Willow’s local Compassion and Justice efforts are making an impact throughout Chicagoland to bring the hope and help of Jesus to every individual. Come alongside change-makers who fight injustice, empower the under-resourced, and create sustainable, holistic long-term solutions in their area of expertise by engaging in the many local serving opportunities available at each campus.
We partner with 80 schools and nonprofits across Chicagoland to bring help and hope to those in need. Wherever you live, and whatever your passion, you can make a difference! Choose a one-time serve opportunity happening this July and August or sign up for an ongoing volunteer role with one of our local partners below.
Luv Institute | From mentoring and helping with events to crafting social media content to keep everyone updated on our work and impact, there is an opportunity to match your interests. Consider joining us and sharing your talent and experience to support this important work. Contact: [email protected].
5Loaves | Serve with us at our weekly Sunday morning breakfast and Bible study discussion which encourages relational connection and spiritual growth for individuals experiencing homelessness and life transition. Gatherings are Sundays, 8:00 a.m. at 1319 S. State Street.
Breakthrough Urban Ministries | Volunteer with the Manna Ministry to prepare and serve a meal to individuals living in their homeless facility. Email to learn more.
Pen Pal Ministry | Become a prison pen pal: Offer encouragement and hope to someone incarcerated through consistent correspondence. Email to learn more.
John B. Drake Elementary School | Serve as dedicated mentors to assist students with their math and reading skills every Tuesday from 4-5:30 p.m onsite at Drake Elementary, starting Tuesday, October 1.
Breakthrough Urban Ministries | Breakthrough Youth Network: Help coach kids in team sports, assist with fitness activities, or help facilitate athletic events. Sign up for a serving opportunity here.
Cradles to Crayons | Cradles to Crayons believes that one day every child will have the essentials they need to feel safe, warm, ready to learn, and valued.
As a volunteer, together we fulfill this vision and can make sure Chicagoland’s most under-served kids have everything they need to thrive—at home, at school, and at play.
Our volunteers—both adults and children—power our mission. When you volunteer with us, you join thousands of service-oriented individuals who have already made a significant impact in our community. Sign up to volunteer here.
Crystal Lake Food Pantry | Join the Willow Crystal Lake team who serves on the third and fifth Thursday evenings, 4:40-7 p.m., of each month as we help meet the needs of those who are food insecure.
Email to learn more.
Chicago Angels | Be a part of the community that supports families hosting kids through foster care. Email to learn more.
Habitat for Humanity | Be a part of the McHenry home building projects as WCL partners with Habitat for Humanity! Email to learn more.
Community Care Center | Learn ways to engage our community members who are unsheltered or at risk by serving at our care center on the 1st and 3rd Fridays from 10 a.m.–12 p.m. Email to learn more.
Homeless ministry drive | Contribute items of high need in the homeless community
Become a prison pen pal | Offer encouragement and hope to someone incarcerated through consistent correspondence. Email to learn more.
Kids Hope USA | Invest your lunch hour one day a week to make a lasting difference in the life of an at-risk child by becoming a Kids Hope Mentor. Email to learn more.
Refuge for Women | Connect and care for women who have escaped human trafficking or sexual exploitation. Email to learn more.
Safe Families | Provide short-term care in your home or play other supportive role for the child of a family in crisis. Email Teri Altpeter to get started!
Community Garden | Help grow and harvest 1000s of pounds of fresh produce to support our local food pantry. Teams serve on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays from 8 a.m.–12 p.m. Email Shannon Swift to get started.
FISH Food Pantry | Volunteers will help in a variety of ways at the food pantry to help prepare the food that will be distributed to families. Email [email protected] for information.
Grafton Food Pantry | Help is always needed at our local food pantry in Grafton. Consider donating food or gift cards to local grocery stores for people who don’t otherwise has the resources to feed themselves. Email Shannon Swift to learn more.
Community Resource Days | Cook a meal, volunteer as a host, sort clothing, fix bicycles, cut hair, play music, talk to guests. Email
[email protected] for information.
Pen Pal Ministry | Become a prison pen pal: Offer encouragement and hope to someone incarcerated through consistent correspondence. Email Renee Lozowski to get started.
Kids Hope USA | Invest your lunch hour one day a week to make a lasting difference in the life of an at-risk child by becoming a Kids Hope Mentor. Or join our team as a prayer partner! Email Lynne Sell to learn more.
Stepping Stones | Help women who are trafficking survivors. Email Deb DaSilva to get started.
New Name Ministries | Outreach to at-risk women and girls in the northern suburbs (female volunteers) or participate in Helpline Call Center targeting male clients for intervention (male volunteers). Email Deb DaSilva to learn more.
Christ 24/7 After-School Program | We are looking for volunteers for our Summer Program, to be with our students from noon – 3pm on certain days in July. This program is meant to be a safe place for 25 or more students while school is out. No experience needed, just an interest or passion in being around students and helping with some activities this summer! For more information email [email protected].
Safe Families | Provide short-term care in your home or play other supportive role for the child of a family in crisis. Email Anika to learn more.
A Just Harvest | Serve a meal at this soup kitchen in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. (Ages 12+) Email Kim to learn more.
C24/7 | Help us provide groceries for families with food insecurity in Rogers Park, Chicago! Grocery donations are ongoing and can be delivered any time to Willow North Shore, 2200 Shermer Rd, Glenview IL. Drop-off outside entrances A and D. Email Deb DaSilva with any questions!
UR Chicago Job Development Program | Serve as a mentor or trainer and help individuals in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood escape poverty through employment. Email [email protected] or call: 773-344-8166.
Pen Pal Ministry | Become a prison pen pal: Offer encouragement and hope to someone incarcerated through consistent correspondence. Email Kathrine to get started.
Exodus World Service | Help newly arrived refugees get settled into their new Chicagoland homes. Email Bridget to get started.
C24/7 | Tutor and encourage kids in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood after-school program targeting at-risk kids, ages 7 to 12. Email Jenn to learn more.
UR Chicago Alliance | Serve as a mentor or trainer and help individuals in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood escape poverty through employment. Email Deb DaSilva to learn more.
Safe Families | Family Friends: provide friendship and support to parents and host families through getting together, encouragement, transportation, hot meals, babysitting in Host Families homes, helping single moms move into a new apartmemt, etc. Host Families: are screened and approved by SFFC to host children for short periods of time (average length is 6 weeks, can range from 2 days to 1 year). Resource Friends: give tangible items to families such as groceries or cleaning goods as needed. Family Coaches walk alongside parents to help them reach their goals as well as support volunteers
Ministry Lead / Ambassadors: promotes and facilitates volunteer service in their churches or community groups. Email [email protected] to learn more.
Help refurbish computers that are distributed to families in need and to partner organizations locally and globally.
The Computer Connection Ministry refurbishes computers, which are then given to Care Center guests who are actively looking for a job with our Employment Services ministry. In addition, desktops and laptops are distributed to our partner organizations around the world. Computers are donated by individuals and companies in our community.
If you are interested in serving, the Computer Connection ministry welcomes anyone who has an aptitude or energy to help. Volunteers have a variety of experience levels enabling a great learning and serving environment. The Computer Connection ministry meets from 8 a.m.–10 a.m.. every Saturday in Room F182. If you are interested, sign up as a Computer Connection volunteer.
The Willow Creek Care Center offers dozens of volunteer opportunities for individuals, groups, and families! Click here to learn more.
Join the Fight
Fight against the trafficking and exploitation of people in our community, the Chicagoland area, and around the world.
The Anti-Human Trafficking Ministry exists to raise awareness about the issue of human trafficking as well as fight against exploitation of people through training, collaboration and mobilization.
Educational and Serving Events
Newsletter and Serving Opportunities
For general information and a complete listing of partner anti-human trafficking organizations, email [email protected].
If someone has been victimized by human trafficking or would like to report suspicious behavior, call Salvation Army Stop-It Program, a 24 hour hotline at 877-606-3158.
Assist job seekers in their search for employment through one-on-one counseling sessions and workshops focused on topics such as resumes and interviewing.
Getting a job can transform someone’s life, enabling a family to move toward greater stability. The Employment Services ministry helps guests navigate the journey to employment through classes, workshops and one-on-one counseling. As an Employment volunteer, you will come alongside job seekers to offer support as they work toward their goal of finding a job.
Employment Services relies on a team of skilled volunteers who serve in two roles:
Employment counseling takes place in-person by appointment at the Willow Cafe on Wednesdays from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. , as well as by virtual or phone call appointment during a variety of times.
Employment classes and workshops are held virtually on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. during a scheduled format throughout the year.
If you are interested, sign up as an Employment Services volunteer.
Homelessness Ministry | Serve alongside organizations that provide temporary shelter and offer solutions to eliminate homelessness in the Chicagoland area. Prepare meals, build friendships, and offer hope through partners such as Journeys-the Road Home, Wayside Cross, Home of the Sparrow and others offering emergency, temporary, long-term housing solutions. To learn more, email [email protected].
Habitat for Humanity ReStore Elgin | Help ReStore process donations, assemble furniture, sort hardware. Email [email protected] or call: 847-742-9905.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore Arlington Heights | Help ReStore process donations, assemble furniture, sort hardware. Email [email protected] or call: 847-742-9905.
Serve anyone currently or previously incarcerated, or has an incarcerated family member/friend through a variety of supportive programs.
The Prison, Jail and Re-entry Ministry offers support to anyone currently or previously incarcerated, or has an incarcerated family member/friend. Our team of volunteers are committed to loving, encouraging and remembering justice-impacted individuals and their families. Over the last 20 years, this ministry has expanded to serving at over ten facilities consistently throughout each month.
There are several opportunities to engage with the Prison, Jail and Re-entry Ministry. Check the calendar below for upcoming events.
If you’d like to be included on our monthly e-news which lists all upcoming events, please subscribe HERE.
Click HERE if you are interested in volunteering with the Prison, Jail and Re-entry Ministry.
For questions, email [email protected].
Serve the refugee community in Chicagoland through a variety of one-time and consistent volunteer opportunities with our partner organizations.
Chicagoland is one of the largest refugee and immigrant resettlement areas in the country. We have the opportunity to welcome our new neighbors and walk alongside them as they adjust to their new life in America. The Refugee & Immigrant Ministry seeks to assist in restoring futures for the multitude of displaced survivors who are rebuilding their lives.
The Refugee & Immigrant Ministry partners with several local organizations that provide services for the resettled and displaced: Devon Oasis Center, Exodus World Service, Viator House of Hospitality, and World Relief DuPage/Aurora. To learn more about our partners and the available volunteer roles click on their name. The easiest way to move forward is to visit their website, click on the link for volunteering, and fill out the volunteer application. Each organization has their own unique list of needs and their own robust process for assimilating new volunteers. Opportunities from airport pick-up to mentoring and building friendships are all important roles in welcoming people to our community.
And if you’d just like to stay in-the-loop on one-time or occasional serving, learning, or road-trip possibilities, just email us at [email protected] and we’ll add you to our e-news list!
For questions, email [email protected].
Children and teens are facing ever-increasing challenges as they navigate the impact of poverty and instability in their homes and communities. As we read about growing numbers of trauma cases, abuse, and neglect, Willow Creek wants to be a church that is supportive to everyone involved in this rewarding, transformative and challenging process of fostering, mentoring or adopting.
If you are considering adoption or if you are looking to support others through the adoption process, email [email protected] to get connected.
If you are considering becoming a foster family and would like to talk with someone about next steps, we can connect you with a mentor to help support you. Email [email protected] for more information.
Willow partners with Safe Families for Children, a nonprofit organization that surrounds families in crisis with a compassionate community. Safe Families creates an extended family-like support network for families through volunteers who are motivated by faith to keep children safe and families intact. The goal is always to reunite families.
If you are a current Safe Family, we can provide you with resources through the Care Center, and offer support and encouragement through your journey.
If you would like to learn more or become a Safe Family and host a child or assist those hosting, email [email protected] to learn about upcoming information sessions and training.
Are you a mentor or someone who can build into the lives of children? Check out volunteering with some of our community partners who care deeply about children susceptible to the problems facing under-resourced neighborhoods.
Fox Valley Christian Action has served children and families living in low-income neighborhoods communities in Elgin, Carpentersville and Aurora. Every summer FVCA provides the opportunity for hundreds of children and teens from low-income communities to come to summer camp at no-cost to their families. Extended leadership development programs for at-risk teens also exist throughout the year.
For the Children (a.k.a. Royal Family Kids Camp & Mentoring) The Royal Family KIDS Camp & Mentoring program includes skills mastery, character building, and fun for children who are in foster care — plus individualized attention from trained adults who are effective role models. Research shows even one school year of commitment makes a difference—and children from the most difficult situations benefit the most from mentoring.
Community & Support
Willow provides tangible support through our Care Center and a network of like-minded families and organizations. Ruth Project is a ministry based in Elgin supporting foster families, Safe Families and new adoptions. Email [email protected] for more information.
Kids Hope USA | Invest your lunch hour one day a week to make a lasting difference in the life of an at-risk child by becoming a mentor at Twain Elementary School, our local school partner. Email Scott Woods to learn more.
Naomi’s House | For women, volunteers start as a “Tour Guide” driving the women residents to appointments; the schedule is extremely flexible, volunteers may choose more than 1x per week or as little as 1x per month throughout the day/evening. After 6 months, you may move to teaching classes for these beautiful women. Finally, there is an opportunity to actually work as a Spiritual Mentor 1:1. Mentors meet 2x’s per month. For men, there are opportunities to do outdoor yard projects 3x’s per year. Email to get started.
Northern Illinois Food Bank | If Willow Wheaton is your church family, we ask all to serve at their state-of-the-art Geneva location 1x per year to understand the scale of food insecurity in DuPage County, and to get inspired by how many people from all walks of life come together to tackle hunger. Email to learn more.
People’s Resource Center | PRC addresses community needs such as: food security, education/tutoring, creative arts, job placement and training, and other seasonal needs such as coat and backpack drives. Email to learn more.
Wheaton Care Center | Willow Wheaton’s Monthly Food Pantry at Wheaton Academy on the second Wednesday of the month from 5–7 p.m. This is an awesome intro to serving for families and all ages of kiddos too! Parents, this is the best way to teach your kids about hunger and that your children can actually change the world just by helping feed our neighbors. Email to learn more.
Versiti Monthly Blood Drive | DuPage County needs blood! COVID has caused a severe shortage in the US blood supply—give blood, save lives. Email with questions.
JUST of DuPage | Volunteers from all walks of life are equipped to serve with men and women both inside and outside DuPage County Correctional Facility. Classes are 1x per week in 8 – 12 week rounds, we ask for a 2 semester commitment. Volunteers are partnered with experienced leaders and always work in pairs; men teach men, women teach women, married couples who may teach either/both. Storybook is a literacy program that grows the family bond between dads and their kids, and moms and their kids too, volunteers work on the outside to get recordings mailed to kids 1x – 2x per month for 2 hours. Email to get started.
Outreach Community Ministries | OCM serves local youth and many other vulnerable populations in our community. There are currently tutoring opportunities to on most weekdays with start times between 3:30–4:30 p.m. Serve is 1x per week throughout the school year, we ask for a 1-year commitment. This is a great opportunity for people as young as high school students to help kids in our community reach their goals, like being the first person in their family to go to college! Email to get started.
WeGo Together for Kids | Our school partner in West Chicago is doing incredible work in the community by building an alliance of partners across Chicagoland. They have multiple opportunities to serve as tutors or various supply drive distributions like school backpacks. They also need volunteers who can serve as advisors on Steering Committees as they move into a season of growth. Spanish-speaking/bilingual for some serves is helpful, but definitely not required. Email to learn more.