Why Volunteer?

By Amelia Murphy

I think Chicago HOPES for Kids has the best volunteers in Chicago. Our volunteers are dedicated, patient, creative, and caring. Volunteers jump into the program with silly reading voices, crazy dance moves, thoughtful questions, and a passion for supporting children who are experiencing homelessness. Becoming a volunteer with Chicago HOPES for Kids means joining an awesome team of people.

At Chicago HOPES for Kids, we hope our volunteers are able to increase awareness about the academic challenges children face while experiencing homelessness. Volunteering is an opportunity to contribute to a cause that you care about. Volunteers come to our program with different interests, some volunteers like to work with children, increase literacy, or be involved at a homeless shelter. Victoria Nartey a community and AmeriCorps Volunteer with Chicago HOPES for Kids shared in reflection “ I've learned more about working and understanding different things about children from different backgrounds and living situations." Through our volunteer program, volunteers are able to learn more acutely the intersection of childhood, learning and developing academic skills and experiencing homelessness.

Volunteers join Chicago HOPES for Kids with unique skill sets. We accept volunteers who have never worked with children before and volunteers who have spent a significant portion of their time working with children. When you volunteer you can develop a new skill. For some volunteers that skill is the ability to work patiently and persistently with children. For others, volunteering develops skills around leadership, public speaking, or being creative. One of the skills Chicago HOPES for Kids volunteers learn is how to turn any moment into a learning opportunity. Many skills volunteers learn in our program space can be utilized beyond the program. Volunteers express an ability to bring new creativity into their work and understanding differences in learning.

Volunteering is also an awesome opportunity to meet new people. Many volunteers with Chicago HOPES for Kids are new to the Chicago community and are looking to get to know more people. Volunteering is also a great way to strengthen a friendship. Having a friend join you to volunteer expands our volunteer support and you can share a part of your life with a friend. The children always provide a great laugh and it is an opportunity to give back while connecting with a community. If you are searching for a way to introduce a friend to Chicago HOPES for Kids or something to do with a new friend from HOPES we are hosting an 80’s Trivia night at Lagunitas on March 4th from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. Volunteers get in for free so this is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with people you have met while volunteering. All the beer profits will be donated to Chicago HOPES for Kids! We would love to have you join us.

We love our volunteers and could not provide the after-school program without the hours of dedicated work provided by volunteers. I want to take a moment to thank all of our current and past volunteers. I hope you have experienced the benefits of volunteering through your own experience. Thank you.