Volunteer

 

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
– Nelson Mandela

Here at Cornerstone Community Outreach (CCO) we believe that inviting the community to volunteer and advocate alongside us is crucial. Whether you are wanting to learn more about homelessness in the city of Chicago or are simply looking for somewhere to give back, we have many opportunities available for a wide range of ages and group sizes. Scroll down the page to view our many volunteer opportunities!

Serving Meals
At CCO our doors are always open allowing us to serve three meals a day. By volunteering in our kitchen you can help prepare and serve meals to families and single adults.
* Service time includes meal preparation, meal service, and clean up
* Volunteers much be ages 14 and up
* Accommodates small groups (a maximum of 8 people) and individuals
* Weekend service options are available

Dinner Guest Program
Our community meal is open to the neighborhood: whether that be a senior living on a fixed income, a friend sleeping under the viaduct, or just someone looking to share a meal and amiable conversation.
* Service time includes short project orientation, meal service, and clean up
* Volunteers much be ages 7 and up
* Accommodates individuals or groups up to 20 people
* A great fit for families looking to serve together

Food Pantry
CCO is able to offer a neighborhood food pantry once a week, thanks to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, local grocers, and our volunteers who participate in the Hunger Walk. Here you will help distribute groceries such as fresh produce, meat, baked goods, and dry good, to community members in need.
* Service time includes short project orientation, set up, food distribution, and clean up
* Volunteers much be ages 10 and up
* Great for families with elementary aged children and older
* Accommodates groups of 5 to 25 volunteers

Free Store
The CCO free thrifts store is a place where we can help meet the needs of shelter guests and community members in crisis. By volunteering in our Free Store you can help distribute clothing, shoes, housewares, toys, books and more. Volunteers can assist us by scheduling a time to sort donations, restock shelves or participate in one of our many shopping days.
* Service time is flexible as it pertains to start time and duration of work
* Volunteers much be ages 12 and up
* Accommodates groups as large as 30 volunteers
* Weekday and weekend service options are available

Work Projects
CCO strives to provide clean, comfortable living spaces for up to 300 residents daily. Sometimes groups are interested in helping us achieve this through work projects such as painting, street beautification, decorating or large scale clean up days.
* Service time is flexible as it pertains to start time and duration
* Ages vary by project
* Great for company service days or large school events
* Good fit for skilled workers looking to volunteer

Special Events/ Holidays
At CCO we make every effort to our shelter guests’ time with us is special through fun events and holiday parties. When you volunteer to help host an event or participate in one of our pre-planned parties you are helping us to spread joy to our residents during their time with us.
* Service time varies for each event
* Ages vary by event
* Great for large organized groups
* Examples include holiday parties, craft projects, game days, Back-to-School Bash, or helping in Santa’s Workshop
* Once a month we partner with The Birthday Party Project to provide an amazing birthday experience for every child and we’d love to have you come join the celebration! Click the link here to sign up

Donations
Are you unable to come to personally volunteer at CCO?  Not a problem! Cornerstone Community Outreach gladly accepts new or very gently used items, such as clean usable clothing, household items, shoes, and collectibles.
* Service time varies per individual
* All ages are welcome
* Great for students or individuals looking to impact their community
* Toiletries, care packages, toy, and clothing drives are always appreciated

If you would like to do a donation drive in your community or to schedule a drop-off time please contact us at volunteers@ccolife.org. Thank you!