Almost everyone has heard a story about how one good deed can change a life. These stories happen every day in cities around the world, and Chicago is no exception. These stories were the inspiration for Chicago’s Cities of service initiative
— One Good Deed Chicago.
Throughout its history, Chicago has faced and overcome many difficult challenges. Two of the most difficult challenges we face today are youth violence and the economic recession. One Good Deed Chicago will focus on both of these challenges through its two volunteer service initiatives, WINDY and Money Smarts. WINDY’s goal is to make sure that more of Chicago’s youth are engaged in productive activities during their out-of-school hours, particularly 5:00–7:00 pm when peaks in youth violence often occur. Money Smarts will provide financial guidance and empowerment to Chicagoans still struggling during this tough economic time.
Chicago is fortunate to be home to many renowned national and local community-based organizations that serve the City’s ethnically, racially and socially diverse neighborhoods — many in partnership with the City. These organizations have been critical in strengthening the fabric of Chicago and fostering a sense of community in the nation’s third largest city. They have helped the City in so many ways — One Good Deed Chicago will help them in return.
Faced with limited resources, many non-profits have told us that they need more volunteers and/or help recruiting, training and managing volunteers. Using the innovative VolunTEAM approach, One Good Deed Chicago will match bright and engaged college students with non-profits that need help recruiting and managing their volunteers. These students will be recruited during their fall semester and trained alongside their non-profit partners. They will then spend five months with the non-profit, helping to increase that organization’s capacity to engage more volunteers and manage volunteers to achieve the greatest impact. More engaged volunteers mean more after-school opportunities for our City’s youth and more services for struggling.
While One Good Deed Chicago will initially focus VolunTEAM resources on the organizations selected to participate in the WINDY and Money Smarts Initiatives, we are also committed to supporting as many Chicago non-profits as possible. To that end, One Good Deed Chicago will offer free city-wide seminars to all Chicago non-profits, to help build their capacity for impact volunteering.
In addition, www.OneGoodDeedChicago.org website will serve as a resource for both volunteers and non-profits alike, displaying volunteer opportunities and matching prospective volunteers with service opportunities. For Chicago residents who do not have access to a computer or the internet, they can learn about volunteer opportunities through the City’s 311 phone line.