Meet our friends at 826CHI


What should we know about your organizations?

logo_826CHI826CHI is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting students ages 6 to 18 with their creative and expositor writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. With the support of our volunteer corps400 strong on a yearly basiswe provide after-school tutoring, weekend workshops, in-schools project support, help for English language learners, and assistance with student publications to nearly 3,000 Chicago Public School students each year. All of our programs are challenging and enjoyable, and ultimately strengthen each students power to express ideas creatively, effectively, confidently, and in their individual voice.

Why did you decided to partner with YNPN Chicago?

Years ago, we hosted a handful of YNPNs Coffee With Nine Strangers networking events and loved being part of a vibrant community of non-profiteers. 826CHI is always looking for enthusiastic, passionate volunteers to join our family, and what better way to spread the word than by partnering with one of Chicagos best-respected, well-connected groups?

What new things are on the horizon for your organization?

We are so excited to reveal a year-in-the-making training and development publication for our volunteers:
THE CODE. Anyone can learn what we do from a quick glance at our website, but this document articulates in a deeper sense the way we conduct our work, and offers some on-the-ground insights for working with young writers.
 The Code is designed to mitigate volunteers anxieties about working with young people, de-mystify the beast that is the writing process, and name/illustrate the core values that volunteers can expect to see across our programs. Designed by volunteer Audrey Greene, the publication itself expresses the spirit of 826CHI and invites the kind of creative thinking and experiential learning we utilize when working with our students.

What interesting opportunities do you have for young nonprofit professionals?

Our work would be entirely impossible without the support of our intrepid volunteers, who work directly with students both in our writing center and across the city of Chicagoon everything from second-grade spelling homework to argumentative essays about Food Justice to haikus celebrating a Peeps diorama.

In addition to direct support for our programs, we seek near-infinite help in the worlds of graphic design, copy editing, illustration, grant writing, event planning, tech support, web design, and more. If its a skill you have and are willing to share, chances are we need it. Learn more about our work and apply to volunteer here.

Tell us about a few of the events you have coming up?

Our Associate Board is currently recruiting new members! Learn more at our Open House
on Thursday, September 17th at 6:30pm. More here11953173_10153070511637864_8073749013323888573_n
On Thursday, October 8th, 826CHI s Eat Your Words gala will celebrate the intersection of Chicagos literary and culinary worlds. Dozens of world-class chefs will prepare small plates for guests as they hear food stories from critically-acclaimed writers Dave Eggers, Cristina Henrquez, and Monica Eng, and enjoy a solo set from Wilcos inimitable Jeff Tweedy. Ticketing info here
Interested in joining our volunteer team? We host 90-minute New Volunteer Orientations twice at the beginning of each month. Interested in joining our volunteer team? We host 90-minute New Volunteer Orientations twice at the beginning of each month.

Next up: Thursday, October 1st at 12:30pm, and Tuesday, October 6th at 6:30pm. Apply to volunteer here!

About the Author

abiAn honorary Chicagoan, passionate nonprofiteer, and lyrical hip-hop enthusiast, Abi Humber has been 826CHIs Communications & Program Manager for three years. When shes not feverishly designing book templates in InDesign or diving into a websites HTML, shes chipping away on personal writing projects, reading all the Cheryl Strayed she can get her hands on, and crafting fake horoscopes to prank her coworkers.