Chicago, with a population of more than 2.8 million, needs committed volunteers to work in areas of health and health education. One website lists 50 volunteer Chicago opportunities with some of the 242 different organizations engaged in improving the health of local citizens or providing health education for better self-care.
Chicagoland’s Blood Center
LifeSource, also known as Chicago’s Blood Center, has an ongoing volunteer Chicago need for people to transport blood and blood products to area hospitals. The company is searching for people 18 years of age and older who can work in shifts of up to four hours in the morning, afternoon and evening on all days except Sunday to make deliveries.
LifeSource is also looking for volunteers to care for donors who give blood during community blood drives. More specifically, these volunteers extend a welcome to donors as they arrive and then provide refreshments. Position requirements state that only one day a month is necessary and volunteers must be 18 years old or older. This ongoing volunteer Chicago need is for a year-long campaign that began on Feb. 2, 2011, with drives planned every day of the week in the morning, afternoon and evening.
Help a Child
Volunteers are needed to work with staff members at La Rabida Children’s Hospital. Child Life volunteers assist during story time and with arts and crafts activities, which may take place in the nursing unit or at the child’s bedside. Services are needed for two hours in the morning, afternoon or evening from Monday through Saturday.
Each school year the La Rabida Children’s Hospital needs tutors to work with outpatients and their sisters and brothers. In this volunteer Chicago opportunity, one tutor is assigned to one child and help with skills in reading and math on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon or evening. Tutors need to be 18 years of age or older and be available at the chosen time each week.
Provide Resources and Relieve Stress
The Campaign for Better Health Care (CBHC) is looking for Helpline Intake Specialist to answer calls and provide information about health care resources. Those volunteering for this position will receive training and, according to the expanded description on the website, “[...]you have an opportunity to alleviate many of the stressors the US and Illinois health care system imposes on the uninsured and underinsured living in Illinois. We help consumers find affordable health care providers.” Hours are flexible in both morning and afternoon shifts, which occur only during the work week.
Cooking Better for Less
Cooking Matters- Chicago needs an Assistant for Cooking & Nutrition Education Class. The class teaches kids, teens and adults how to prepare meals that are both healthy and low cost. Started in January 2010, Cooking Matters-Chicago has an ongoing need for a volunteer in this capacity. Classes are held mornings, afternoons and evenings from Monday through Saturday. Among the qualifications for this volunteer Chicago position are an “interest in working with individuals with diverse backgrounds [and] dedication to helping alleviate hunger, poor nutrition and poverty.”
The Chicago Volunteer website is a good place to start when looking for ways to use skills in health and education to benefit the community. From giving blood to assisting donors, and helping children with school subjects after an illness, there are a variety of ways to help.
Photo credits: by Jay[N]