Partner Organizations


Access Living (115 W. Chicago, 60654)

Established in 1980, Access Living is a change agent committed to fostering an inclusive society that enables people with disabilities in Chicago to live fully-engaged and self-directed lives. Access Living is at the forefront of the disability-rights movement, removing barriers so people with disabilities can live the future they envision.

Fulani Thrasher:  (312) 640-2190,


Alternatives Inc - Girl World Program  (4730 N. Sheridan Rd., 60640)

Girl World is a place for girls 10-17 to relax, have fun, be creative and challenge themselves and their communities to be stronger. Girls come from many different neighborhoods and schools. They are often shocked to watch a group of young women who never met before, become cool and have fun together a few weeks later. Girl World’s activities change every season: Summer 2013- Girls video messaged girls in South  Korea, cooked Indian food for guests at a Downtown International Hotel and learned to paddleboard on Lake Michigan. School Year 2013-14- Girls will cook all types of food together, take group fitness classes and create public art that challenges adults and other teens. Signing up is free and every girl is accepted as a member automatically. The goal is to support EVERY type of young woman.

Jaime Schmitz 773-506-7474,

 American Friends Service Committee  (637 S. Dearborn, 3rd Floor, 60605)  

The American Friends Service Committee carries out service, development, social justice, and peace programs throughout the world. Founded by Quakers in 1917 to provide conscientious objectors with an opportunity to aid civilian war victims, AFSC's work attracts the support and partnership of people of many races, religions, and cultures.

      The AFSC Great Lakes Region has some exciting local volunteer opportunities, which include: The African-American Community Empowerment Program, the Economic Justice Program (which deals with globalization issues), La Agenda Mexicana (a Mexican community collaborative effort), Latinos Somos (which confronts the challenges of young Latina women), and the Middle East Peace Network.

Darlene Gramigna: 312- 427-2533,

Anti-Cruelty Society  (169 W Grand Ave, 60654)

This program gives teenagers the chance to explore animal welfare issues with hands-on activities that broaden their scope of knowledge, while giving them a sense of purpose & achievement.

      Students will have daily opportunities to interact with dogs, cats & each other at The Anti-Cruelty Society. Direct interaction with the animals will teach safe & proper ways to approach domestic animals & foster compassion for living things. Participants will also learn training methods, the positive effects of animal socialization & the various functions that the shelter & clinic serve at The Anti-Cruelty Society.

      The goal of this program is to help students gain insight into how violence & cruelty affects their community, themselves & animals. An aspect of this program will allow students to create presentations on the effects of violence in society & they will be encouraged to give these presentations outside of the program, especially to younger students, which can enable participants to become mentors & role models in their own communities. This final project will encompass some career exploration & can be used to develop or be added to their résumé.

An attendance-based stipend and/or service-learning hours will be awarded to students for their participation & CTA passes will be provided upon request. The program runs on Tuesdays & Thursdays from 4:30p – 7p, starting on October 4th & ending on December 6th, with the exception of November 22nd in observation of the holiday. During the last session, participants will have the opportunity to showcase their presentations to family & friends.

Classes meet at The Anti-Cruelty Society located at 169 West Grand Avenue. If there is an interest in attending, please have students complete this application & submit following the instructions provided. Further information can be obtained at If there are any questions, please contact:

Katy:  (312) 644-8338

Art Depth (various locations)

Art Depth was founded in 2010 and produces experiential art and marketing events as well as organizing themed based projects and fundraising initiatives. Promoting individual artists, organizations and select businesses as well as serving to increase awareness about current pressing issues and varying topics is what Art Depth achieves through its specialty event production philosophy.  Each experience is one-of-a-kind, but all projects, events and exhibitions share the ultimate goal of inspiration, connection and creation among guests while at the same time being interactive and evolutionary from start to finish. Creating larger opportunities through the connection of innovators and creators is one of the byproducts of Art Depth.  


Blocks Together  (3453 W. North Ave, 60647)

Blocks Together is a grassroots social justice organization of the West Humboldt Park community. Blocks Together Youth are organizing campaigns for dignity and fairness in schools so that all students have access to a quality education.

Youth Organizer:  773-276-2194 ext 2005,,

CAIR-Chicago  (17 N. State St., Ste. 1500, 60602)

CAIR-Chicago is the main office of the Illinois chapter of CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) serving the neighboring Midwest. CAIR is the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy group.

CAIR-Chicago is a not-for-profit organization registered in Illinois. Though it leverages the resources, expertise, and knowledgebase of CAIR (based in Washington), it functions as an independent organization that sets its own strategy and goals.

Our program identifies the concept of “professional activism”. Opportunities are available throughout the year for all students to apply—full-time or part-time, undergraduate or graduate, all majors, and even high school students. Interns can earn academic credit or community service hours, or simply enrich their experience and insight to advocacy and civil rights efforts.

312-212-1520, or

Centro Romero  (6212 N. Clark, 60660)

During the 1970s and 1980s, many Central American countries struggled through civil wars: Central American people were plagued with political repression, kidnappings, and disappearances, which led to a rising death toll.  This repression forced many people to seek safe haven in other countries, particularly the United States. This transition for Central American refugees was very difficult.  The United States’ refusal to recognize incoming Central Americans as political refugees hindered their ability to obtain legal permanent residence status, subsequently a high standard of living. Today, these Central American refugees are still struggling to attain legal permanent residence status in the United States. Although their status remains in legal limbo, the refugees have become an integral part of their communities and have made substantial social, cultural and economic contributions to the United States.   Volunteers needed for tutoring, childcare, sports, and legal assistance.

Susana Salgado - 773-508-5300, Email: or

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless  (70 E. Lake St., Suite 720, 60601)

The CCH organizes and advocates the prevention and eradication of homelessness based on our belief that housing is a human right in a just society.  Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) is a membership organization with organizational and individual members.  Please join us as a volunteer, donor and/or member as we advocate with homeless people to demand their right to housing and living wage jobs. The Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has a variety of volunteer opportunities on an on-going basis for you to get involved with such as assisting in fundraising events, conducting surveys for special projects, and participating at rallies and campaign events.

Hannah Willage, 312-641-4140,  or

Chicago Fair Trade  (637 S. Dearborn, 3rd fl., 60605)

Chicago Fair Trade a not-for-profit organization dedicated to furthering the fair trade movement and making Chicago an international fair trade city.

Nancy Jones:  773-349-0687,

Chicago Freedom School  (719 State St., Ste. 3N, 60605)

The Chicago Freedom School is grounded in creating a place where youth can emerge as leaders through developing an activist orientation that would extend beyond any particular campaign and be sustained throughout their lifetime. The CFS is also envisioned to be a place where youth leaders, who are critically thinking and raising their consciousness, are not subjected to isolation but are able to connect with other like-minded people. Finally, the CFS takes a unique perspective in developing youth as leaders by linking young people to their history. The CFS incorporates a new approach to developing leadership skills by highlighting youth leadership throughout historic social change movements. The CFS seeks to engage youth in personalizing history so that they can see its relevance to their lives and role as leaders in their communities.

Tony: 312-435-1201,

Chicago HOPES for Kids     

Chicago HOPES for Kids provides tutoring for children experiencing homelessness who live in shelters in Chicago.  We generally like for students to be out of high school, but make exceptions if the student is at least 17, and in good academic standing.  Tutors must attend a training and orientation and commit to tutoring at least one session a week for a semester.  We currently tutor at 2 shelters in Lakeview, and 1 in Uptown.  Sessions last 90 minutes.  We are generally at the shelters M-Th.


Chicago Lights Tutoring  (126 E Chestnut St., 60611)

The Chicago Lights Tutoring program at Fourth Presbyterian Church provides weekly one-to-one tutoring and mentoring to more than 400 students in first through twelfth grades.  Students can volunteer in 3 specific ways listed below by commitment levels (low-commitment to high):

o In2It Café meal prep and/or enrichment class assistance – Students help with meal prep and service. Assist teachers with enrichment classes – this is an 8-10 week commitment. (4:45pm-6:00pm)

o Substitute Tutor – Students come to the program when available, and work with a student whose regular tutor has called off for the night. (6:00pm-7:30pm)

o Permanent Weekly One-to-One Tutor – Students are paired with a student and meet with that same student weekly (October – May) and work on homework, mentoring, life-skills, etc. (6:00pm-7:30pm)

We are only able to accept volunteers who are 16 years of age and older. Volunteers younger than 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian, who would be the “background check” for the younger volunteer. If the student thinks that a parent might be interested in volunteering with them, more information can be provided.

Alex Cornwell: 312-981-3560, or

Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (4750 N. Sheridan Rd., Ste 429, 60640)

CRLN is a grassroots organization, working for justice and peace for the poor majorities in Latin America, and depends upon its members and a network of volunteers. Some of the ways volunteers assist CRLN include:

  • helping at CRLN events
  • assembling monthly mailings to CRLN members
  • writing human rights advocacy letters to officials in Latin America and the U.S.
  • organizing educational events and speakers in your congregation or in other organizations
  • hosting visitors from Latin America

Your special talents and interests may be of help in new endeavors - let us know what you can do and we'll find a way to use your abilities!

Cinthya Rodriguez, Volunteer Coordinator:  773-293-3680, or

Chicago West Community Music Center  (100 Central Park Ave. 2nd floor north, 60624)  The mission of the Chicago West Community Music Center is to enrich and enhance the quality of life for Chicago Westside and West Suburban area youth and their families through music.  CWCMC’s new music initiative, WISH, will improve community development through the nurturing and development of young minds.  Musicians who want to volunteer to teach beginning music students should contact Darlene Sandifer:  708-386-5315,


Chicago Women's Health Center  (Lakeview- 3435 N. Sheffield, 60657)

We're a unique collective working together to provide affordable, compassionate and collaborative gynecological and mental health care to women and trans people in the Chicago area. Our health care providers, counselors and health educators share a strong commitment to the vision our founders imagined in 1975 when they formed CWHC: A world in which all people have access to comprehensive, affordable and sensitive health care.

Scout Bratt, Outreach&Ed Dir


CircEsteem (4730 N. Sheridan Rd., 60640)    

CircEsteem is a non-profit youth circus with a mission of uniting youth from diverse backgrounds and building self-esteem and mutual respect through the practice of circus arts. There are two distinct types of volunteer work: tutor/reading assistants and performance/production assistants.  Tutors/Reading Assistants: Volunteers are needed Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 3:30:6:00- p.m. for CircEsteem's free after school program.  We ask for an 8 week commitment participating at least 1 day a week.   Phone:  312-731-3568,

Common Cause Illinois

Common Cause Illinois is a state office of the national organization, and it promotes open, ethical, accountable government here in Illinois. Students can volunteer for a variety of roles, ranging from becoming poll watchers on Election Day to learning how to organize within their communities.  Interested students will be provided with training, mentorship, and the resources necessary to become powerful organizers and advocates for open government.

Contact: Trevor Gervais: 312-372-2422,

Community Renewal Society  (332 S. Michigan Ave. #500, 60604)

The Community Renewal Society empowers people to build just communities by working to eradicate racism and poverty. It does so by informing, organizing, training, and encouraging individuals and communities in sustained and strategic efforts to engender systemic change.

Delia Ramirez:  312-427-4830,

Erie House  (1347 W. Erie, 60622)

Erie House offers day-care and tutoring possibilities to Hispanic residents of the West Town community.  Volunteers are needed to tutor student peers, assist with childcare in the after school program, and tutor English as a Second Language to Spanish-Speaking adults.  Erie House also provides emergency services and recreational activities for at-risk teens.  Volunteers can assist in all of these areas.

Susana Ortiz: 312-432-2257,


Family Matters  (7731 N. Marshfield Ave., 60626) 

Family Matters is a family-centered organization in the North of Howard neighborhood of Rogers Park that seeks to be a catalyst for change - building and strengthening the community through programs that support personal growth and leadership.  Join us in our efforts to prepare leaders, cultivate connections, and illuminate choices in support of youth!  Make a meaningful connection with a student in a supportive home-away-from-home.  Evening tutoring (once weekly; Monday – Thursday, 6:30-8:00 PM)  Volunteers work one-on-one with a student (a 1st – 12th grader) on a weekly basis. Staff prepares individualized lesson plans for each meeting.

Evening tutoring (once weekly; Monday – Thursday, 6:30-8:00 PM)  Volunteers work one-on-one with a student (1st – 12th grader) on a weekly basis. Volunteer can tutor in Evening Tutoring (M-Th, 6:30-8:00 PM) or IREAD (M, W or Th 3:30-5:30) or as a Homework Helper (M-Th 4:45-6:00). Staff prepares individualized lesson plans for each meeting.

Devon Lovell: 773-465-6011,


Gads Hill Center  (1919 W. Cullerton, 60608)  

Gads Hill Center is a multi-service, family resource organization that has served the Pilsen community since 1898.  Gads Hill Center has provided timely and critically needed programs to low-income families and individuals from all age groups, and has worked in close collaboration with many of our community's schools and social service

organizations.  Its services run the gamut of family education, providing early childhood education, teen tutoring, parental education and adult education.  Tutors and mentors assist in myriad ways to develop and cultivate skills and assets in young people.

Maricela Garcia:  312-226-0963,

Hamdard Center For Health & Human Services (1542 W. Devon Ave., 60660)

The Hamdard Center is a Multilingual, Multi-cultural Social & Health Service Agency Dedicated to Serving the South Asian, Middle Eastern, and the Bosnian Communities in Illinois. Our Mission is to promote physical and emotional health and psychological well being of the individuals and families by offering hope, help, and healing.

A significant number of our community members are experiencing personal problems ranging from joblessness to family violence through marital discord, and from teenage suicide to mental, emotional, and physical illness. These problems are seen in the society at large, but are compounded in immigrant communities by the stress of relocation, naturalization, lack of acculturation, conflict of moral and cultural values, and at times bi-cultural existence.

Kiran S. Siddiqui:  773-465-4600 x27,

Heartland Alliance  (208 S. LaSalle Street Ste. 1818, 60604)

Heartland Alliance leads the effort to end poverty, eliminate danger, and ensure the human rights of individuals living in the most dire situations. Our commitment to housing, health care, legal protections, and economic opportunity—with a constant emphasis on integrating services and advocacy to help move individuals from crisis to stability and on to success—are crucial to a future of hope and opportunity, and are the cornerstones of a healthy society. We have roots in Chicago, services throughout the Midwest, and a reach that is increasingly global. We are positioned now to help build a new generation of smarter, more effective programs, and to lead policy and programs centered around human rights. Our belief is that freedom from poverty, access to health care, having a roof over your head, and being treated fairly in the justice system are all human rights. Heartland Alliance is part of the solution that leads to success.

Rachael Carbone: 312-660-1320, or

H.O.M.E.  (The Nathalie Salmon House)  (7320 N Sheridan Rd, 60626)

Committed to improving the quality of life for Chicago’s low-income elderly, Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly (H.O.M.E.) helps seniors remain independent and part of their community by offering opportunities for intergenerational living. Student volunteers can: host social hours for residents, bring a musical or dramatic performance to residents, tutor young children, cook and serve a meal, and help with community events like gardening and holiday decorating.

Mike Laz:  773-295-2709,  

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR)  (36 S. Wabash Ave. Ste. 1425, 60603)

ICIRR is dedicated to promote the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.  In partnership with our member organizations, the Coalition educates and organizes immigrant and refugee communities to assert their rights; promotes citizenship and civic participation; monitors, analyzes, and advocates on immigrant-related issues; and, informs the general public about the contributions of immigrants and refugees.

Phone: 312-332-7360 x251, or

Immigrant Youth Justice League 

Representing undocumented youth in the demand for immigrant rights through education, resource-gathering, and youth mobilization.  

Marcela Hernandez:

Inspiration Café  (4554 N. Broadway, Ste. 207, 60640) 

Inspiration Café is designed to assist individuals who are homeless, unemployed or underemployed, mentally ill and/or recovering substance abusers and often the socially isolated. The Cafe is a haven for people who share a common commitment to making courageous steps as they work toward creating self-sufficient and independent lives.  The Café closely resembles an upscale restaurant, with personalized service and respectful treatment to all guests, place settings and a volunteer wait staff that offers guests a menu of freshly prepared items from the menu board. The restaurant environment provides an intimate space where homeless people, volunteers, staff and community members reunite and share meals. Volunteers prepare and serve breakfast seven days a week and dinner four days a week.

Phone:  773-878-0981 x231, or


Interfaith Workers Justice (1020 W. Bryn Mawr, 60660)

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) advances the rights of workers by engaging diverse faith communities into action, from grassroots organizing to shaping policy at the local, state and national levels. We envision a nation where all workers enjoy the rights to:

  • Wages, health care, and pensions that allow workers to raise families and retire with dignity
  • Safe working conditions
  • Organize and bargain collectively to improve wages, benefits, and conditions without harassment, intimidation, or retaliation
  • Equal protection under labor law - regardless of immigration status - and an end to the practice of pitting immigrant and U.S.-born workers against one another
  • Fair and just participation in a global economy that promotes the welfare of both domestic and foreign workers

Contact info: Jeremy Orr,  773-728-8400

Jewish Council on Urban Affairs  (610 S. Michigan Ave., Ste. 500, 60605)     

JCUA’s Or Tzedek is a year-round teen institute for social justice. Through Or Tzedek, Jewish teens get involved in important social justice projects in Chicago's diverse communities, make a real difference in people's lives and have of fun doing it! Do you believe in fighting poverty and racism? Do you believe that everyone has the right to housing, healthcare and a good education? Believe it? Do it! Join Or Tzedek today!

Visit their websites: and the Or Tzedek program page:

Email:, 312.663.0960, ext.124.


KOCO- Kenwood Oakland Community Center  (1005 E. 43rd Street, 60653)

KOCO has been an instrument for grassroots democracy in the North Kenwood and Oakland communities for nearly forty years.  Founded by religious and community leaders in the 1960’s, KOCO facilitated organizing campaigns that increased the resources and services available to families and residents.  Today, KOCO continues its work as a vehicle and voice of low-income and working families. KOCO develops new generations of African American leadership that will build stable, viable, and just communities where opportunity is not denied based on race or economic status.

A.J. McDowell, Youth Development Coordinator, 773-548-7500


Kuumba Lynx  (4501 N. Clarendon, 60640)

KL seeks to empower youth and their communities by employing Hip-Hop culture as both an art form & vehicle for intergenerational and cross-cultural dialogue. KL believes in developing healthy hearts, minds, and bodies so that strong community foundations can thrive.   If you want to drop in to experience a 1-time workshop in Graffiti Art, Deejaying, Footwork dance and more or if you want to join KLPE--the Hip Hop Theater Company-- new ensembles form every fall.

Jacinda: 773-550-4229,

Lakeview Pantry  (EAST:  3831 N. Broadway, 60613  &  WEST: 1414 W. Oakdale, 60657)

Our mission:  To eliminate hunger in our community by:  providing food to fill the basic need of hungry people; increasing the independence of our clients through self-help initiatives and other innovative programs; and raising awareness of hunger and poverty and working towards solutions to eliminate them.

We serve about 2500 people a month right now, Monday through Friday at two locations.  We offer a monthly program for Lakeview residents that need emergency food, and they receive two weeks worth of groceries when they visit.  While I don't sign kids up that are under 18 when we are open for distribution, we have plenty of other shifts they work.  There are liability issues involving kids and working with the public, but we have afternoon set-up shifts, filling up our bags to be delivered for our Home Delivery programs, unloading trucks, sorting food drive donations, and lots of other stuff.

Drew Moran:  773-525-1777 x15,

Liberation Library 

Liberation Library provides books to incarcerated children to encourage imagination, self-determination and connection to outside worlds of their choosing. We believe access to books is a right, not a privilege. We believe books and relationships empower young people to change the criminal justice system. Volunteer opportunities include packing books, writing notes, and making bookmarks to send to youth in prison on the second and fourth Sunday of each month.

Volunteer coordinator:,


The Lincoln Park Community Shelter (LPCS)  (600 W. Fullerton Pkwy., 60614)

The Lincoln Park Community Shelter (LPCS) is a comprehensive social service agency serving adult men and women who are experiencing homelessness. Located in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood, LPCS has been providing shelter and other basic needs to our homeless neighbors for 30 years. Today, LPCS provides interim housing, meals, and a targeted array of social services to over 400 people each year.  A number of different volunteer opportunities are available. Volunteers are required to attend an orientation or meet with our Volunteer Program Manager before volunteering.  To learn more and to sign up for an orientation, please contact the Volunteer Program Manager at 773-549-6111 ext. 216 or

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization  (2856 S. Millard, 60623)

LVEJO is a non-for-profit community organization of people who live and work in Little Village. We respect all generations, believe in family unity, and equality for all peoples. We work together to make our neighborhood a good, healthy place where all can live in peace. Little Village, on Chicago's southwest side, is the largest Mexican American neighborhood in the U.S. outside of East Los Angeles.  We hope you will join LVEJO in its struggle to end environmental racism both here and abroad and make the earth a safer and better place to live in peace.

Antonio: 773-762-6991,

Logan Square Neighborhood Association   (2840 N. Milwaukee Ave., 60618

LSNA’s efforts toward ongoing community improvements including: lowering high school drop-out rates and increasing youth leadership; fostering parent engagement in neighborhood schools and creating community school partnerships; lowering home foreclosures and increasing access to affordable housing; helping children and families gain access to affordable health services; developing initiatives to make Logan Square a safer place to live while reaching out to families to prevent abuse of alcohol and drugs; making major new investments in retail space, green economic developments, and parks & open spaces; and finally, offering immigrants the tools to advance economically and become citizens.

 Juliet de Jesus Alejandre, Education Organizer:  773-384-4370 ext 18,


Midwest Workers Association  (5152 S. Halsted St., 60609)  

Midwest Workers Association is an all-volunteer membership association made up of domestic workers, service workers, temporary workers, and other low-income workers in their continual struggle for decent living and working conditions. They are working to build a supplemental and emergency benefit program for survival needs, while uniting the community to fight to change these problems at their root.  They collect holiday food, plus winter clothing and toys for the holiday season. The goal is to provide a decent and dignified holiday for families with incomes that simply do not meet all the needs.

Michael Clark: 773-285-0485


Mikva Challenge Active Citizen Project  (332 S. Michigan Ave., Ste. 400, 60604)

High school students serve as election judges as a part of the Active Citizen Project. Students learn the voting process by helping to run an actual polling place on Election Day. Student judges are trained by Mikva Challenge as well as by the Chicago Board of Elections to serve as fair and effective judges at the polls. In fall of 2004, over 700 students worked as election judges on Election Day.

Karla:  312-863-6352,


Misericordia  (6300 N. Ridge Ave., 60660)

Misericordia offers a community of care that maximizes potential for persons with mild to profound developmental disabilities, many of whom are also physically challenged.  By serving society’s most vulnerable citizens, Misericordia also serves the families who want the best for them, yet cannot provide it at home.

In order to create a stable environment for our residents, Misericordia does require each “regular” volunteer to commit to a minimum two - three hour commitment per week for ideally at least a 6-12 month term.  

If you are interested in helping Misericordia, and you know that it is unrealistic for you to make a weekly commitment; there are still plenty of opportunities for you to help. These volunteer opportunities normally do not include interaction with our residents, nor do they require you to go through the regular volunteer application and orientation process.  Time commitments vary from 2-3 hours to one full day.

Opportunities take place on our campus at 6300 N. Ridge, Chicago, IL 60660.  

Volunteer Coordinator: 773-973-6300 x4161,


Monday Meal  (see Temple Sholom listing below)

Near North Unity Program (formerly known as: LaSalle Senior Center)  (1111 N. Wells St., Ste. 301, 60610)

The Near North Unity Program responds to the spiritual, physical, emotional and relational needs of older adults. NNUP serves hundreds of older adults through our Wednesday Activity & Lunch program, Sunday Morning Breakfast program, Offsite programs and Group Trips.

Sharon Wheeler, Volunteer Coordinator:

Night Ministry  (4711 N. Ravenswood Ave., 60640)

The Night Ministry was created in 1976 out of diverse religious traditions to build relationships with vulnerable youth and adults on the nighttime streets. Today, we build relationships in a variety of settings. Through these relationships and the provisionof housing, health, outreach, spiritual, and social services, we seek to empower people of all ages to meet their own needs. Recognizing the uniqueness, dignity, and value of each person, we accept iindividuals as they are, in an affirming and compassionate manner. We call the larger community to the same mission. The Mission provides basic and self-care supplies, free healthcare, housing and supportive services for youth, referrals to other resources and more.

Phone:  773-784-9000,


North Branch Restoration Project    (multiple sites)

The North Branch Restoration is working to restore and manage the few remaining savannas, woodlands, forests and prairies along the North Branch of the Chicago River in the Cook County Forest Preserves. These areas, once part of a vast wilderness, are now under tremendous pressure from urban development and non-native species. We are working to restore conditions that will allow these natural wild communities to flourish as a permanent part of the metropolitan area. Work Calendar online at:


North Park Village Nature Center  (5801 N. Pulaski Rd., 60646)  

The mission of the North Park Village Nature Center is to provide urban citizens with an opportunity to interact with wildlife, plants and other natural resources through environmental education and access to improved natural landscapes.  There are plenty of opportunities to learn about and enjoy the riches of nature. Help with restoration of the preserve, earn service hours and a great sense of fulfillment through seeding, planting, exotic species removal and more. We supply the tools & snacks.

Bob Porter:  312-744-5472, or

Organizing Neighborhoods for Equality (ONE)

ONE Northside works to build the power of those most directly impacted by the problems that face our community. We foster civic participation and leadership level so less advantaged, disenfranchised people can identify and act on critical issues affecting their daily lives. Through uniting people of all ethnic backgrounds to take control of their communities, they become vehicles for social, economic, and racial justice. The critical issues ONE Northside addresses include education, affordable housing, mental health justice, youth, economic justice, violence prevention, and health care.

Contact: Victor Manuel Valle  (773) 769-3232 x11 / (773) 451-5615 (mobile)

Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum  (2430 N. Cannon Dr., 60614)

The Chicago Academy of Sciences and its Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum inspire people to learn about and care for nature and the environment. The institution fosters environmental learning through the exhibits and education programs of the Museum and through the Academy's collections, research, symposia, publications, events and other activities. We build understanding of global environmental issues by interpreting the effect those issues have on the Midwest.   Education Volunteers interpret Museum exhibits, lead tours, and facilitate public and school group programming.  Assist with scout and youth group workshops.  Weekday volunteers are asked to be here once a week, every week.  Weekend volunteers agree to be here every other weekend.  Both work one four-hour shift.  

Luis Melendez, 773-755-5142 or e-mail or

Project Nia

Launched in 2009, Project NIA is an advocacy, organizing, popular education, research, and capacity-building center with the long-term goal of ending youth incarceration. We believe that several simultaneous approaches are necessary in order to develop and sustain community-based alternatives to the system of policing and incarceration. Our mission is to dramatically reduce the reliance on arrest, detention, and incarceration for addressing youth crime and to instead promote the use of restorative and transformative practices, a concept that relies on community-based alternatives.

Mariame Kaba:,

Project Vida  (La Villita/ North&South Lawndale:  2659 S. Kedvale, 60623) 

Project VIDA is a culturally-focused HIV/AIDS prevention and direct services community-based organization located on Chicago’s West Side.  Project VIDA was founded by a consortium of volunteers in 1992 to address the unique needs and concerns of Latino and African American individuals at risk for or currently living with HIV/AIDS. Alejandra Pena:


Raise Your Hand

We promote public education systems, policies and networks of information that put children’s learning potential at the center of all decision-making.  We provide methods of connecting people in order to inform and promote civic engagement on issues that impact public education and children’s well-being. With a collective voice, we believe parents can improve Illinois’ education system and provide a better future for their children.  

Contact: Wendy Katten: 

Ravenswood Community Services  (4550 N Hermitage Ave., 60640)

We provide hunger and poverty relief, health services, and life skills education in the Ravenswood and Uptown neighborhoods. This vibrant non-profit serves hundreds of hungry neighbors each week and implements strategic neighborhood change through our feeding programs and through our partnership with Ravenswood School.

If students need service hours, we're happy to have them volunteer with us. They can come on their own, or we can take chaperoned volunteer groups of 10-15, although groups need to be scheduled in advance.

Contact:  Anna Jones, Volunteer Coordinator, (773) 769-0282


St. Joseph Community Services  (Austin / Avondale / Humboldt Park)

St. Joseph Community Services is an outreach ministry serving families and individuals at risk in Chicago's Humboldt Park/West Town and Austin communities.  Volunteer opportunities include hosting kids from St. Joseph’s Services in basketball, soccer, etc. at Saturday sports clinics.

Phone: 773-278-0484,


Marillac St. Vincent de Paul Center  (2145 N. Halsted St., 60614)  

Our Mission is to provide value-driven, infant-to-elder care by enabling working families and their children to strengthen and preserve family life. We empower low-income elders and the homeless with dignity and independence. We meet daily challenges by efficiently channeling our supporters’ time and money and by educating our staff to ensure quality services to those in need.

      Convinced that children are the foundation for our future, the Child Care program is committed to provide a loving and caring environment that will enable a child to grow physically, socially, intellectually, emotionally and spiritually.

Volunteer opportunities include: Childcare Services - Classroom Aide; Senior Services; Visiting Companion (Any Time and Day); Labouré House Guest Chef (Saturday and Sunday Evenings).



Temple Sholom   (3480 N. Lake Shore Dr., 60657)

Every Monday our Temple feeds over 60 homeless people from Lakeview and Lincoln Park.   Preparation starts at 3:30 p.m. and more volunteers for serving should arrive by 5 p.m. Volunteers are encouraged, also, to stay for the entire time. Volunteers are needed to shop, prepare, serve, and clean up, as well as prepare bag meals for guests to take home and for any overflow crowd. This project is organized entirely by members of our congregation and provides an opportunity for Temple members to meet each other and to give back to the community.  

Toby Sanders: 773-525-4707 x324,

TRACE - Teens Re-Imagining Art, Community, and Environment  ()

TRACE is a Chicago Park District-based program that develops young Creative Activists who seek to understand and exercise their abilities and shared responsibility to advocate for and create change within their local and wider communities. We do this by using art processes to engage in dialogue, bride-building, and problem-solving.

Kimeco Roberson, TRACE Program & Event Facilitator:  773-947-9603, Cell: 312-287-0467, or


Urban Gateways (formerly known as Street Level Youth Media(Wicker Park:  1637 N. Ashland, 60622)

 Street-Level Youth Media educates Chicago’s urban youth in media arts and emerging technologies for use in self-expression, communication, and social change. Street-Level’s programs build critical thinking skills for young people who have been historically neglected by public policy makers and mass media. Using video and audio production, graphic design, digital photography, and the Internet, Street-Level youth address community issues, access advanced communication technology, and gain inclusion in our information-based society.



Urban Initiatives  (650 W. Lake St - Ste. 340, 60661)   

Urban Initiatives' mission is to empower Chicago's underserved children to adopt healthy lifestyles, improve their academic performance, and build strong character through sports-based youth development programs. We maximize our programmatic impact by collaborating with parents, schools, and community stakeholders.

Kyle Haskins:


USO of Illinois 

The mission of the USO is to enhance the quality of life of the U.S. Armed Forces personnel and their families and to create a cooperative relationship between U.S. military communities and involved or supporting civilian communities. Volunteers are needed to serve on shifts to keep the centers open for business.  Typical duties include greeting, checking ID's for access, serving food or assisting guests in logging on to a computer.

Volunteers must be a minimum of 18 years of age to volunteer at a USO of Illinois Center Location, unless accompanied by a legal parent or guardian.

Chris Miller,

The WasteShed - Chicago's Reuse Resource (914 N. California Ave, 60622)

The WasteShed seeks to provide Chicago with an organized, affordable, and reliable resource for repurposed art, craft, and school materials, and with a dynamic center for activities pertaining to sustainability, art, craft, education, and material culture.

Volunteer coordinator: 773-666-5997,,


Working Bikes  (2434 S. Western Ave., 60608)

Working Bikes is a not-for-profit cooperative which diverts bicycles from the waste stream in Chicago by repairing them for sale and charity.  In the countries to which Working Bikes ships, a bicycle can often mean the difference between work and unemployment. The bicycle is the primary means of vehicular transportation for the majority of the population and is used both for personal transportation and for carrying cargo.


YCA-Chicago Beat

A Year-long project grounded in non-fiction creative writing and verse journalism. 15 story finders meet weekly to engage in research and writing inspired by Studs Terkel’s Division Street: America. The students are scouting the length of Division Street from the far East to the far West of the city, collecting and re-telling the stories of today’s Chicago via anthology, video, recording and/or live performance. Join the movement and walk the miles traveled.

Tammy Job, Director of School & Community Resources,