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As a young adult in Chicago it is sometimes difficult to find organizations to volunteer for without being involved in some type of service group. One might find themselves stuck doing odd tasks here and there as a “volunteer” instead of working for charities that rely on the assistance of volunteers. Generally speaking, the first resource we resort to is Google, where any number of reliable and not so reliable suggestions can appear. Thankfully, there are easier, more credible alternatives.

Every year in February, Chicago hosts the annual Chicago Volunteer Expo; a free, one-stop shop where people in the Chicago-land area can find meaningful volunteer opportunities. The expo includes over 50 organizations from across the city with  varying  focus areas, so you’re bound to find something that will match your interests. This is an awesome event to attend because it’s so convenient to have so many organizations available in one location.

Another great resource is I Support Community, a website that connects donors and volunteers to  charities and non-profits through video story-telling. Each non-profit on the website has its own page containing information about  the charity’s mission, programs volunteer opportunities and how to get in touch with the charity for those who are serious about helping out. I think this is a great site because even if you can’t donate your time, there is always the option to donate financially.

The Chicago Volunteer Expo and I Support Community are just two of the many avenues young adults can use to learn more about charities in need of volunteers. Yes,  service groups have ties with non-for profit organizations, but in case you’re looking to step out of the box, these two resources are a great place to start your search for other volunteer opportunities in the Chicago-land area.

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