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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Civil Rights, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Youth Community Service Clubs

Mission: Dreams for Kids trains and mentors youth as social entrepreneurs, providing practical education, real world training and contemporary job skills as they create enterprises that provide solutions to society’s critical social issues.

Results: We have launched a national program of social entrepreneurship learning for youth, hosted on our education partner's Global Learning Models, delivered by teachers in school and by trained mentors after school. The 11 week curriculum includes The Clearing, which helps youth clear conflicts and trauma of their past and present, as well as practical business skills such as marketing, sales, making a pitch, creating business plans, act. At the conclusion of the curriculum, students can apply their new skills to create a social enterprise, or work on an existing one, and be enrolled into our new Center for Social Entrepreneurship, to feature the resources of leading entrepreneurs and academics.

Target demographics: At-risk youth in U.S. between the ages of 12 and 17.

Direct beneficiaries per year: 6,000

Geographic areas served: U.S, with local concentration in Illinois and Washington DC.

Programs: Dream Leaders: Preparing Youth to Create the Future Today, a program that provides students with an 11 week social entrepreneurship curriculum that was created by nationally recognized entrepreneurs and academic leaders and is delivered through peer to peer mentoring and reinforced by professional mentors in the community and in our trademark, We Are the Change® conferences. Youth led Social enterprises, Extreme Recess provides adaptive sports activities for kids with disabilities and Holiday for Hope, a global event for homeless children, held each December.

Community Stories

40 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dreams For Kids directly makes an impact in the lives of kids in need. They replace charity with opportunity in the sense that they enable children to achieve goals by providing them with the tools to do so. Several years back I started volunteering with Dreams For Kids. I have a sister with autism, and after I had done a couple of events with them, they invited her out to be a guest. We've had some amazing experiences, and done things neither of us thought possible! This is one of the most hard working, down to earth, friendly and fun groups I've ever been a part of who make a direct impact in children's lives. I feel so grateful that me and my family are a part of it and we hope to continue our involvement with them for years to come. Highly recommended on all levels.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm an IBEW Local 134 electrician, I volunteered at our union hall for their christmas gift wrapping. It was a great time. I had so much that I invited family members and their friends, they also enjoyed themselves and looked forward to the event each year. I hope they will make arrangements to return to our hall in 2016 so that we can experience that joy of giving.

Comments ( 1 )

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Tom Tuohy 12/16/2015

Thank you so much for your review and for volunteering at our event. We love our long history with IBEW and our long time at Local #134 Hall. We wish it was bigger! It is a great space, but as the event grew and the kids lined up, we had to move to the Broadway Armory to fit 2,000 people! We hope you can join us there this Saturday or some year in the future. Thanks again to you, your family and your friends!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a great experience! I have volunteered for several Dreams for Kids events, including Extreme Recess and Holiday for Hope. It is so wonderful to see the smiles on every one's faces, kids and adults alike! Dreams for Kids really does great things for the community. I will be participating for years to come.

Comments ( 1 )

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Tom Tuohy 12/16/2015

Thank you for your volunteer service and long term commitment~! It means the world!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered for Dreams for Kids Holiday for Hope event . It's a great event because it brings everything about the holiday season to children who normally wouldn't be able to experience it. Everyone who works there is so passionate about their cause that its truly contagious. It's one organization that I will continue to volunteer for every year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Dreams for Kids for many years. It's a great organization because everyone is extremely passionate about helping kids. I volunteer for both yearly events; The Holiday for Hope and Extreme Recess. Both of these events directly impact the lives of kids in need. Each year is better than the last!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am not a rich person (financially) and I don’t have a lot of time on my hands. However, after being a volunteer for a Dreams for Kids (DFK) event called Holiday for Hope several years ago, I had decided to get more involved. I learned that not only does DFK provided children in the Chicago area with a holiday celebration they would not otherwise have due to poverty/low income or financially less fortunate, I had also learned they opened up another realm of charity to children with disabilities with events called Extreme Recess! This is where children with disabilities could water ski, snow ski, and a ton of other fun, outdoor activities that they would not have access to if it wasn’t for DFK’s! Since the first packing party event I attended, which prepares toy bags for the Holiday for Hope party, I have felt a strong connection and I have personally held yearly toy drives at my office, donated funds, volunteered at Texas Holdem fundraisers, volunteered at a Twin Lakes summer water sports and other fundraising events. There is nothing like this charity in all of Chicago as DREAMS FOR KIDS hold all kinds of events all year long, and there’s nothing like the smile on a child’s face that is result of Dreams For Kids.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of working with Dreams For Kids Extreme Recess for the past 4 years. DFK, Tom, Shelly and the rest of the staff are amazing. They provide so many people opportunities that kids would never dream of. It is so much fun to be a part of such a great day out on the lake making kids' dreams come true.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with the Dreams For Kids, Inc. Extreme Water Ski event on July 30th, 2015. It was a great experience. It was very nice to see families enjoying the BBQ style event. There were many activities available to the families including adaptive water skiing, kayaking, fishing, and much more. The young lady I was working with especially enjoyed fishing! Everybody had a smile on their face the whole day, what a great experience!
Thanks Dreams for Kids for putting together an unforgettable event!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at this year's Extreme Recess and it was a phenomenal experience. The event had many activities such as face painting, adaptive water-skiing, canoe rides, water slides, etc. The volunteers were all very accommodating and the happiness on the faces of the families/children was truly inspiring. This is an extraordinary organization and I look forward to volunteering for many events in the near future.

1 Tom_82

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids is a unique charity that is truly dedicated to helping special needs children and their families. I participated most recently in their "Extreme Recess" event. I was pleasantly surprised at what great lengths the charity (and all the volunteers that participated) went through to make the day special for the children and their families. I would highly recommend all levels of participation and support for DFK, from volunteering to donating, you simply know you're supporting a great organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

You can’t make this stuff up!

DFK’s Extreme Recess at Twin Lakes, WI is a day of water sports, fishing, bouncy house, water slide, plenty of sunscreen and a great BBQ lunch.

Most of the children have never had the opportunity to participate in these activities. Going from a wheelchair to a water ski and speeding along at 40 mph – at first it’s fear but the kid in all comes out in seconds using the thumbs-up signal to go faster.

As a volunteer, every year I take home a fond story or two. This year it was Thais. Exiting the bus I asked this young lady of perhaps 12 what she wanted to do first – water ski? Tubing? Canoeing? Thais looked me in the eye and said "I want to fish - I have never fished before.” Are you sure you want to bait a hook with a slimy worm I asked? “Yes” is all she said with a smile while looking past me to see where the fishing pier was located.

Within minutes Thais had caught her first fish - a 4” bluegill. She ended up with about 9 catches, one being a 10” wide mouth. And that’s no fish story!