Neighborhood Organizations

There are numerous ways to connect with organizations throughout the city. But many students choose to volunteer in nearby neighborhoods. Below is a list of just some of the organizations that welcome student volunteers and are located within walking distance of campus.

Volunteer Referral Program

Make an appointment with the University Community Service Center's Volunteer Referral Program, which works to match University of Chicago students with a opportunites that meet their skills, interests, and availability. 

Local Organizations Looking for Volunteers

There are great organizations near campus and around the city that need tutors and mentors. The list below is just a start.

First Presbyterian Church

Location: 6400 S. Kimbark

Transportation: bus / walking distance from south campus

Phone: 773.363.0505

Opportunities: Volunteers are needed for Preschool/After School program for children up to 6th grade, a hot meal program and 3 food distribution programs, maintaining the outdoor community gardens and greenhouse, and the youth program with a gym.

Hyde Park Food Pantry

Location: 56th and Woodlawn

Contact: Marlene Vellinga or Jay Mulberry

Phone: 773.363.0242 / 773.288.1242

Opportunity: Volunteers are needed to: (1) help unload groceries for the First Food Pantry at Hyde Park Union Church on the first Tuesday morning of each month; and (2) help with food distribution every Saturday morning.

Jackson Park Advisory Council Environmental Stewardship Program

Location: 6401 S. Stony Island

Opportunity: JPAC has volunteer workdays (10 am to 1 pm) on the second and fourth Saturday of each month, April through November. Volunteers remove invasive plants and help to maintain restored natural areas.

La Rabida Children’s Hospital

Location: 65th at the Lake

Transportation: La Rabida Shuttle from the University Medical Center

Contact: Judi Blakemore

Phone: 773.363.6700, ext. 5985


Opportunities: Work with children in a variety of programs weekdays and weekends.

Little Black Pearl

Location: 1060 E. 47th

Transportation: Walking distance

Phone: 773.385.1211

Opportunities: Afternoon Tutoring for high school aged students in a variety of subjects.

The Living Room Café

Location: 6422 S. Cottage Grove

Transportation: Cottage Grove bus / walking distance from south campus

Phone: 773.643.6018, ext. 204

Opportunities: The Living Room Cafe is a not-for-profit organization which welcomes homeless men, women, and children of South Side Chicago’s Woodlawn Community with nourishment and resources into an atmosphere of caring and respect. Volunteers assist in preparing and serving meals, cleaning, and computer training programs.

STRIVE Tutoring

Location: 5001 S. Ellis

Transportation: Walking distance


Opportunity: Tutoring for grades 1-12. Mon 6:30-8:00, Tues-Fri 3:00-5:00, and Sat 10:00-noon.

University of Chicago Medical Center

Location: On campus
Phone: 773.702.4421
Opportunities: Playing with children in the Children’s Playroom, cuddling newborn babies, companionship for adult patients, distributing books and magazines, assisting hospital staff with computer projects and clerical work, assisting families in the Surgery Waiting lounge, advocacy for sexual assault survivors.

Washington Park Youth Program

Location: On campus and Washington Park Fieldhouse

Phone: 312.565.0257, ext. 223

Commitment: Two hours per week for most programs, one time general training session required of new volunteers

Opportunities: Both weekly and weekend reading, tutoring, and mentoring programs for kids pre-K through high school

For a listing of these and other local community organizations, visit the Hyde Park/Kenwood Community Conference.