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Volunteering is a beautiful thing. It’s not just about helping those in need; it can also be an opportunity to find yourself and explore your interests. There are many volunteer opportunities in Chicago for individuals to explore their passions.

 

1) Volunteer at Chicago Food Depository.

 

The Chicago Food Depository is a non-profit organization that strives to ensure that no good food goes to waste. They collect excess, wholesome food from restaurants and stores with food to donate but do not have the time or resources to deliver it; then they distribute it through their network of social service agencies and schools for those in need. You can volunteer to prepare food, sort donations, or help deliver them.

 

2) Volunteer at After School Matters.

 

After School Matters, an organization that works to create and expand after-school programs across Chicago Public Schools (CPS), they do this by partnering with businesses, non-profits, cultural institutions, and community leaders to offer CPS students a variety of learning experiences, working opportunities, and service projects. You can explore your passion through volunteering by teaching a class or program at an after-school center, organizing events like film screenings or field trips, helping out with the organization’s website or social media accounts, or planning service projects to engage students in meaningful activities while serving the community.

 

3) Volunteer at the Little Black Pearl.

 

The Little Black Pearl is a non-profit organization that holds art events and workshops for underserved youth. They also provide professional development opportunities for teachers to develop their artistic skills while helping students grow in their social and emotional well-being through the arts. You can volunteer to help plan future art events or train teachers to help run the program.

 

4) Volunteer at Chicago Park District.

 

The Chicago Park District is a non-profit organization that works to provide every resident living within their boundaries with access to parks and playgrounds and programming, services, and activities for all ages in a safe environment that is open from 6 am-11 pm, year-round. You can volunteer to run youth sports leagues, help with programming and activities in the parks, work with special needs individuals at camps or programs for them, assist with conservation efforts such as invasive species removal fun days or shoreline cleanups in your area, or organize a fundraising event for a park in need of repair.

 

5) Volunteer at GirlForward.

 

GirlForward is a national non-profit organization aiming to empower girls who are survivors of human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation by providing them with safe housing, life skills, education, health care services, mentoring opportunities, and social support they can be successful in the future. You can volunteer to advocate for girls coming out of the human trafficking industry, teach classes on career development and college readiness, or assist with any other programming.