Volunteers: The Life Blood of Charities

For the millions of nonprofit organizations and charities across the United States, volunteers are the driving force behind their missions: to make life better for others, safeguard natural resources, further medical research, and so much more. They provide direct services, raise essential funds, serve on boards, and advocate for policy changes. They are often extensions of a small and stretched staff. In fact, volunteers are so essential to our society that President Richard Nixon first proclaimed National Volunteer Week as the third week in April in 1974.

During National Volunteer Week 2022 (April 17 – 23) we are highlighting opportunities to volunteer or otherwise support some of our favorite client nonprofit organizations or charities.


Alzheimer’s Association

Worldwide, 55 million people are living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. In the United States, 6.5 million Americans live with the disease, and that number is projected to rise to nearly 13 million by 2050. The Alzheimer’s Association is the world’s leading nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research – accelerating the field toward solutions for the global Alzheimer’s crisis.

Volunteers can make an impact in a variety of ways:

  • Participate in one of the annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s. In the Chicago area, they are four walks held in the fall.
  • Sign up for clinical trials.
  • Share your time and skills! You can be an advocate by calling, emailing or writing your representatives, you can attend events on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association or donate your time helping with a range of technical, educational or other needs at your local chapter.


Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Donor Network

More than 106,000 men, women and children on are the national organ transplant waiting list, and 17 of them die each day waiting for an organ. Gift of Hope coordinates organ and tissue donation and provides public education on donation throughout Illinois and northwest Indiana. The organization works with 180 hospitals in its network, saving the lives of more than 26,000 individual since 1986.

Volunteers can make an impact in a variety of ways:


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Chimps in Need

There are currently 10 chimpanzees living at a closed refuge in California who urgently need new homes at accredited chimpanzee sanctuaries. Chimps in Need is running an emergency fundraising campaign endorsed by Jane Goodall to rescue and rehome the remaining chimps to sanctuaries where they will thrive. You can donate on their website.


Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum

For 160 years the scientists at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum has worked to develop a deeper understanding of regional plant and animal species, identifying environmental threats and conserve and restore threatened populations. They’re working to protect locally important butterflies, bees, frogs and engaging kids across the city in nature-based STEM learning programs.

Volunteers can work with birds, butterflies or in overall conservation!



Cradles to Crayons

In the United States, 2 of 5 children live at or below 200% of the poverty level. These families struggle to pay for rent and groceries, and often can’t afford anything else. Basic items for their children – clothes that fit, shoes, a coat – are simply not easily attained. Cradles to Crayons works to fill this critical yet overlooked need.

In-person volunteer activities will begin in the fall with the opening of the new Giving Factory. In the meantime, you can collect gently used clothing items, serve as a Cradles 2 Crayons ambassador, a help in the warehouse. Visit the website to learn more information.


AIDS Foundation Chicago

AIDS Foundation Chicago has led the fight for health equity and justice for people with or impacted by HIV and AIDS. The foundation’s work centers around case management, housing and advocacy in Springfield, Washington, D.C. and around the world.

There are many ways to be involved with AFC including participating in the annual AIDS Run & Walk Chicago, as part of a fundraising team taking part in endurance events such as the Chicago Marathon, joining the AFC board or being an advocate for those living with HIV and AIDS.


PCI’s team works with and volunteers for many clients and organizations that make a difference in their communities and the world. Email lets_talk@pcipr.com to connect with us.


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