WEF values its WEFTEC host cities and seeks to improve them through volunteer projects. WEFTEC participants contribute their time, skills, and energy to support and uplift the host city's communities. They engage in activities that range from environmental cleanups and restoration efforts to educational programs and more. Their dedication and commitment foster a sense of collaboration and community spirit at WEFTEC and within the host city.

Water Palooza

Registration Closed - Event at capacity
Friday, September 29 | 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Ole A. Thorp Elementary Scholastic Academy

Water Palooza is a day-long education fair that’s hosted at an elementary school. The goal of Water Palooza is to engage students in hands-on and demonstrative activities that promote the value of water and encourage students to become stewards of their own water environment. At the event, students travel in small groups to various stations to learn about the local water environment, the value of water, initiatives in their community, and how to save water and protect the environment at home.

Community Service Project

Registration Closed - Event at capacity
Saturday, September 30, 2023 | 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Ole A. Thorp Elementary Scholastic Academy

Projects typically involve installing green infrastructure to help manage stormwater and improve the local water environment (via rain gardens, bioswales, etc.). The project also helps educate the community about the value of water. For 2023, volunteers will build a rain garden at the Ole A. Thorp Elementary Scholastic Academy.

Cradles to Crayons – Hygiene Kits

No registration required
McCormick Place, North Hall B (next to the WEF Plaza Bookstore)

Monday, October 2 – Tuesday, October 3 | 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Cradles to Crayons Chicago provides children living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive. Participants will create essential hygiene kits that will be distributed to children experiencing poverty in the Chicago area. Kits include shampoo, bar of soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and deodorant. Participants may also choose to write a little note of encouragement that will accompany the kits.


Open Books – Online Book Drive

There are more than 290,000 students in Chicago Public Schools but only 90 full-time librarians across over 500 schools. Even if a school has a library, without a librarian the library must remain closed. This means classroom libraries are an essential resource for students & teachers.

Open Books allows you to donate books to give back to students around Chicago. The Gift of Books program funds their book access efforts and allows you to purchase popular titles for their book-granting collection. These books better reflect the communities Open Books partners with so that all readers can see themselves and their cultures in the stories they read. Access to culturally relevant reading materials plays an important role in improving academic achievement.

Donate a Book Now

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