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Chicago Volunteer Expo

The Chicago Volunteer Expo is back for its second year – and it’s free!

We all know that volunteering is a good thing to do. Altruism, right? Helping those in need. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, doesn’t it? I bet you’ve even made a new year’s resolution to give back to your community at some point. But where do you start with a goal like that?

Let me make this easy for you. Come to the Chicago Volunteer Expo this Sunday, February 16, 10 am to 4 pm, at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, 2430 N Cannon Dr. It’s a one-stop shop for meaningful volunteer opportunities.

You’ll meet representatives from over 100 nonprofit organizations who are looking for smart, talented volunteers. My own institution, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, has a stellar volunteer program and is hosting the Expo. Our volunteers care for live animals like snakes and turtles, preserve fossils and other historic collections, and educate our visitors about nature and science. And we’re always looking for more help!

If nature isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Maybe you’re passionate about social justice or women’s issues. Or what about literacy? That seems important. Puppies and kittens? I could go on and on, but it might be better to just check out the list of over 100 organizations on our website. There are so many ways to help out and so many needs to be met. I know you’ll find one that’s right for you.

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Throughout the day we’ll be hosting talks to get you inspired to volunteer in new and different ways:
11:00 “The Power of National Service in Illinois”
12:00 “Volunteering as a Family”
1:00 “Social Media and Party Planning For a Cause”
2:00 “Meet Matt: A Volunteer of All Trades”
3:00 “How to Turn a Volunteer Gig into a Paying Job”
3:30 “A Day in the Life of a Nature Museum Volunteer”

You can even start volunteering that very day! Sit down for 15 minutes at the speed volunteering table and help New Life for Old Bags upcycle plastic grocery bags into sleeping mats for the homeless.

The only question now is how will you get to the Volunteer Expo on Sunday? We’ve got you covered there, too. Uber has offered free rides to or from the Expo to any first-time users. Enter the code Volunteer14 when you sign up to take advantage of this great offer.

And not to jinx anything, but the weather forecast is in the 30s. Can you even remember how warm that feels? Get out of the house, sign up to volunteer, and soak up some nature while you’re at it.

Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter and bring your friends along too! See you Sunday.

— Jill Doub, Manager of Volunteers at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

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