Those headed to the UIC Forum on Saturday will not be drawn to the expo there for food or music but out of hearts seeking to serve others. The free, six-hour event, the Global Activism Expo, features nearly 100 nonprofit organizations that bolster communities and make social change. We’ve scoped out these Chicago-area organizations that will be showcased at the expo and that are in need volunteers, giving you the chance to make an impact right away.
Get Bike-Handy and Earth-Friendly: If it wasn’t for the Working Bikes Cooperative, Chicago would have thousands of rusty metal chains, cogs and other random bicycle parts in its landfills. Instead, thousands of bicycles have been shipped to Latin America and Africa for people who rely on the bikes as their only mode of transportation. Other bikes are redistributed to charities throughout the Chicago area while still others go through a refurbishing process so they can be resold to help run Working Bikes, which houses its two-wheel machines in a massive 22,000-square-foot warehouse, display and shop space in Little Village. As far as volunteers, anyone with an interest in helping out the organization can drop by and learn new bike repair skills from Working Bikes’ half-dozen mechanics. Or they can contribute on the administrative side. “We don’t have any specific requirements,” says Raul Gonzalez, the general manager at Working Bikes, of the volunteers. “We really have open hands when it comes to needs. Just drop by. You can walk in and help put working bikes in motion.”
Volunteer hours: 5 pm – 9 pm Tuesdays, noon-7 pm Wednesdays, noon – 5 pm Saturdays.