15 Best Chicago Volunteering Opportunities In 2022

It is always important to give back, be it with your time, funds, or engaging in a volunteering program. If you live in Chicago and are looking for a way to give back to your local community, you’re sure to find an opportunity here.

According to Wikipedia, Chicago is the most populous city in the US state of Illinois and the third-largest city in the United States, encompassing various geographic formations, as well as cultural diversity and rich historical heritage. Not only is it beautiful and full of adventure, but there are plenty of volunteer opportunities in Chicago too.

Going by the above statistics, there must be people that have needs for extra income for those already having a job and also a means of livelihood for those seeking jobs.

Chicago is a resort city with high living costs and also taxes paid by its residents can pose and some sort of challenge for most inhabitants. Notwithstanding there are also numerous paid and unpaid volunteering opportunities that entry-level job seekers can engage.

In this article, you will learn a lot about volunteering in Chicago with the different opportunities it offers, you will learn more about the reasons and benefits of people volunteering.

What is Volunteering?

Volunteering is time ready to help someone else without getting paid. It can be formal or informal. Informal volunteering involves helping friends and family with things like babysitting, home repairs, or grooming. Formal volunteering is usually done through a charity or other nonprofit or community organization

Obligation to do volunteer work?

Volunteering is vital as it provides essential assistance to charities, the poor and the wider community. In fact, many organizations and charities rely on the generosity of volunteers to help them thrive and get their jobs done.

The benefits of volunteering for those in need are obvious. Whether it is providing shelter for those in need in society or helping children and the elderly in disadvantaged communities to read and write, the benefits to the recipient are usually one of the reasons people choose to volunteer.

But did you know how important volunteering can be for the person who does it? In fact, volunteering is beneficial to the doer for a number of reasons, including reducing stress, fighting depression, and providing a purpose.

Why Volunteer in Chicago

Chicago has grown and changed many times over the years to keep up with the dynamics of the world. Despite its rapid development, Chicago still faces several social problems, including:

  • Violence with weapons
  • Bullying and cyberbullying
  • poverty
  • Racial Differences in Health
  • Racism and discrimination
  • Lack of adult supervision and involvement
  • Hunger etc.

Volunteering can be the best noble approach to upgrading the underprivileged social classes and helping them live better lives.

Volunteering in Chicago can be one of the most deliberate and rewarding experiences and opportunities of your life. Whether you visit for a week, a month, or a year, you are sure to come across things that will surprise, challenge, and change you because there are many options.

Benefits of Volunteering in Chicago

Network with Others:

Volunteering in Chicago can be a great networking tool. Most volunteering activities require community engagement or collaboration with others. It can be an excellent opportunity to meet new people, expand your skills, and expand your network, especially if you are new to the country.

Get Work Experience in Chicago:

Most Chicago volunteering opportunities require training where you learn through hands-on experience. Whether or not you already have work experience, working for others can be a great way to improve your skills.

Broaden Your Career Horizons:

Volunteering in Chicago is a great opportunity to explore an area of ​​interest or connect with people who work there, and the experience will always look good on your resume. Additionally, you can ask the organization you volunteered for a good reference.

Volunteering Builds Confidence and Self-Esteem:

Doing good to others and the community helps create a natural sense of achievement, and volunteering in Chicago can give you a sense of pride and identity, and increase your confidence in the state.

Liven up your life:

Volunteering in Chicago is a great way to discover new interests and hobbies, visit different parts of the state, and travel.


Becoming a volunteer in Chicago is as simple as counting your fingers. There are some processes one should follow in order to become a volunteer, though there is no laid out procedure. Below is a step-by-step guide.

1. Specifically, navigate the cause you care the most for.

A person might get confused as to which particular cause or type of volunteering they want to engage in. Hence, before becoming a volunteer, you must be able to navigate and pinpoint the exact cause or type of volunteering you wish to contribute or engage in. in order to give more value and be happy even while doing your volunteering task whether paid or unpaid.

2. Identify the knowledge and skills you can offer or are willing to learn

Having navigated and selected the right cause you care for, the next is to look within yourself and think about the skills you have already and are willing to utilize for the cause of your volunteering.

And for those with no skills or knowledge relevant to the volunteering cause, you must be willing and open to learning those skills.


3. Look out for volunteering opportunities around you

Once you have resolved your skills. The next step is to research available volunteering opportunities in Chicago that are open and convenient.

You must inquire from friends and well family about any volunteering opportunity after you must have searched online and ask your neighbors.

4. Get all the necessary information about the volunteering opportunity.

After being able to hear about openings on volunteering opportunities in Chicago, you must ensure to get all the relevant and fundamental information about the opportunity.

In addition, try as much as possible to check how compatible it is for you in the aspect of the timing, closeness to your house if you meet the requirements, and also if it is in line with your cause.

5. Apply for the volunteering position

Having checked and assessed that the volunteering position matches your taste, you should make an application and submit it whether online or in person.

In as much as their recruitment policies are not as stringent and non-volunteering jobs, you must make a proper application and also expect to be called for an interview.

6. Do a follow up of your application

Most nonprofit organizations are busy with other things as their resources are limited and might sometimes take time to respond to applications.

So, after at least three days of application, you should try reaching out to the organization to ensure your application is received.

Volunteering Opportunities in Chicago

Below is a carefully sort out the list of current volunteering opportunities in Chicago and various positions they offer and the duties expected of the volunteer to perform in the course of the job.

#1. Midwest Access Coalition volunteers

If you want to stand up for women’s reproductive rights, please join the Midwest Access Coalition, Volunteers.

Aside from sharing your own story and calling the legislature, there is no better way to protect women’s rights to health care than to devote our time to organizations advocating this cause.

Midwest Access Coalition volunteers provide low-income women coming to Chicago for reproductive services with safe transportation, shelter, and an unbiased ear. The non-customer-facing roles include fundraising, communication, and customer and technical support.


#2. Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago

This is one of the best volunteering opportunities in Chicago for people interested in mentoring.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago brings volunteers together with disadvantaged youth in the city who need mentoring most. Littles connect with their bigs through individual and group activities.

Every step of the way to big things is now virtual so you are ready to connect with your little one.


Read: Environment Volunteering In 2022: 21 Best Programs For You

#3. Hotline of the municipal tenants’ association

If you’re seeking to promote fair and affordable housing, register on the Metropolitan Tenants Organization hotline and get started.

If you’ve ever looked for solid answers to housing questions, like whether it’s really okay for your landlord to still “fix” the heater after it hasn’t been on for most of January, you know how hard it is To become reliable. Information about the legality of renting.

The Metropolitan Tenants Organization’s hotline is so good at providing advice to tenants that more than half of the volunteers who answer the phone are former callers. Help tenants exercise their right to affordable and safe living space by volunteering on the hotline.


#4. La Casa Norte volunteering

La Casa Norte serves youth and families faced with homelessness through housing resources and housing options.

Volunteering for these Chicago opportunities can help people build long-term stability by helping with housing, job hunting, and fake interviews, as well as helping with their grocery supplies as personal shoppers.

The Night Ministry and Sarah’s Circle are also great organizations serving the homeless and youth to the homeless and youth.


#5. Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange

If you’re the creative type, Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange is an opportunity for you.

The volunteer-run, nonprofit Creative Chicago Reuse Exchange distributes surplus materials, supplies, and equipment in the form of art kits to Chicago teachers and nonprofits.

Volunteers can also help with social media, blogging, grant writing, graphic design, fundraising, special events, workshops, material collection, and more.


#6. Open books

Open Books is a non-profit organization that brings thousands of readers a reading experience each year through inspiring programs and creative use of books.

Her mission is to “transform lives through reading, writing, and the GIVING power of used books”.

Open book literacy programs are designed to build confidence, help students see themselves as readers and writers, and provide them with access to books. Each writing program also offers students the opportunity to become published authors.

This organization also has book grant programs that donate books to children, families, and low-resource communities in Chicago.

There are many ways to volunteer at Open Books. If you’re really short on time, just dropping in a few used books can help. If you’d like to volunteer for a few hours, their bookstores can stash, wrap, and mail donations, or work with students from Chicago Public Schools as a reading or writing coach in one of the organization’s various programs.


#7. Bridge to success

Bridge to Success offers quality job interviews and work clothes paired with a personal stylist and coaching to improve job prospects for men, women, and young adults with low, and no income.

The aim is to build trust in these people through looks, interview preparation, and a sense of belonging in the workplace. Every customer receives one full-service experience.

Bridge to Success offers several types of volunteer positions. Volunteers can act as a stylist and/or personal shopper in the organization’s retail boutique and help job seekers build trust by choosing work clothes.

Volunteer boutique assistants are also required to accept donations of clothing and accessories, manage inventory, and set up in-store displays.

There is also the option of providing office support and participating in the planning committee for special events.

This is another bestChicago Volunteering Opportunities you can embrace.


# 8. Illinois Justice Corps

Illinois Justice Corps is an innovative program that improves access to justice for the growing number of unrepresented individuals in the courts.

It empowers and trains volunteer students to help those without attorneys navigate legal information in the justice system and provide procedural instructions.



#9. Green City Market

Green City Market, Chicago’s largest and first year-round sustainable farmers market, provides a marketplace for buying sustainably grown food. Also, it connecting farmers and local producers directly with chefs and the greater Chicago community.

This market also offers education through the Edible Gardens, Club Sprouts, and Chef Demos programs.

The volunteering opportunities in Chicago include working as a “market resource” in the market information tent on Wednesdays and Saturdays, supporting special events, helping with cooking demonstrations, participating in the Club Sprouts children’s program, and office support.


#10.  Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is a nonprofit food distribution and education center that works with 700 agencies and programs including pantries, soup kitchens, lodging, and more to distribute the equivalent of 159,000 meals per day. The organization’s mission is to provide food to hungry people while ending hunger in the community.

Volunteers sort, package, and distribute fresh, non-perishable groceries for families and individuals, many of whom are children, seniors, and veterans. There are volunteer opportunities for individuals, families, and large groups.


# 11. Centro Romero

Centro Romero is a community-based organization serving the refugee population in northeast Chicago.

Their interrelated programs include the Youth Learning and Leadership Program, Family Services, Adult Education, and Legal Services. These are essential services that support the healthy personal and social development of participants.

The long-term goal of their organization is to bridge a community of immigrants and refugees without voting rights into mainstream American society and to improve their opportunities for advancement.


# 12. Citizen Advocacy Center

The Citizen Advocacy Center works to build democracy for the 21st century by strengthening citizens’ capacities, resources, and institutions for self-government.

They commit to making governments more accountable to the people by improving democratic protocols and developing and strengthening citizens’ voices; In addition, the citizens’ understanding of social tools and the public skills in using these tools to solve social problems, etc.


#13. Lakeside Community committee

Founded in 1964 as a grassroots organization and contracted by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to provide foster families, relatives, temporary housing, and independent living to abused and neglected children and adolescents.


#14. PROJECT 1917

The organization serves disinvested communities that intersect with Chicago’s larger urban footprint. Established in July 2022 to provide vocational training (construction skills), hands-on experience, and rehabilitation services to create stable communities.



#15. Brave Space Alliance

The Brave Space Alliance – the first black and transgender-run LGBTQIA + center on the south side of Chicago – focuses on food insecurity, housing insecurity, and economic justice for black and brown queer and transgender people. Volunteers in Chicago can help with the pantry for queer, transgender, non-binary, and gender-inconsistent people.

Chicago House supports people in the community, especially those who are HIV / AIDS positive, through housing, health, and employment programs (Howard Brown Health has even partnered with them to provide employment opportunities).

Volunteers from The Center on Halsted, a huge community center for the LGBTQIA + community, answer calls to the Anti-Violence or Behavioral Health Resource Lines, provide legal assistance to those in need, spread education about HIV prevention, and treatment, and much more.



Volunteering opportunities in Chicago can open doors for you that were previously closed to you. You can build better networks to enrich your life and business, make new friends, and explore the world better when you are committed to a just cause.



You May Also Like