Think back on when you were eight years old, or 12, or 16. Can you remember a woman besides your mother who shaped you? Can you see traces of that person in who you are now? All kids need adults who make them feel heard and special. They need examples of who they want to be. If you remember a woman who made you feel special, consider paying that gift forward.
There are many programs throughout the city whose mission in one way or another is to help young girls become confident young women. If you believe in the power of being Rebellious—claiming your uniqueness and strength—use one of these opportunities to help a young rebelle come into her own.
For LGBTQ Rebelles
Project Fierce Chicago works with LGBTQ-identified young adults experiencing homelessness by providing transitional housing and support services. They’re looking for volunteers to “do everything from organizing fundraisers and creating social media to cleaning the house monthly, collecting donations, and compiling research.” Learn more at projectfierce.org.
For Rebelles Volunteering with Their Families
The Honeycomb Project allows you to volunteer with your family. According to their website, their “projects help at-risk, homeless, and low-income individuals and families, and improve natural and recreational areas in under-served and impoverished neighborhoods.” Learn more at thehoneycombproject.org.
For Musical Rebelles
Girls Rock Chicago offers multiple week-long summer camps for girls, transgender (any identity) and gender-nonconforming youth ages 8 to 16. The camps are entirely volunteer staffed. They also need volunteers to help with “fundraising, outreach and events in the months leading up to camp. Past volunteers have done everything from working security shifts at summer music festivals, to teaching drums at camp and photographing our End-of-Camp Extravaganza performance.” Learn more atgirlsrockchicago.org.
For Rebelles Who Like to Run
Girls on the Run (GOTR) works with girls from the 3rd through 9th grades to “inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” They use a mix of conversation and running games to teach life skills and, of course, encourage kids to be active. Volunteer as a coach or assist with general GOTR activities. Learn more atgotrchicago.org.
For Rebelles Still Unsure
If you’re not ready to make a commitment, check out Chicago Cares, a well-established organization that partners with schools, parks and nonprofits who are unable to consistently organize volunteers by themselves to create custom projects. They run a calendar of volunteer opportunities where you can find one-time events for a variety of organizations.
Chicago Cares’ Marketing and Communications Manager, Alexandra Baird, is passionate about the role of volunteering in creating a healthier city.
“At Chicago Cares, we believe in the power of volunteering to transform the city. We dream of a Chicago where we celebrate the qualities and heritage that makes each neighborhood (and each person) unique, while recognizing we have more in common than we think. To make this happen, we use the volunteer experience, which gives people an opportunity to work face-to-face and side-by-side with someone they may not otherwise have met, and break down barriers and stereotypes. In the process, they help people in need, and set our city on a better path.”
Have a project or organization you feel strongly about? Tell us about it!
(Photo of girls with dance shirts thanks to Taz + Belly.)