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Family Guide To Thanksgiving Volunteering

This Thanksgiving when you are counting your blessings, remember there are many people in need of someone like you to make their holiday enjoyable. Consider volunteering your time at one of many places that help those in need during the holidays. There are a variety of tasks you could do from cooking, serving food, preparing care packages, driving, and even just visiting. Find out what your families interests are and seek out one of these great Chicago service organizations to help make a difference this Thanksgiving season.

F & P - Guide to Thanksgiving Volunteering - 11.18.11 - Little Brothers - Little Brothers of the elderly
Photo Credit: Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly

Little Brothers

Friends of the Elderly, Chicago Chapter
355 N. Ashland Avenue
Chicago, IL 60607-1019

If you love the elderly then come to volunteer with Little Brothers, a national network of non-profit volunteer-based organizations committed to relieving isolation and loneliness among the elderly. At the Holidays they have several great programs in Chicago. There are Holiday Parties that need volunteer drivers, and on-site volunteers and cooks. Another great need is Holiday Bag Deliveries which require between 3 and 5 hours of your time on the holiday. Load your family up and spread the Holiday cheer this year!

Salvation Army Feeds Homeless On Thanksgiving Day
(credit: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Inspiration Corporation

4544 N. Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640

Homelessness is a problem most of us witness daily in this city. Come to the Inspiration Café in Uptown, or the Living Room Café in Woodlawn, and contribute to the warm, friendly atmosphere by serving meals in a restaurant-style setting with dignity and respect. The Inspiration Corporation provides supportive services to help people gain self-sufficiency. The well-known Inspiration Kitchens program provides food service job training that includes two restaurants open to the public. They also offer case management services, community voice mail and Housing Services to guests of the program. To volunteer at either Café location, contact the main office Volunteer Coordinator.

Guide to Thanksgiving Volunteering
(credit: Heather Earnhart)

REST Shelter

Kari, Volunteer Coordinator
941 W. Lawrence Avenue
Chicago, IL 60640

REST is a comprehensive homeless services shelter. They provide everything from emergency food, shelter and clothing to life skills classes, interim housing, social and medical services. Volunteer opportunities range from feeding people, teaching, sorting/organizing donated goods, Shelter Volunteer, and medical services. Contact the Volunteer Coordinator for specific times.

Sarah's Circle

4750 N. Sheridan Road
Chicago, IL 60640

"Sarah's Circle is a place of refuge for women who are homeless or in need of a safe space." With this as a mission, Sarah's Circle offers women many services to help rebuild themselves both physically and emotionally. Volunteer opportunities range from coordinating events and donations, working the front desk, or socializing with the visitors. Check with the Volunteer Coordinator for age restrictions.

Heather Earnhart is a free-lance musician living with her husband and two kids in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago. Read more of her work on the ChiTown Parent Blog.


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