and friendship to the residents of every home, serving as a beacon of hope during a tough time. She was driven to start Notes of Cheer because “I felt like it was important for people in the homes to have a reminder that they weren’t forgotten.” To this day, SueAnn continues to do this for 2 of our homes.  

SueAnn delivering a gift to one of the residents of a community home.

For SueAnn, the true reward of volunteering lies in the heartfelt connections forged with the residents of our homes. Whether it’s the joy reflected in a mother’s words upon seeing the letters that their son receives or the gratitude expressed by residents eagerly awaiting their monthly gifts, SueAnn’s impact can’t be measured.

 “I was so happy to see that someone cares for him as much as I do.”

The mother of the resident.

Through her actions, SueAnn embodies the spirit of Aspire: advocacy, community, and inclusion. She has left an incredible mark on the hearts of our residents and those in our extended community. As she reflects on her journey with Aspire, SueAnn knows that her legacy is not just in the activities she organized or the gifts she’s given, but in the smiles that she’s brought and the friendships she’s made. “If I am giving my time, I want it to be valuable, so that’s why I’m here.”  

Interested in volunteering with Aspire?

Volunteering with Aspire is a rich opportunity to learn new skills, make meaningful connections, and foster inclusivity in our communities. With options for individuals and for groups of five to two hundred, there’s a role for everybody in our mission to create a world of boundless inclusivity for people with disabilities!

For more information and to sign you or your group up to volunteer, please visit

Caroleen’s Story: A Journey to Independence and Self-Expression


Caroleen’s Story: A Journey to Independence and Self-Expression

Caroleen, a spirited and social soul, finds immense joy in the simple pleasures of life. Whether it’s a leisurely shopping… Read More

Aspire Shares Our Mission on Fox 32 Good Day Chicago!


Aspire Shares Our Mission on Fox 32 Good Day Chicago!

Aspire continues to turn possibility into progress by sharing our groundbreaking 10-year partnership between Aspire CoffeeWorks and Metropolis Coffee Company… Read More

Aspire Names Serena Alaily Chief Executive Officer 


Aspire Names Serena Alaily Chief Executive Officer 

After an extensive nationwide search, Serena Alaily is named Chief Executive Officer (CEO) by Aspire, a leading organization helping empower… Read More

Aspire logo
arrow up
Be Included

Get news and events information.