Children’s Home & Aid’s Metropolitan Chicago Region serves thousands of children through programs including Community Schools, Early Childhood Care and Education, Foster Care and Adoptions and Residential Treatment. A variety of weekly volunteer opportunities are available, as well as occasional monthly and one-time activities. Volunteers are placed in positions based on interest, need, skills, location and availability. All volunteers receive training and ongoing support from Children’s Home & Aid staff. In order to ensure the safety of our clients and staff, all regularly scheduled volunteers participate in a screening process including an in-person interview, health screen & TB test and fingerprinting background check.
INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Foster Friend: Build a relationship with a child in need of a positive adult role model. Provide support and fun to a child who closely matches your interests, background, and personality. Mentoring can include tutoring, career exploration, life skills development, cultural or entertainment events. The ultimate goal is to enhance the child’s physical, intellectual and social growth. Volunteers are asked to commit to at least 4-10 hours per month for nine months or more.
Evenings and weekends at the Rice Child & Family Center (1101 Washington St., Evanston, IL 60202)
Summer Camp Leaders: This is a great opportunity for college students who are free for the summer to assist at the Rice Child + Family Center’s annual summer camp. Volunteers will help lead the youth in arts, sports and other activities during July and August. If interested in volunteering, make sure you apply in April or May.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays 10:00AM – 3:30PM – Rice Child & Family Center (1101 Washington St., Evanston, IL 60202)
Talent Coach/Fitness Friend: This opportunity is available for volunteers who have a specific skill they are hoping to share. Volunteers can lead classes in dance, yoga, voice, zumba, art or another subject, or can do one-on-one coaching in dance, guitar, art, piano or voice with a client. This commitment could be from eight weeks to one year depending on the volunteer role. Volunteers with experience teaching their skill are preferred.
Evenings and weekends – Rice Child + Family Center (1101 Washington St., Evanston, IL 60202)
Monday – Thursday 4:00-5:30PM – Marshfield Office (5958 S. Marshfield Ave., Chicago, IL 60636) and Hazel Crest Excellence Academies(17512 S. Carriageway, Suite B., Hazel Crest, IL 60429)
Foster Care Excellence Academy Helper: Volunteers provide hands-on assistance in the after school program by helping with homework, teaching life skills and building positive relationships with the foster youth. Male volunteers, volunteers who excel in STEM subjects and those interested in teaching about banking, cooking or other life skills are encouraged to apply.
Monday – Thursday 3:30-6:30PM – Des Plaines
Homework Helper: Assist youth to lay a foundation for academic success by providing assistance to a child in need of academic assistance. Homework Helpers spend one hour per week with a child in Foster Care, Residential Treatment or Community Schools on a set day, depending on the availability of the volunteer. Homework Helpers are asked to make a 6-month minimum volunteer commitment.
Evenings and weekends – Rice Child & Family Center (1101 Washington St., Evanston, IL 60202)
Monday – Thursday 3:30-5:30PM – Englewood Community Schools
Classroom Helper/Baby Cuddler: Enhance the children’s educational services by providing support and assistance to the classroom teachers in our Community Schools or Early Childhood Care + Education Centers. Helpers in Pre-K rooms will participate in educational activities with students, while Baby Cuddlers provide an extra set of helping hands in the infant classrooms, rocking infants and reading stories.
Monday – Friday 8:30AM-12:30PM – Mitzi Freidheim Englewood Child & Family Center (1701 W. 63rd St., Chicago, IL 60636), Community Child Care Center of Palatine Township (721 South Quentin Road, Palatine, IL 60067), Jerri Hoffmann Child & Family Center (229 Lake Marian Rd., Carpentersville, IL 60110)
Clerical Support: Many of our programs are in need of organized, dependable and detail-oriented volunteers to help keep track of data entry, filing, reception duties, donor recognition, event planning and other behind-the-scenes operational tasks. These volunteers help us provide the best services to our clients and donors, and keep staffing costs low so that we can put as much funding into programs as possible. Volunteers will gain practical (employable) office skills, experience with donor databases and insight into the workings and culture of a statewide nonprofit organization.
Monday – Friday 9:00AM-5:00PM – Viva Child & Family Center (2516 W. Division St., Chicago, IL 60622), Rice Child & Family Center (1101 Washington St., Evanston, IL 60202), Marshfield Office (5958 S. Marshfield Ave., Chicago, IL 60636), Corporate Home Office (125 S. Wacker Drive Suite 1400, Chicago, IL 60606)
Other Opportunities: Piano teacher at the Rice Child + Family Center, Spanish Tutor at the Rice Child & Family Center or volunteers to assist events team and development services (Raiser’s Edge experience is preferred) at Corporate Home Office.
Download the volunteer application form here or please submit the form below to be contacted about volunteer opportunities.
GROUP VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Group opportunities during the week and weekend are very limited and are dependent on program needs – Children’s Home & Aid does not create opportunities specifically for groups of interested volunteers. All group opportunities are planned at least two months in advance. Groups volunteering to do activities that involve in-kind donations related to the project will receive first priority.
Host a Donation Drive: Host a donation drive for items including back-to-school supplies, new winter coats, toiletries, books, holiday gifts, or toys to replenish the visiting rooms. Click here to see our programs’ wishlists.
Team Building Activities: Donate items on our agency’s “wish list” and then assemble the items as a group. Ideas include bicycles for youth in foster care, dollhouses for our therapy rooms and rocking chairs for our family visiting rooms.
Holiday Volunteering: Volunteer to host a holiday donation drive of toys, new coats, new warm winter accessories, or books, adopt child & family holiday wishlists, or provide assistance at Snug Hugs for Kid Clothing Drive.
Please contact Elizabeth Startz at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about scheduling a group volunteer project at Children’s Home & Aid.
WHY VOLUNTEER AT CHILDREN’S HOME & AID?
I volunteer because there was a need for extra help in the early childhood classrooms. I also wanted to interact with infants, now that my own children are grown up. This was a perfect fit for both me and the children.
– Barb Johnson, Baby Cuddler Volunteer
At a young age many of the children at Rice have gone through so much, I was just happy I could help in any way possible. I am now an advocate for foster children. I think they can sometimes be a forgotten and misunderstood population, but they are kids just like any other.
– Juliet Gutierrez, Rice Child & Family Center Volunteer
I enjoy the ability to offer intellectual encouragement to a young man who is just beginning to discover the wider world outside his own, and what his place could be in it. I enjoy the interaction with the foster kids and the opportunity to watch them grow.
– Gordon Welles, Foster Friend at the Excellence Academy