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Welcome to National Service Month 2020!​​

​We are pleased to announce this year’s TCSPP National Service Month volunteer opportunities for the Online, Chicago, D.C., Texas, Xavier and SoCal campuses! All staff, faculty, students, and alumni are welcome to attend! Out of concern for the safety of our volunteers, we are going to undertake this year’s National Service Month virtually. We are excited to meet uncertain times with generosity and kindness, connecting our wonderful supporters with those who need us most. 

​​​Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s opportunities are oriented around making an impact virtually. We have arranged two groups of volunteering opportunities. 

  1. ​​The below selection is full of opportunities which we as a community can participate in together during specific times via Zoom. Events are open to all campuses but some may require you to mail in your donation.
  2. ​​Once you have identified the cause you wish to participate in, please fill out the Zoom Signup form located at the bottom of ​each event, indicate which opportunity you are interested in, and a link to the info session will be emailed to you during October.​

  3. The initiatives in the Supported Causes packet cover opportunities which can be accessed online all throughout October, allowing volunteers t​o contribute in ways and at times which work best for them. Once you have participated in a Supported Cause, please use the Attendance Survey so we know the extent of our impact! 
  4. ​​Click here ​to view the Supported Causes

We look forward to hearing your success stories as we work together to better our communities across the nation!

Have questions about Service Month? Please contact Ben Fisk in Human Resources, bfisk@thechicagoschool.edu​ 

View past service month events:

Virtual National Service M​onth Events


About: Illumination Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3), provides targeted, interdisciplinary services for the most vulnerable homeless adults and children to disrupt the cycle of homelessness. More than 55,000 people are homeless in Southern California each year – 32,000 children are part of that number. 


Toy Drive

Illumination Foundation's Children and Family program provides housing, educational support, and behavioral health services to Southern California families who are experiencing homelessness. The goal of this year's Toy Drive is to collect 300 toys for children in our program. Parents will get the opportunity to "shop" through our toy donations and choose a gift for each of their children. With your support, we can bring holiday cheer to our community's most vulnerable families. Visit the Amazon Wish List to donate a toy through our virtual Toy Drive. ​

Donate Therapeutic Activities - COVID-19 Response Items for Clients 

Illumination Foundation is serving more clients every day in order to serve the most vulnerable street homeless, keep them out of emergency rooms and under our high quality of care where prevention and physical and mental health are our key priorities.  Help provide therapeutic activities for individuals experiencing homelessness.   

  • Please visit ourAmazon Wish Listfor appropriate items to donate. These items will be received at our Orange HQ and distributed immediately to our clients who are sheltering in place at one of our locations. 

  • Additionally, we are accepting gently used and new books!  Please contact squinn@ifhomeless.org to schedule a donation drop off. 

Join Us: View the informational video here​.

Cli​ck here to fill out the attendance form.​


About: SoupMobile was founded in 2003 by David Timothy, a.k.a. SoupMan, on a wing and a lot of prayers. SoupMobile is different from traditional soup kitchens in that we are ‘mobile’ and take the food to areas where the homeless congregate. We are literally on the front lines in the war against hunger in Dallas, Texas. 

Donating Items: 

  • ​​Sandwiches: Meat & Cheese sandwiches. Each sandwich in an individual baggie. You can choose any one of #3 meat choices: Bologna, Ham or Turkey. American cheese only! Mustard only!  (Maximum number of sandwiches donated per family is #100 each week & maximum number of sandwiches per group is 500 each week). 
  • ​Cookies: Any kind --3 or 4 cookies in each baggie. Homemade or store bought is okay.  (No limit on amount of cookies donated) 
  • ​Chips: Any kind & individual sizes you can buy in stores.  (No limit on amount of chips donated) 
  • Face Masks: Sew or purchase masks & save Lives! Dallas has more than 10,000 homeless men and women. The vast majority do NOT have a mask. The SoupMobile is going to mask all of them. Help us collect 50,000 masks. They can be home sewn, or you can buy them on sites like amazon.com 

Donation Delivery Options: **Important Notice: Everyone coming to SoupMobile premises must wear a mask.  If you do not have a mask you can remain in your vehicle and pop the trunk & we will unload it for you. 

  • Donations can be dropped off Monday through Saturday from 8AM – 11AM   

  • Donations can be shipped to the following address  

Soup Mobile Church 

2423 S. Good Latimer, Dallas, Texas 75215 

Cli​ck here to fill out the attendance form.​

About: NAMI is the National Alliance on Mental Illness, the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. Started as a small group of families gathered around a kitchen table in 1979 has blossomed into the nation's leading voice on mental health. Today, they are an alliance of more than 600 local affiliates who work in your community to raise awareness and provide support and education that was not previously available to those in need. 

Date and Time: Saturday, October 10, 2020 

Description: It is a day when many of our NAMIWalks sites hold their event simultaneously across the country. For 

Fall NAMIWalks, that day is set for October 10, on World Mental Health Day. Anyone from virtually anywhere can participate. 

How to Participate:  

You can walk a 5K in your neighborhood -- or in your imagination. You can skip rope, bake a cake, sing a song, or make people laugh with a stand-up act. Depending on the local programming, you can watch livestreams or join in a mental health conversation with other like-minded crusaders. For virtual walks, here's a participant guide to show you how to take part in NAMIWalks from virtually anywhere 

Look through the list of NAMIWalks taking place on A National Day of Hope here. Choose a NAMIWalks to support and click register. You will receive the tools and information you need to get started. If you do not see your local community's walk, it may be scheduled on another date. Find all NAMIWalks here. 


Time commitment is at will and registration with TCSPP is not required. If participating in this event please let us know by filling out this form (voluntary). 


Improve Book share's Collection!

About: Bookshare makes reading easier. People with dyslexia, blindness, cerebral palsy, and other reading barriers can customize their experience to suit their learning style and find virtually any book they need for school, work, or the joy of reading.


  • Scan books: using your scanner and OCR software, scan books in RTF that we don't have in the collection. This is a remote volunteer opportunity!
  • Proofread scanned files: clean up scanned RTF files from other volunteers and format them. This can be done remotely!

How to Participate: Sign up for a book share account (click on the link below) and choose if you want to scan books or proofread the files. https://www.bookshare.org/cms/get-involved/volunteer​​

  • To Scan a book, please click here for some helpful link to get an instruction.
  • To Proofread scanned files please click here to get more information. ​


About: Hospice care is a specialized care that focuses on supporting you and your loved ones during an advanced illness. The emphasis is on comfort and quality of life, rather than finding a cure. Hospice care enables you to live each day to the fullest as comfortably and dignified as possible. Please note: The event is open to everyone on all campuses, but blankets will need to be shipped/drop off in Illinois.

Description: (2 options available)

  1. Making or donating washable blanket to donate to Veterans or Hospice patients. The Shawls or Blankets can be knitted, crocheted, quilted, or hand-tied-fleece in any colors or pattern. Fleece no sew tie blankets is suggested.
  2.  Red, White Blue (Lap) Blankets as well as LARGER sized Blankets to only honor the Veterans in our Hospice Program. **Please note that the Due Date to ship veterans' blankets is October 28 (Blankets should arrive before Oct 28).

How to Participate: The blankets can be made individually or as a group. Please make sure to label the blankets with your name to make it more personal for recipients. All material and cost of shipping the blankets to the office is at the cost of the volunteer.  Blankets can be shipped throughout the year.

Blankets can be shipped to the hospice center at:

Heartland Hospice Care
1110 W. Lake Cook Rd. Suite 130 Buffalo Grove, IL 60089 
Attention: Kathleen Kennedy


Join Us: View the infomational video here​.

Cli​ck here to fill out the attendance form.​

Materials to Bring on October 15th:

  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Fleece material (about two yards for an adult blanket)


Not able to attend on October 15th?

Watch this video to learn how to make a fleece no sew blanket:


Out of Darkness Walk Logo - Alpha.png

The Out of the Darkness Walks bring hundreds of thousands of people together through 400 annual events in all 50 states. The donations we collect will help The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to…
  • Fund scientific research
  • Offer educational programs for professionals
  • Educate the public about mood disorders and suicide prevention
  • Promote policies and legislation that impact suicide and prevention
  • Provide programs and resources for survivors of suicide loss and people at risk, and involve them in the work of the Foundation

TCSPP is a sponsor for this year's Out of the Darkness Walks, hosted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Traditionally, participants gather in person for a 5k (3-mile) walk in the fight against suicide. This year, we encourage you to get out in the community and safely walk - you choose your path and distance! Post your photos on social media and use the hashtags #TogetherToFightSuicide and #TCSPPOutoftheDarkness.
Participating cities and event dates are listed below. Since the event is virtual, you are not required to live in one of the listed cities in order to participate. 

No registration fee is required; however, you will receive an official Out of the Darkness Walk T-shirt with a minimum of $150 in donations collected.

Join Us:
Registration links are available below:

For questions about participation, please contact Alyse Faour, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations, at afaour@thechicagoschool.edu


About: The Anti-Cruelty Society is more than a shelter. We are a comprehensive animal welfare organization whose mission is to build a community of caring by helping pets and educating people. From our humble beginnings in 1899, we are now at the forefront of animal welfare and humane education. From our open-door philosophy to our commitment to find a home for every adoptable animal we provide compassionate care for any animal in need. 

​During this event, the Society’s Community Programs team will be teaching you how to use household materials to craft enrichment items for animals in need. During this time of social distancing, animals will appreciate extra enrichment to stay busy. The virtual crafting event is free to attend, but there is a suggested donation which can be made during the reservation. All ages are welcome! 

How to Participate: Join the virtual crafting crew on the date below, join a group on any Monday in October, or make a toy at your own convenience!  

Donation Delivery:
Donations can be dropped off or shipped to the 510 N LaSalle Dr Chicago, IL 60654 
*The drop off location is in Chicago, but the event is open to all*

Join Us:  We will be making dog tug toys on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 from 11:30 – 12:30 PM CDZoom. 

Materials to Bring on October 21st:

  • ​Scissors
  • T-shirt or fleece
Click here to view the instrcutional video


Not able to attend on October 21st?

You can attend a virtual Crafting Group on any Monday at 10AM CST throughout October. Click Here to Register.

If Interested in making other Items:

We also need animal enrichment items for our animals, so crafting DIY items and then donating them to the Society is always appreciated! If you are interested, and need materials, we can provide those during a curbside pick-up from the Society. Please contact Maggie to schedule a pickup date. 

Maggie Gleason 
Community Programs Specialist 
(312) 645-8099 | mgleason@anticruelty.org




About: Operation Gratitude is the largest nonprofit in the country for hands-on volunteerism in support of Military, Veterans, and First Responders. Since 2003, the organization has delivered more than 2.6 Million Care Packages and has provided opportunities for countless Americans to forge strong bonds with their Military and First Responder heroes through volunteer service projects, acts of gratitude, and meaningful engagements in communities nationwide. Care Packages include much-needed care items like entertainment products, handmade items, hygiene products, snacks, personal letters of gratitude, and more. Mission & More info. 


TCSPP’s VOLUNTEER DRIVE FOR OPERATION GRATITUDE will run from the start of Service Month (October 1) through Veteran’s Day (November 11). It is open to all TCSPP students, faculty, staff, alumni, friends, family, nationally! All ages may participate. Get your kids involved! 



  1. Volunteer Drive for Operation Gratitude Informational Session  

(September 29, 1 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. PDT) Learn about all of the ways you can participate and the guidelines for donations.

Click here to view the recording ​

  1. “Let’s Get together to Write Letters & Make Stuff” National TCSPP Gathering  

(October 22, 2020 1 p.m. – 2 p.m. PDT) This will be an Operation Gratitude Real-time Volunteer Session where you can ask questions while you are writing letters or making items! Let’s show our support for our military first responders and see what everyone else is making!  

To participate: Zoom link here. Meeting ID: 951 2020 6075 / Passcode: 627916 

Otherwise, you can volunteer “at will” to make items and participate whenever you’d like! 


Every moment of time, talent, and energy poured into a handmade item is an expression of deep appreciation for the service and sacrifice of the service members who receive a care package. 

There are different ways for you to give back from your own home: 

If you participate or send items, please contact Adriana Kleiman (akleiman@thechicagoschool.edu) with the #hours spent, the #items sent ​(and what you made), and any photos that you would like to share! 


During this time of social distancing, you don't need to leave your home to mail your handmade items! Please use this guide to order boxes, print postage, and have your box picked up by the post office. ​