Give Time, Things, Support: 7 Ways to Give Back Around Chicago

By Lily Yu

Your family is probably soon headed back to a school-year schedule, but don’t let the busyness of a new academic year leave you without time for others. Consider adding these volunteer and give-back opportunities to your calendar.

Give Time

Reading Power

This organization knows that “all children deserve to reach their intellectual potential.” That’s why they offer one-on-one tutoring to kids in pre-K through 2nd grade at underserved schools. Reading Power is increasing its program and is in need of more tutors. Learn more about becoming a tutor and fill out the Tutor Application.

Greater Chicago Food Depository

If you have an extra hour to spare, sign up for a repack session and take the time to repack large quantities of food into individual servings so that it can be redistributed to food pantries for those in need. If you’re feeling especially competitive, have a friendly competition between you and your friends to see who can repack the most within the given time. You’ll be surprised to see how fast time flies and how much can get accomplished.

 

Give Things

The Better Sister Growth Network

The Better Sister Growth Network
Photo courtesy of The Better Sister Growth Network.

The Better Sister Growth Network “gives back to their community by providing job training, after-school programs, and food and clothes to families with low income or the homeless.” Donations such as gift cards, backpacks, school supplies, toys, and monetary donations will be very much appreciated and will be given to families in need as well as the homeless community.

Dress for Success

Thinking about cleaning out your closet to prep for the latest fall pieces? Donate your professional attire to Dress for Success! Dress For Success collaborates with homeless shelters, job training programs, immigration services, and more to provide pre-loved professional attire to women in need who are looking for jobs. To donate, check out this link for a list of affiliates that allow drop offs.

Give Support

Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse

The stark difference between demolishing and deconstructing is that demolishing uses machinery to smash a building until it is completely torn down, whereas deconstructing is the careful removal of salvageable parts, such as wooden cabinets, that can still be reused in other construction projects. The Evanston Rebuilding Warehouse accepts salvageable parts that have been deconstructed and sell it to the public at an extremely discounted price. This way, the amount of construction waste in landfills are kept to a minimum and reusable materials are not actively being put to waste.

The Chicago Council on Science and Technology

The Chicago Council on Science and Technology
Photo courtesy of The Chicago Council on Science and Technology.

The Chicago Council on Science and Technology (C2ST) strives to raise scientific literacy and appreciation for science and technology in the general public and hope to do so by providing a number of programs such as Science Journalism, Women in STEM, and Science in the Parks. To support these initiatives, donate on their website.

Forward Momentum Chicago

Forward Momentum Chicago
Photo courtesy of Forward Momentum Chicago.

Dancing is a passion that many have, but some can’t afford. Luckily, donations have allowed Forward Momentum Chicago to provide programming to more than 45 schools and 6,000 students and provide free dance classes at community centers in the past year. However, this cause cannot support itself without generous donors. If you wish to be one, you could donate online or mail it to Forward Momentum Chicago at 1530 S. State St., Unit G-01, Chicago, IL 60605.