The Plan:We hope to make use of many of the tools used in modern dynamic website design to allow students to search for opportunities directly suited to their interests, skills, and time availability. At the same time, we hope to streamline the process for non-profit organizations to directly add their latest volunteer opportunities to a waiting audience.
In addition to dynamic search and posting capabilities, we expect to offer feature articles with pictures. These articles will provide students with summary overviews about the range of opportunities available at some of the larger non-profit organizations. We will also send writers into the field to cover specific projects which reoccur on a regular basis. Please contact us (see below) if you would be willing to write for us.
If you are over 18, feel free to also use our website; however, consider volunteering to become a group leader. Many organizations require an adult leader to manage small groups of high school volunteers.
Update (2015):We are committed to doing more in the non-profit world in the years to come; in the short term that mainly means exploring different ways in which we might make a positive impact. To that end, we would like to introduce our newest public-service project, Furry Orphans, an aggregate listing of animal shelters throughout Illinois, which will be expanded over time to include neighboring states.
It may look fairly basic right now and that is largely by intent. We have learned that creating an intricate website all at once is not the optimal solution; it's better to get something up quickly to get it indexed in the search engines, draw viewer traffic, and then try to get feedback from those viewers about what features they'd like to see, features which would make them want to return and, better yet, tell their friends. To do otherwise mostly means you and your subsequent audience exist on different timelines, not unlike a long-struggling author who becomes famous only after he's dead.
So help us out on Furry Orphans by finding our errors and omissions, by offering suggestions via the contact page, and by linking to the site through your social media accounts.
If you've got the time to go beyond that, we could use volunteers who gather and input more detailed data about each location, most notably in the descriptive field. Long, detailed descriptions would allow the viewer to enter any keyword combination into the search box and get a list of preferred locations to compare side-by-side, be it for adopting a pet, volunteering time or donating money.
If you have identified a different underserved nonprofit niche and truly have a passion to gather the needed content, we might be willing to build you our technical core and host your website; contact us with your ideas.
Welcome!This website was created in the summer of 2010 to help Chicago high school students more readily find volunteer opportunities. It has not been actively maintained in recent years, but the organizations shown are mostly still in need of regular volunteers, even if the calendar events are no longer up-to-date. Consider those entries still shown as a sample of what's typically being done at volunteer outings. We do accept new entries, but allow a extended lead-time for us to get back to you.
My name is Luke Priebe. I designed this website, with my brother's technical assistance, while still a high school student at Von Steuben in Chicago. I am now a junior at Brown University concentrating (i.e., majoring) in applied math and computer science.
I would like to see this website have more daily viewers able to see up-to-date content, but no longer have the time to do the necessary information-gathering. If you're still looking for a volunteer opportunity and none shown here fit the bill, why not consider managing or becoming part of this website's team? No advanced tech skills are needed, just an outgoing personality and a self-starter mindset interested in completing goals, not just running out the clock while someone monitors your every move - don't you already get enough of that being in high school?
If you assemble the team, we can retrofit many of our tech improvements designed elsewhere so that you can update the website without learning coding or database management. Contact us if you would like to pursue such an undertaking or manage it for your own student group.
Otherwise, why not link to our homepage with your social media accounts to let others know about this opportunity? Increased viewer traffic also makes it easier for volunteer organizations to find us and post their openings. Also see the 2015 Update section at the lower left.