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The Volunteer Center is a volunteer clearinghouse that refers volunteers of all ages and abilities to 140+ different nonprofits and schools on the North Shore and in the New Trier Township and surrounding northeast metropolitan Chicago communities.
The Volunteer Center (VC) was conceived as an intergenerational program with the Winnetka Public Schools and the North Shore Senior Center (NSSC). in 1960 it became known as The Volunteer Talent Pool as NSSC volunteers tutored New Trier High School. Retirees were paired with students who needed tutoring. As the program grew, other schools in the township sought volunteers for tutoring as well as curriculum enhancement and career discussions. The volunteer base spread to people of all ages who wanted to share their skills with others. Soon nonprofit organizations began to express a need for volunteers, and The Volunteer Talent Pool started referring people to do social service work. In 1995, the name was changed to The Volunteer Center (VC) to encourage people to help, regardless of their abilities or talents. The service area includes New Trier Township and northeast metro Chicago nonprofits. The change has been successful. The VC now refers over 15,000 people annually who serve approximately tens of thousands of individuals in need. The Volunteer Center currently works with over 140 nonprofit organizations representing a large array of needs and missions.