Department of Family & Support Services
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The Light Up Chicago Volunteer Program

Light Up Chicago Volunteer Program

The Light Up Chicago Volunteer Program is conducting a citywide search for Chicagoans with civic minds, warm hearts, and helping hands available to assist senior citizens. Chicago's senior community is just as diverse as the city itself. Depending on your interests, skills, and availability, the Chicago Department of Family & Support Services offers various volunteer opportunities.

Administrative Assistance

With volunteer support, our services can reach more seniors. Those who are interested in volunteering at their neighborhood Senior Center and are available weekdays (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.) to assist programming and other office tasks should contact us at 312.742.6455.

Senior Health Insurance Program (SHIP)

SHIP volunteers provide one-on-one insurance counseling at locations throughout the city. Volunteers can set their own schedules for counseling appointments (8:30 to 4:30). Detailed insurance training and materials will be provided.

Senior Medicare Patrol

The Chicago Department of Family & Support Services' Medicare Patrol (SMP) educates senior audiences on how to avoid, detect and report Medicare fraud and abuse. This program is currently in need of volunteer speakers to share this message with Chicago audiences. If you enjoy meeting new people and exchanging helpful information, this may be the opportunity for you!

Title: Senior Medicare Patrol Volunteer

Service Site: Various Chicago senior group and clubs

CDoSS Coordinators: Mike Byrnes, SMP Coordinator
Martha Romero, Volunteer Services Coordinator

Program Description: Volunteers raise awareness about fraud and abuse in the Medicare system. They educate their peers about the latest healthcare scams and steps that seniors can take to avoid this type of fraud. After receiving training, volunteers give presentations monthly to senior groups in the Chicago area. Most presentations occur during weekdays. Volunteer scheduling is flexible.

Responsibilities: Shadow one current volunteer for at least two presentations. Deliver one presentation per month. Maintain communication with SMP Coordinator. Attend annual in-service training.

Skills Required: Applicants must have strong public speaking skills and ability to explain new concepts to a senior audience.

Benefits: Volunteers with the Senior Medicare Patrol enjoy meeting new people each month, build their presentation skills, and learn about how to protect themselves and others from Medicare fraud.

To pursue this volunteer opportunity, please call Martha Romero at 312.743.1207.

Service Learning

Here is an opportunity for Chicago Public High School students looking for an educational, interesting and important place to fulfill their 40-hour service learning requirement and build valuable interpersonal skills. We can match high school students with one of our five community-based Regional Senior Centers just minutes from home or school. Once on board, students will help seniors from their own neighborhood; assisting with meal service, office administration, or other program activities. High school service learning coaches are urged to contact us for details on placing students with a nearby senior center.

Special Events

The Chicago Department of Family & Support Services hosts a number of special events throughout the year that require the support of volunteers. These one-time events, usually held during daytime hours, rely on volunteer assistance with everything from refreshment service, ushering, event set-up and more. This is a perfect opportunity for retiree groups! Contact us at 312.746.5683.