June 8, 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel Announces Revamped Volunteer Website and Invites All Chicagoans to Participate In Service

Following His Call to Residents to Explore Mentorship during His Inaugural Address, City Launches Revamped One Good Deed Chicago Website to Connect Volunteers with Service Opportunities at Nonprofit Organizations across the City

Mayor's Press Office    312.744.3334

In Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s Second Inaugural Address, he asked residents to heed his call to volunteer their time and mentor youth in need across the City. In an effort to make it easier for people interested in providing a positive influence on our youth, Mayor Emanuel today announced a new and improved online portal, One Good Deed Chicago, that will better connect residents to volunteer opportunities to participate and play an active role in a young person's life.

The One Good Deed Chicago website will serve as a one-stop shop online portal where interested volunteers can sign up for service opportunities with Chicago nonprofit organizations located citywide. Residents can access the site HERE.

“Small acts of service can make an enormous difference in the life of a child and in the future of our city, so today we are offering a simple way to connect volunteers with young people who need them all across the City of Chicago,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Working together, we can provide adolescents all throughout Chicago with the values, expectations, and opportunities that we share as a common foundation and help them reach their full potential.”

Recognizing that everyone has something to give - their time, values, knowledge, a skill - every Chicagoan has a role to play in ensuring all of our youth have the tools and support they need to succeed.

“Serving as a youth mentor has a life-long lasting effect, on both the child and the adult,” said Margie Morris, Illinois Mentoring Partnership Executive Director. “Mentoring is a research-proven way to have a positive impact on a youth’s well-being, resulting in improved relationships, increased positive quality-of-life outcomes, and a higher chance of success in continuing education and realization of career goals.”

The Mayor’s Office is currently convening a working group of Chicago nonprofit service organizations, led by Chicago Cares, Donors Forum, and Serve Illinois, to develop a set of recommendations for improvements to the volunteer process in Chicago, including the One Good Deed Chicago website and future service enhancements, such as the streamlining of volunteer background checks. The background screening process can be costly and time-consuming for organizations and currently, volunteers are required to go through the process every time they want to work with a different organization, proving to be an obstacle for interested volunteers to serve.

“By working with nonprofit organizations across the city, we can identify the common challenges faced by both our organizations and volunteers, and work together to develop solutions,” said Jenne Myers, Chicago Cares Chief Executive Officer. “I look forward to being able to provide even more opportunities for volunteers to serve across Chicago in the very near future.”

In addition to youth mentoring, the One Good Deed Chicago website provides access to a variety of volunteer opportunity areas, including domestic violence, environment and sustainability, homelessness, immigrant needs, arts and culture, parks and gardens, adult education and seniors, veterans’ and women’s issues, and other areas. Volunteer opportunities range from one-time to ongoing commitments and can include skillsets and activities from mentoring, grant writing, or computer and social media assistance to arts and crafts, sports, or gardening and construction.

Chicago nonprofit organizations can register and post their volunteer opportunities for interested volunteers to search by interests, skillset required, and other areas. Volunteers can create their own profile, keep track of volunteer hours logged, and apply directly for individual service opportunities through the website. Organizations are encouraged to register HERE and start posting volunteer opportunities today.