Spring has finally arrived and with it, opportunities to reengage with others in our community. Below is a list of nonprofits looking for volunteers to help with projects, mentors to help young people and donations to fund programs in-need.
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Chicago Scholars, a leadership development nonprofit geared to academically ambitious low-income or first-generation students desiring to achieve success in college and beyond, is looking for mentors. The Chicago Scholars Mentoring Program pairs students with adult mentors across Chicago, who serve as important guides to the scholars during their senior year of high school and first year of college. Mentor applications are open and the deadline to apply is April 30.
With many employee shortages across the board these days, there has never been a better time to hire a newly minted graduate of the New Moms Workforce Development Training Program. Young moms ages 18 to 24 who have completed a 16-week job training program, including both classroom instruction and on-the-job training, are ready to start their careers and support their families by earning stable, living-wage incomes.
Give: Time, Things
Community kitchen volunteers wanted for A Just Harvest, a nonprofit that serves the Rogers Park and greater Chicago community with daily nutritious meals 365 days a year for seniors on fixed incomes, homeless individuals and veterans, those out of work and anyone else in need. A Just Harvest also needs items from its running wish list for the kitchen and for The Genesis Project, the nonprofit’s economic initiative which offers agriculture apprenticeships for adults and after-school and summer garden education programs for children.
CASA Lake County is searching for volunteers to meet its goal of providing a CASA, or court-appointed special advocate, to every foster child in Lake County. CASAs are a critical piece of the foster system, and often the only trusted adult in a foster child’s life. While being a CASA requires strong dedication and a minimum two-year commitment, it is also a fulfilling and much-needed role within the foster system. Interested volunteers should first submit an application, and if selected, will attend extensive training before starting their term.
Cycling Without Age is a 100% volunteer run organization that provides free recreational rides to seniors or anyone without the mobility to ride a bicycle on their own. Rides are conducted on battery assisted three-wheeled vehicles called trishaws. The organization is seeking donations in order to purchase an additional trishaw to serve assisted living facilities on the North Shore.
Give: Time, Support
Given that the US Surgeon General has declared America’s youth is in a mental health crisis, there’s no better time to support programs that address mental health issues in our young people. Erika’s Lighthouse is a rapidly growing nonprofit offering free mental health programs and support to Chicago-area schools—giving students the tools they need to talk to each other, their families, their teachers and counselors. With a goal to be in over 5,000 schools across the country by 2025, the nonprofit is looking for donations as well as volunteers to help connect with schools.
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The Honeycomb Project hosts a variety of volunteer projects each month to help families, including kids, get out of the house and into the community. It is looking for help sorting and packing donations of clothing, diapers and toys to ensure new moms have everyday essentials for their children; and for volunteers to pack and distribute fresh produce and pantry items at an outdoor food pantry. Check out the full list of volunteer opportunities.
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Donna Berry Glass is a freelance writer in Marin County who writes mostly about family and kid-oriented topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family exploring the natural beauty of Marin, snuggling with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel while reading a good book or whipping up something delicious in her space-challenged kitchen. Donna is a supporter of the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to seniors and disabled individuals.