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Volunteers are the lifeblood of our organization – they give our students unique perspectives on the real world of interviewing and help expose our students to a variety of professionals with whom they are apt to encounter in the workplace. They are trainers, coaches, seamstresses, fundraisers, event planners, runners, programmers and administrative aides. Most importantly, they help our staff build its capacity in serving our mission; and we are grateful for their gifts of time every day.

The following are a sample of volunteer opportunities available: student coaching and job strategy support, computer lab assistant, mock interviewers (specifically at our community centers), and a variety of administrative and fundraising support functions as well.

Student Support Roles

  • Volunteers provide encouragement, expertise and resources to help our students grow in their professional development as Lab Assistants, Workshop Assistants for Resumes, Group Interviews and Career Fairs, Mock Interviewers, Skills Development Coaches, and Trainers (offered Monday – Thursday from 9 AM- 5 PM).

Clothing Support Roles

  • Clothing Program Assistant: Assist in our clothing room with sorting, sizing and organizing our clothing donations. Additionally, every six weeks, when our new students are being fitted for their suits – help with sizing and distribution is needed.
  • Tailor: Provide professional hemming, tailoring (e.g. bust, waist, length, etc.), to help properly size clothes for our students.

Fundraising Support Roles

  • Event Planning Assistant – Auction Support and/or Logistical Support: Assist our Development Team as they plan key fundraising events throughout the year. This work is more time intensive during the months leading up to the event and would include tasks like soliciting silent and live auction items, helping to organize and execute a large-scale silent auction, managing attendee registration, and general support the week and day of the event.
  • Development Assistant: Assist our Development Team in upkeep of our records, filing and organizing grant and donor reports, mail merges and other housekeeping tasks as needed. If you have an interest in fundraising, we would be thrilled to leverage your skills to assist us in researching new funding opportunities for Cara.


  • Many of our students have lost their smiles over the years; and with that loss can come loss of confidence and loss of esteem.  We are so fortunate to have dentists within our community who provide pro bono dental care and dental restoration to help our students bring back their best asset in an interview - their smile.

Interested in learning more about volunteer opportunities?

  • Feel free to complete this quick inquiry form so we can learn more about you and your interests.
  • Volunteer time commitments vary, depending on the opportunity. Interested parties are encouraged to attend a Volunteer Orientation session, to learn more about our mission and the meaningful ways in which you can contribute. Orientation sessions are hosted monthly from 8:20- 10 AM at our main location (237 S Desplaines). Orientation includes: TCP’s signature morning ritual, ‘Motivations,’ an event that is part pep rally and part storytelling- filled with inspiring stories and songs; a conversation about TCP’s mission and service delivery model; And an opportunity to discuss with the Volunteer Coordinator opportunities that will best fit your interests and availability.

  • RSVPs are required to attend Volunteer Orientation.  Please RSVP to Debra Michaels, Engagement Manager, at 312-798-3343 or by email.

The Impact

The Cara Program is a 4-Star Charity

Charity Navigator has awarded The Cara Program its most coveted 4-star rating!

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Our Partner Programs

  • Clean Slate
  • TCP Staffing

Our Supporters and Employers

  • Kellogg Company
  • Lurie Children's Hospital
  • Mariano's
  • Rebuilding Exchange
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Sodexo
  • Salvation Army
  • Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
  • Levy Restaurants
  • Nordstrom Rack
  • Rivers Casino
  • Fitness Formula Clubs
  • Eataly Chicago
  • Housing Authority of Cook County
  • Catholic Charities
  • Harvard Maintenance Inc
  • Gotham Greens
  • Engineered Glass Products
  • The Habitat Company
  • Union League Club
  • Palmer House Hilton
  • Hilton Chicago O'Hare
  • Loretto Hospital
  • Resurrection Healthcare
  • Hyatt Regency Chicago
  • Hyatt Regency O'Hare
  • Hyatt Regency McCormick
  • Standard Parking
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital
  • Pierce and Associates
  • Mercy Housing Lakefront
  • Center For Working Families
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Chicago Transit Authority
  • Cleanslate
  • ABM Janitorial Services
  • Allied Barton Security Services
  • Bank of America
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