I loved everything from the mix of students, instructors, and volunteers, to the field trips to the zoo and art museums, and everything in between. 



Volunteering at 826CHI

Our troops of dedicated, playful, and brilliant volunteers are the backbone of our organization. Volunteers make our work possible and help us reach over 3,000 students in Chicago each year. Volunteers lead original workshops, design covers for chapbooks of student writing, provide homework support, and serve as lead agents in our storefront.

Whether you are looking to volunteer once a week, once a month, or once a semester, we are thrilled to have your support whenever you can offer it.

Apply to Volunteer

  1. Fill out the brief volunteer application below
  2. Complete a criminal background check.
  3. Attend a New Volunteer Orientation.

For questions, email volunteers@826chi.org

Volunteer Focus Areas

After-School Tutoring

Help students with their homework, reading, and writing. Volunteers work with students individually and in small groups during tutoring at 826CHI.



Support teachers by providing students individualized help with classroom writing projects. Sessions happen in Chicago Public Schools.


Field Trips

Support students in small groups on writing, drafting, and publishing projects during thematic Field Trips at 826CHI.


Writing Workshops

Design and co-lead thematic creative writing workshops, or serve as Teacher's Assistants at 826CHI and in community centers across Chicago.


Events & Outreach

Serve as an ambassador for 826CHI at fundraisers, volunteer gatherings, student readings, and other events at 826CHI and across Chicago.


Store Ambassador

Share the mission and story of 826CHI with visitors to the store while ringing up sales and soliciting donations at the Wicker Park Secret Agent Supply.


Translation Cohort

Donate your professional Spanish language writing skills to translate student writing, marketing materials, and translate during meetings.


Design Cohort

Lend your professional design, illustration, photography, and art skills to support a wide variety of online and print projects.


Editing Cohort

Offer your professional editing skills to support student publishing projects like the Young Authors Book Project, Chapbooks, or marketing materials.



Join our team

826CHI seeks a group of enthusiastic, dedicated interns for semester or yearlong terms who will collaborate with our staff, volunteers, and fellow interns. Interns participate in all aspects of 826CHI and have the opportunity to conduct individual projects based on personal skills and interests.


826CHI seeks a group of enthusiastic, dedicated interns for semester or yearlong terms who will collaborate with our staff, volunteers, and fellow interns. Interns participate in all aspects of 826CHI and have the opportunity to conduct individual projects based on personal skills and interests.

826CHI interns commit to 15-25 hours per week of experience in one of the focus areas listed below. In addition to their focus areas, all interns assist in our programs, our storefront (the Secret Agent Supply), at our front desk, and at 826CHI events.

Spring internships begin mid-February and continue through mid-July. Application deadline: January 31st, 2020.

Summer internships begin in June/July and continue through August. Application deadline: March 22nd, 2020.

Applications for our 2019-2020 internships are now open! 

Find more info about Education,

General Admin, and PR/Events internships here!

Have questions? Email david@826chi.org.

Focus Areas

Interns support 826CHI’s efforts across the organization and also have the opportunity to focus on a specific area relevant to their interests. Internship tracks include:

Education Internship
After School Tutoring & Writing
Field Trips Storyteller
Field Trips Sketch Artist
In-Schools & Workshops

General Admin Internships
Social Entrepreneurship
Non-Profit Development
Non-Profit Management
Non-Profit Management - Executive
Volunteer Management & Recruitment

Email David at david@826chi.org with any questions.


Join the 826CHI Associate Board

Our Associate Board is a group of volunteers committed to spreading awareness of 826CHI’s mission, organizing multiple fundraisers throughout the year (including an annual cocktail gala), and financially supporting the organization.

Associate Board membership is a unique way to contribute to a better Chicago while strengthening personal leadership skills. It comes with memorable social events, the opportunity to volunteer in support of our students, and meaningful relationships with fellow young professionals.

Interested in becoming a member?

Email AB@826chi.org to find out about our next open house and application process.


Careers at 826CHI

All chapters of the 826 Network were named in GOOD Magazine’s 30 Places We Want to Work. If you are interested in working at 826CHI, stay tuned for future opportunities!

There are currently no positions available but when ones open up we will post listings here.


826CHI is seeking an inspired leader who embodies 826CHI’s values and motivates the larger community to execute the mission. The Executive Director (ED) has overall strategic and operational responsibility for 826CHI’s staff, programs, expansion, and execution of its organizational goals. The ED leads 826CHI’s Leadership and Operations Teams.


Commitment to Inclusion

As an organization committed to encouraging youth in their creative expression, personal growth, and academic success, 826CHI recognizes the importance of diversity at all levels and in all aspects of our work. In order to build and maintain the safe, supportive environment in which great leaps of learning occur, we commit to inclusion: We will not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, ethnicity, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, nationality, marital status, English fluency, parental status, military service or disability.