Welcome to our volunteer page. Partnering with the Peninsula Optimist Club can be a rewarding experience. It’s a great opportunity to engage with community members and help your organization receive some much-needed funding.

See a list of our recent Tree and Wreath Partners.

Simple steps to follow and get involved:

  1. Fill out the Adult or Minor Volunteer Release and Waiver of Liability.
  2. All adults 18 or over need to complete a background check.
  3. Carefully read over the Volunteer Responsibilities and Duties on this page.
  4. If your group hasn’t participated in a POC fundraiser before, register as one of our tree and wreath partners.

Tree Sale Volunteer Responsibilities


  • The lot is a work area with power tools in use. Please be aware of your surroundings, especially the cutting station. Stay clear of the chainsaws.
  • You may be using box cutters. Be sure you know how to use them safely.
  • You might be shaking, baling, or loading trees out by the street where there is a lot of traffic. Please wear a yellow reflective vest provided and be mindful of traffic, especially at night.

Background Check

Liability Waivers

  • Please complete the liability waiver form prior to the first shift you work.
  • A parent/legal guardian must complete this for minor-aged volunteers.
  • Click the button below to complete the form online. Paper forms are also available at the tree lot office.

Dress Appropriately for Weather and Work Conditions.

  • We suggest coats, hats, rain gear, and waterproof footwear.
  • Remember, we are selling real trees, so expect to get dirty, wet, and pitchy.
  • You are encouraged to bring work gloves if you have them.

Bring Your Own Food and Drink

  • Bring a refillable water bottle as water is available to refill the bottle.
  • If working more than one shift, you might want to pack a lunch or snack.
  • NOTE: The Club will no longer offer hot chocolate, coffee, tea, or treats to volunteers. These items are for customers only. You can make a donation for hot chocolate, tea, or coffee.

Your Valuables

  • Please leave your valuables at home or locked in your car.


  • No parking on Chautauqua between Lombard and Russet (north of Lombard). We need to keep the parking spots on Chautauqua clear for customers.
  • Parking is available in the Abundant Life Church parking lot across from the tree lot except on Sundays.

This is a fundraising opportunity for your club or organization and you are their representative.

  • Please stay off your phone when on the lot. We don’t want distractions.
  • No foul language is tolerated.
  • No horseplay is allowed.
  • If you have any questions, please ask an Optimist member. We are here to help you have a positive work experience and raise funds for your organization.

Volunteer Duties

Check-In Procedure

  • Sign in to the Volunteer Hours book behind your group’s tab.
  • Check out a box cutter knife if needed.
  • Wear a reflective vest: orange for inside the lot and yellow for outside work.

Customer Service

  • Welcome the customer, introduce yourself, and mention the group you’re representing.
  • Explain lot setup: location of Douglas firs, Grand firs, and Noble firs, garlands, and wreaths.
  • Show the size/color coding system for the trees which indicates the price RANGE, not the ACTUAL price of the tree.
  • Offer to hold the tree upright and turn it so the customer can see the shape of the tree.
  • When a customer picks out a tree, help them carry it to the pricing station. If the tree is too heavy for the customer or volunteer to carry, the volunteer should find another volunteer to assist them.

Pricing Station

  • A qualified adult will measure and price the tree.
  • After measuring, help place the tree in the cutting cradle.

Cutting Station

  • An adult will trim the bottom of the trunk and remove any unnecessary bottom branches.
  • On busy weekends a numbered card may be assigned to the tree with a corresponding card given to the customer. Keep the number with the tree so the customer can get the right tree after processing.
  • After the trunk is trimmed, take the tree to be shaken.

Shaking Station

  • Position the stump firmly in the base of the shaker before stepping on the pedal to start the shaker.
  • Take care not to shake/break the top of the tree off.

Baling Station

  • Pull the tree stump first through the netting ring.
  • Take care not to break the top off as it drops from the ring.
  • Criss-cross netting around the trunk at the last row of branches. Tie off both ends of the netting.
  • Note: the netting is made from recyclable material.


  • Help the customer with stowing the tree in the car or tying it to the top of the car. This is done with the assistance of an adult volunteer.
  • Again, be very careful of traffic, especially after dark.
  • Thank them for supporting the Optimist tree sale and your group.

TIPS — Do not solicit tips, but if a customer offers one, all tips are to go into the food bank tip jar. This is located in the hospitality area.

Other Lot Duties

  • Keep tree frames full.
    • Pull trees from between the A-frames first.
    • May need to get more trees from the neighbors’ side yard.
    • Cut the strings around the tree with the box cutter knife. Cut from the bottom to the top.
    • Shake the tree branches out and place it in the proper open space.
    • Clean up strings and loose branches from the area.
  • Keep all work areas clear of debris and loose branches. The branches from the cutting station area can be taken to the Lombard grass curb strip. They are free for the taking.
  • If you run out of things to do, ask an Optimist member if there is something that needs to be done.