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Volunteer with Planned Parenthood of Illinois

This summer, the Supreme Court is expected to dismantle Roe v. Wade, threatening access to safe, legal abortion nationwide. If this happens, 26 states will likely move to quickly ban abortion, including every state that borders Illinois. Millions of people could lose access to care, and Illinois will serve as a haven state for the entire Midwest.

We’re fighting back with everything we have, but we need your help as we prepare to care for more patients than ever before.

We need dedicated volunteers like you to step up and defend reproductive health care for everyone, everywhere. Whatever your comfort level and capacities are, we have a place for you here at PPIL. Keep reading to learn more!

Volunteer with us

PPIL volunteers support us in various ways throughout the year. During the summer, we focus on visibility and supporter appreciation, and you'll often find our volunteers tabling at health fairs, colleges, street festivals, concerts, farmers markets, and pride events throughout the state. We also have opportunities to provide support at our administrative locations, helping with things like data entry, volunteer screening, button-making, and general admin work.

Become a Clinic Escort

Clinic escorts are invaluable volunteers who help make safe, legal abortion possible.

Our clinic escorts are committed to ensuring the safety of our patients and their loved ones. Escorts stand near our health center entrances to greet patients and help ensure they can safely reach the front doors without harassment from protestors. 

As the first people our patients see when they arrive, our volunteer escorts are the face of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. And we frequently hear from patients who are grateful for the compassion and support our escorts provide.

We need escorts statewide. Our biggest current need is at our suburban locations and in Central Illinois:

  • Aurora
  • Flossmoor
  • Waukegan
  • Chicago (Near North neighborhood)
  • Springfield

We anticipate launching additional escort programs in coming months.

Use the button below to get started.

*Please ignore the specific location on the next page. We are working to get our postings updated to accurately reflect our current geographical needs.

THANK YOU for supporting our patients and our volunteer escort program!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does it take to become a PPIL volunteer?

Everyone interested in volunteering for Planned Parenthood of Illinois must attend a volunteer orientation before they can join the program.

Volunteer Orientations typically run about 2 hours and are held once a month. In the spring and summer, we often host them more often because interest in volunteering spikes and our needs are higher. You must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver during orientation if you are 16 years old or younger.

Volunteer Orientations were moved to a virtual format (Zoom) at the start of the Covid pandemic. Recently, we shifted Upstate Volunteer Orientations back to an in-person format, held at PPIL’s Admin Offices in Chicago. For now, Downstate Volunteer Orientations are still being held virtually. We will continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic and make adjustments as needed, in order to maintain compliance with current public health guidelines and to keep everyone safe.

Once volunteers complete orientation, they are invited to sign up for Volunteer Hub, which is the system our volunteers use to sign up for volunteer opportunities and shifts.

PPIL volunteers also receive a weekly email newsletter and are invited to join our private Facebook group to get to know other PPIL volunteers and build community.

What does it take to become a volunteer clinic escort?

Volunteer Clinic Escorts are the face of Planned Parenthood. They are the first people our patients see and serve a critical role at our health centers. In order to keep our patients, staff, and volunteers safe, there are certain requirements you must meet before becoming a volunteer clinic escort.

First, potential escorts must attend a Volunteer Orientation (see previous question for details).

Next, you’ll need to attend an Escort Orientation. Escort Orientations typically run about 1.5 hours and are held every other month. In the spring and summer, we often host them more often because interest in escorting spikes and our needs are higher. You must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver during orientation if you are 16 years old or younger.

Escort Orientations were moved to a virtual format (Zoom) at the start of the Covid pandemic. Recently, we shifted all Escort Orientations back to an in-person format. Upstate Escort Orientations are held at the Aurora Health Center. Downstate Escort Orientations are held at the Springfield Health Center. We will continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic and make adjustments as needed, in order to maintain compliance with current public health guidelines and to keep everyone safe.

Finally, you’ll need to pass a background check. The background check is paid for by PPIL.

Once volunteer escorts complete their orientations and background check, they are invited to sign up for Volunteer Hub, which is the system we use to connect our escorts with specific opportunities. 

Volunteer clinic escorts also receive a weekly email newsletter and are invited to join our private Facebook group to get to know other volunteers and build community.

Are volunteers required to commit to a certain number of hours or shifts?

There is no minimum commitment for general volunteers. Of course, we encourage you to sign up for shifts and opportunities as often as possible, but we welcome you as a general volunteer whether you can commit regularly or only occasionally. 

Serving as a volunteer clinic escort is a deeply rewarding experience. And because this is a critical role at our health centers, we need folks who can make a commitment.

We ask all volunteer clinic escorts to complete at least 2 shifts per month for at least 6 months. Escort shifts are typically 2 to 4 hours long. The days and times of escort shifts are based on the needs of each PPIL health center and vary by site.

Can I volunteer inside the health center? I am a professional nurse/social worker/etc.

We appreciate both your interest and your skills, but we can not accept in-kind volunteering.

If you have professional skills you’d like to offer to Planned Parenthood of Illinois, please consider applying for one of our open positions.

You can learn more at ppil.org/JoinTheTeam.

Is there an age minimum for PPIL volunteers?

We welcome volunteers of all ages, including people under 18. 

If you are 16 years old or younger, a parent or guardian must give permission for you to volunteer with Planned Parenthood and sign off on your volunteer paperwork. You’ll also need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian during orientation(s).

What if I can’t volunteer regularly? Or I can only escort during certain times of the year?

If you are looking for general volunteering opportunities, there is no minimum commitment required. Of course, we encourage you to sign up for shifts and opportunities as often as possible, but we welcome you as a general volunteer whether you can commit regularly or only occasionally.

While we ask volunteer clinic escorts to make at least a 6-month commitment to the program, we understand that’s not possible for everyone.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer clinic escort, but aren’t sure you can meet the full 6-month commitment, please reach out! We see higher numbers of protestors at all of our health centers throughout the summer months, so our escort needs are higher.

We don’t like to turn away interested folks and we’d love to bring you on board, if we can.