Improving Chicago through volunteerism.


Our Mission

Chicago possesses caring individuals who care about their communities and want to make a change. Up until now though, those individuals and their individual talents have been underutilized.

That’s where we come in. We strive to “untap” resources and opportunities in Chicago for those we serve. We tap into the huge pool of talented young professionals in Chicago who want to volunteer. We encourage those volunteers to tap into giving opportunities with Chicago-area nonprofits, whether directly through our events, or through connections we help cultivate outside the structure of our program.

Volunteering in our community is incredibly important, and is something our organization is passionate about. But we want to make it clear that there’s a large social component to this as well. After helping the community on Saturday morning, we earn the right to tap beers at the bar, tap into new connections with other young people, and to tap into new opportunities and relationships through giving back and inspiring change in our communities.

Help us tap into the giving spirit of Chicago.


Ellen Bernacki, Executive Director

Ellen's story begins in the great state of Michigan. A Detroit native, she attended the University of Michigan and majored in Communications and Psychology. While business-minded, Ellen is a musician at heart. She played in the Michigan Marching Band for four years in college, which speaks to her killer calves. And while her experience in the mitten state shaped her positive and hard-working attitude, her experience in Chicago has contributed to her many accomplishments.

Ellen is currently a media planner at Publicis Health Media, where she has won awards for her work in the advertising industry. She has been the ED for Volunteering Untapped Chicago since April 2018, and is responsible for all the unruly board members on this page. When Ellen isn't #voluntbeering with VU, she's eating at new and trendy restaurants... or listening to the Hamilton album.

Written by Erik Peulicke