Mission: The mission of Chicago Cares is to respond to the critical human service, educational and environmental needs of Chicago by creating, managing and leading effective and innovative community volunteer programs which foster the ethic of volunteerism, promote a sense of community, and support our partnerships with community organizations.
Founded in 1991, Chicago Cares is part of the CityCares network, with 27 participating cities in America and Europe. Our largest event is the annual Serve-a-thon, a day of community service where thousands of individuals paint schools, clean parks, and make Chicago a better place to live and work.
Programs: Education and development programs serve adults and children. Adult programs are designed to assist those working toward education and employment goals, and include adult computer skills, ged tutoring, mock interviews, u. S. Citizenship coaching, current events discussion groups and more. Children's education and development programs are designed to increase students' positive social behavior, attendance and academic performance. From reading with volunteers to completing science experiments, students engage with positive adult role models in a structured, supportive environment.
human services programs serve students from our youth in service program, seniors, adults living with disabilities and people facing hunger and homelessness. Youth in service helps educate the next generation of leaders through an intensive service learning program teaching youth to collaborate and problem-solve. Senior services programs provide companionship and combat isolation for older adults living in fixed-income settings. Volunteer programs serving adults living with disabilities add to the quality of life of clients by increasing social interaction. Hunger, health and homelessness programs meet the immediate needs of hunger and housing so individuals can focus on finding a job, seeking medical attention, caring for a family or learning new skills.
environment programs improve chicago's outdoor spaces, giving volunteers the opportunity to engage with nature, learn new skills and be part of beautifying their community. Environmental programs include nature restoration, green space maintenance, facilities work at conservatories and gardening. Some gardening programs also improve access to fresh vegetables in neighborhoods considered food deserts.
I started volunteering with Chicago Cares about a year ago and became a Team Coordinator 3 months later. I have had a wonderful experience with Chicago Cares and am so grateful they are around in order for me to give back to the community. I have met so many amazing people and look forward to volunteering at the wonderful places that have partnered with Chicago Cares. There are so many different projects to join that everyone has an opportunity to volunteer doing something they love. I love working with children and have found many opportunities though Chicago Cares to do so. I have made some great friendships with volunteers and with the people associated with the projects. I keep going back and can’t get enough. Not only do you feel good when you have completed a project, but you also feel touched in a way that is unexplainable…you will have to join Chicago Cares and see for yourself. If you are new to the city or just looking to get involved with those in your community that could use your help and your time, Chicago Cares is the way to go.