Make A Difference Day is celebrated annually on the fourth Saturday in October and connects people with opportunities to serve, increases the strength of communities and promotes civic engagement.

In Chicago, you can celebrate Make a Difference Day on October 22 by volunteering your time at one of more than 35 projects throughout the city. The Mayor’s Office is hosting a special Make a Difference Day event at Douglas Park, where volunteers will participate in environmental revitalization efforts and be treated to a complimentary lunch.

Of course, there are many wonderful service opportunities in Chicago, so here are a few areas where you can Make a Difference!

Education: Help chronically homeless adults build valuable job skills as a Math or English tutor at The Renaissance Collaborative. Or, work with younger students as they use fun, interactive games to practice building character and good citizenship at Henderson Elementary.

Hunger and Homelessness: Share a Meal at Interfaith House, a housing facility that provides quality respite care for ill or injured homeless adults. You can also increase your impact by volunteering at The Greater Chicago Food Depository, where in addition to providing on the ground service, volunteers earn $5.00 for every hour served, which is donated to other local food banks.

Health and Wellness: Groceryland South is a great place to make a difference if you love to shop! One of the four grocery centers across Chicago that cater to the specific dietary needs of people living with HIV, volunteers will be provided with a client grocery list and use the food pantry to shop for their items. Healthy Start is an interactive program that teaches healthy cooking techniques and kitchen safety to students in 6th-8th grade.

Environment: Winter is coming, which means that many of our environmental projects need your help to get ready for the change of seasons! Urban Gardens with Openlands provides volunteers with the opportunity to learn new skills as they help support community gardens throughout the city. While volunteers at Ginkgo Organic Gardens provide nonprofit organizations with fresh produce they might not otherwise be able to afford.

Senior Services: The Women’s Wellness and BINGO Group is an opportunity to have fun playing games with low-income seniors, while sharing important health information through lively discussions; October’s health topic is breast cancer.

We hope to see you this Saturday as we all work together to Make a Difference in Chicago!

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