The holidays are a time to give back, and there are a number of organizations supporting people on the margins in Chicago. If you only have a few hours to offer, here’s where you can plug in to make an impact.
Mission of Our Lady of the Angels
The mission is located in one of the poorest areas of the city on the West Side, Humboldt Park. Religious brothers and sisters of the Franciscans of the Eucharist community staff the outreach, which serves material needs of people in the neighborhood.
All of the services they offer depend on volunteers:
- Food pantry
- Clothing and household goods distribution
- Emergency assistance
- After-school tutoring
- Senior citizen programming
- Soup kitchen and community dinners
- Special events, especially during the holiday season
If you’re looking to share time as a volunteer, you can sign up to pack Christmas bags or buy gifts and supplies for those in need. They also need help with their food pantry on 12/21 from 7 a.m. to noon. More information here.
Catholic Charities of Chicago
Catholic Charities has more than 100 different programs in need of volunteers as they support anyone in need in Cook and Lake Counties. Once you register to help, you can search volunteer opportunities by location, activity, or timing.
You can also arrange your search for an opportunity around the population or issues you’d like to support:
- Refugees and immigrants
- Children and youth
There are a lot of ways to make an immediate impact, as many of their services support food pantries or meal delivery systems. If you know your way around the kitchen, you can even sign up to bake desserts for programs that take place over a meal.
Find more information about volunteering with Catholic Charities here.
ChicagoCares matches community needs with volunteers in the South and West Sides — search their site for opportunities by project type, location, or calendar.
Even better, this organization gives you room to use your strengths to serve your community: find ways to do hands-on work, use your professional skills, or do virtual advocacy work from home. Their system is built to deepen your engagement over time so that volunteers are building relationships in the city, not just dropping in to help out here and there.
Find more information about making connections though ChicagoCares here.