5 Great Ways to Volunteer in Chicago This Summer

It Feels Good to Give Back

Looking for ways to donate your extra time to a good cause this summer? There are plenty of organizations in the city that are in need of assistance.

Here are a few volunteer opportunities listed below. Get involved!


Help the Homeless

Volunteer in Chicago

Greater Chicago Food Depository


4100 West Ann Lurie Place

Chicago, IL 60632


(773) 247-3663

  • Volunteer at the agency: Volunteers are needed at the pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters. They are also looking for people to help prepare and serve meals, deliver food, and tutor.
  • Help at the loading dock: Volunteers are needed on weekday mornings to load the food trucks. The Greater Chicago Food Depository ships more than 150,000 pounds of food every day.
  • Volunteer to be a Driver: Volunteers are needed to drive and deliver fresh produce to agencies or to pick up the food drive food at local organizations.
  • Help at Events: Help is needed for information tables and fundraising at events.
  • Help at Food Shows: Volunteers are needed to help collect food donations from vendors after food industry trade shows.
  • Help Repack Food: Volunteers are needed to repack bigger products to family size portions, assemble boxes and check expiration dates.



Volunteer in Chicago

Lincoln Park Community Shelter


600 West Fullerton Parkway

Chicago, IL 60614


(773) 540-6111

  • Volunteer to Cook and Serve Meals
  • Assist at the Front Desk
  • Work an Overnight Shift: 9pm – 8am
  • Teach a Track Activity: Teach a one-hour daily living skill class
  • Volunteer for the Financial Literacy Program:
    • Teachers: Responsible for teaching one of three 90-minute classes
    • Mentors: Help guests with homework assignments from these classes
  • Be a Job Coach: Help guests with mock interviews, resumes, cover letters, job searching or networking
  • Be a Peer Coach: Work one-on-one with a guest to provide support and a listening ear
  • Be a Computer Tutor: Assist guests with basic computer skills



Help Sick Children

Volunteer in Chicago

Make-A-Wish Foundation

640 North LaSalle Drive, Suite 280

Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 602-9474

Every year, nearly 1,200 children in Illinois are diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The Make-A-Wish foundation believes that granting wishes to these children is important for the care and treatment processes that they go through.

  • Help at Make-A-Wish Events
  • Be a Wish Granting Volunteer: These volunteers work in teams of two and meet with the families to plan and execute a child’s wish.
  • Be a Speaker’s Bureau Volunteer: These volunteers will be trained to speak about the Make-A-Wish foundation at events.
  • Be an Office Volunteer: Day to day office tasks
  • Become a Committee Member Volunteer: Leadership roles


Help Homeless Animals

Volunteer in Chicago

The Anti-Cruelty Society

510 North LaSalle Street

Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 644-8338

Prepare animals for their forever families, help create lifelong bonds with pets and their potential families, and network with other animal lovers by volunteering.

  • Join the Adoption Support Crew: These volunteers serve as greeters in the lobby, answer guest questions and follow-up with recent adopters.
  • Volunteer for Everyday Assistance: These volunteers provide adoption assistance and care for the animals at the facility. They also help with grooming, spot-cleaning, adopter meetings and animal socialization.
  • Volunteer for Cat & Dog Adopts: These volunteers handle cats and dogs for visitors, help people complete the adoption applications, and work in the cat & dog adoption rooms.
  • Volunteer for Cat & Dog Care: These volunteers provide additional care by grooming and socializing the cats and dogs at the facility.
  • Help at Special Events


Help Chicago Community Parks

Volunteer in Chicago

Chicago Park District

541 North Fairbanks

Chicago, IL 60611

(312) 742-7529

The Chicago Park District is always looking for volunteers to pitch in and help out in the city’s parks. There are volunteer opportunities for varied interests.

  • Help with Corporate and/or Group Projects
  • Volunteer on Environmental Stewardship Days
  • Provide Special Event Support
  • Provide Coaching & Sport Instruction
  • Provide Conservatory Support
  • Volunteer at Tutoring/ Mentoring After School Programs and Camps
  • Volunteer for Community Gardening
  • Help with Nature and Monitoring & Stewardship

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