About Chicago Cares

Chicago Cares creates volunteer experiences that connect people and communities to meet critical needs and build a stronger Chicago.


Founded by Leslie Bluhm and Mary Prchal in 1991, Chicago Cares is the city’s leading nonprofit service organization that has mobilized 500,000 volunteers to meet Chicago’s most challenging needs.

As the only nonprofit that comprehensively addresses diverse issue areas—from hunger to education to job readiness—through volunteerism, we have revolutionized the way people take ownership of our city and the way problems are solved. In just over two decades, we’ve grown, we’ve evolved and we’ve nimbly shifted with the needs of communities, nonprofits and volunteers. In the process, we have created tens of thousands of programs that foster civic engagement by educating and empowering volunteers to be agents of change.