Urban Youth Mission: Chicago
Urban Youth Mission participants will have the opportunity to work with organizations like the following:
World Vision is an international humanitarian aid organization that, in addition to its more well-known overseas programs, oversees six domestic donation warehouses. These warehouses sort and distribute items that non-profit member organizations can collect and provide to their communities. UYM volunteers primarily sort and organize bulk donations at their Chicago warehouse location, mainly from large companies such as Costco.
Working Bikes collects and rescues old and discarded bicycles which are primarily fixed up and used as local and overseas donations. UYM volunteers take fixed bikes and prepare them to be loaded into shipping crates to be sent internationally to global partners in places like Guatemala, Nicaragua, Ghana, and many others.
Lakeview Food Pantry is a local organization with two locations on Chicago’s North Side. Lakeview collects donations, as well as supplementary purchases, to distribute to the large food insecure population in Chicago. UYM volunteers sort through produce donations and check for quality in preparation for their two weekly distribution dates.
65th and Woodlawn is an urban community garden on land owned by the First Presbyterian Church of Chicago. The garden consists of plots rented by members of the community- including Urban Youth Mission, which donates what we grow to the First Presbyterian Church Food Pantry- as well as several public plots that are maintained by volunteers. UYM frequently assists around the main garden- in our plot and with general gardening work such- as well as their secondary garden, Kumunda.
Chicago Methodist Senior Service Center runs three locations on Chicago’s North Side that house seniors in varying stages of care needs, from basic care and assisted living to specialized housing for residents with dementia. UYM volunteers visit CMSSC’s sites to visit with residents and aid in projects like crafts and music, while fostering intergenerational connections.
Elam Davies Social Service Center meets basic human needs while working with partner agencies to support persons on their journey toward greater stability and self-sufficiency. Its services include case management, a food pantry, clothing assistance, housing assistance, job-readiness training, street outreach, and support groups. UYM volunteers primarily sort and categorize clothing donations that are added to the EDSSC’s clothes closet.
Lincoln Park Community Shelter is a private, community-based organization based out of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood that provide a holistic continuum of services that removes barriers and increases self-sufficiency to people experiencing homelessness. UYM helps LPCS by making and delivering bag lunches that are given out to the residents.
Catholic Charities is a multi-faceted organization that helps out across the Chicagoland area, Catholic Charities uses its network of connections and resources to aid those in need. UYM assists in a variety of ways depending on where assistance is needed, from Our Lady of Tepeyac youth headstart program, to warehouse sorting.
SOS Children’s Garden is a part of the SOS Children’s Village in the Englewood neighborhood, which provides long-term housing and care for foster children. As many neighborhoods in the South Side are food deserts, the garden gives these children a more balanced diet, and all the benefits that come with it. UYM helps in the garden by planting, weeding, organizing, or constructing anything that could use the extra manpower.
La Casa Norte provides housing and services for youth and adults experiencing homelessness in the Chicagoland area. UYM volunteers assist by organizing donations and helping staff members around the different locations around the city.
Howard Area Community Center provides a number of different services to people in the northern Chicago area, such as education, employment, literacy, and more. UYM volunteers primarily aid in their food pantry, where shipments of food are delivered and sorted.
Cradles to Crayons provides essentials for young children and families across the country. UYM volunteers visit their Chicago warehouse and help sort donations, organize items, and learn more about C2C’s mission.
Common Pantry serves the Chicago area by providing food to those who need it in many ways, such as hot lunches, food delivery to homebound individuals, and weekly distributions. UYM assists by sorting, bagging, and distributing produce to individuals who come to Common Pantry’s monthly Produce Day.
For more information about our UYM partners, contact Katie Patterson, Youth Mission Coordinator (312.981.4035).