Volunteer service offers an opportunity for community members to work directly with our youth and families and to support our programs. The primary purpose is to build relationships among people whose lives may never otherwise touch. By knowing each other, we aspire to build a more empathetic and cohesive society.

Below are our current volunteer opportunities. We welcome additional ideas from individuals or organizations to improve the lives of youth, families, and community.

Group or corporate volunteerism:

  • Clean up and landscape throughout the community
  • Exposure outings: Host 6-8 youth at your workplace to introduce new professions and experiences
  • Organize a supply drive for school supplies, coats, luggage, or baby items
  • Paint a mural or lead an art project with our youth

Individual volunteerism:

  • Cleaning and landscaping throughout the community
  • Community festivals: Set-up, interact with youth, serve food, offer face painting
  • Fundraising and event support for UCAN’s Polar Peace March or Youth Peace Summit
  • Leadership Development Workshop: Share career or personal journey or leadership advice with program participants
  • One-on-one mentorship (see below)
  • UCAN’s holiday gift drive donations and gift sorting

Customized opportunities can be developed based on group and agency needs. Please contact Andrea Lee at Andrea.Lee@ucanchicago.org or 773-290-5879 to learn more. 

One-on-one mentoring

A caring adult has the potential to change the trajectory of a young person’s life. This is especially true for children and youth who have experienced abuse and neglect. UCAN’s Mentor Program pairs adults with youth to help young people build positive relationships with adults and broadens a child’s social and cultural experiences. Mentors experience the joys and challenges of sharing life with a young person on their journey to adulthood.

We require that a mentor:

  • Demonstrate sincere interest in spending time with a young person
  • Commit to two in-person visits per month for one year
  • Successfully complete the application process
  • Be at least 21 years old

The mentor application process includes:

  • Application
  • In-person interview
  • Background check and DCFS fingerprint screening
  • Drug test and TB screening
  • Consultation with program lead and case workers (if applicable)
  • Orientation

For more information on mentoring at UCAN, please contact Andrea Lee at Andrea.Lee@ucanchicago.org or 773-290-5879.

Thank you for considering volunteerism through UCAN!