As summer 2022 comes to an end, it’s never been more important to come together and lift up our communities. Here are a few specific ways to support organizations doing important work around Chicago and the North Shore this August, including volunteering your time, donating funds or helping spread the word.
H.O.M.E — or Housing Opportunities and Maintenance for the Elderly — is committed to improving the quality of life for low-income, elderly Chicagoans. H.O.M.E. helps seniors remain independent and a part of their community by offering opportunities for intergenerational living as well as a plethora of city-wide support services. They depend on the continued support from generous community members, where even just a $25 donation could feed a family of four for a week. Every donation — no matter the amount — instills independence, connection and joy in the seniors that H.O.M.E. serves. Additionally, in 2015, H.O.M.E. won a Philanthropy Award from the Make It Better Foundation, recognizing the significant work they do for the senior community in Chicago.
The In-Kind Donations through the YWCA provides survivors and their children at domestic violence shelters with essentials to help them rebuild their lives. Accepted donations can range from gently used to new women’s and children’s clothing, accessories, shoes and more. The sales of the donated women’s clothing also support the YWCA’s other two resale shops for women: YWCA Shop for Good and YWCA Crowded Closet.
100% of the profits from the resale shops support their programs which tackle domestic violence and encourage economic empowerment for women across Cook County. For more details on donation drop off centers, visit the YWCA website.
Block Club Chicago is a news organization dedicated to bringing critical, nonpartisan news coverage to all of Chicago. While their focus will always remain on telling stories that matter in every neighborhood, they are always looking to grow their coverage through reader and donor support. Outside of other media giants in the city, such as The Chicago Tribune or The Chicago Sun-Times, Block Club Chicago is one of the few platforms that is independent, nonprofit and committed to telling the stories of the city — the whole city.
Meals on Wheels is a nation-wide movement of neighbors volunteering to deliver fresh, tasty meals to those who are unable to prepare their own food at home. The organization is always accepting new volunteers — which can be as easy as a one-time commitment or an on-going weekly activity. Volunteers make a difference in their community by using their own vehicle to pick up and deliver meals to clients in their area. Want to make an impact for those in need? Apply to be a volunteer today, or visit their website for more information.
Cradles to Crayons provides Chicago-area kids with the essentials they need for childhood — from clothes to art supplies — free of charge. New or nearly new children’s items are donated to the organization through community drives and corporate donations. From there, all donations go to The Giving Factory — a Cradles to Crayons-owned warehouse — where they are packaged and then distributed to local disadvantaged children through their collaborative network. With drop-off locations all around Chicago, check their website for what items they are taking this August and help brighten a child’s future. In addition to all the good they do, Make It Better Foundation’s Philanthropy Awards also named Cradles the recipient of the Judges Distinction Award.
Greater Chicago Food Depository is in great need of volunteers as the summer comes to a close. At GCFD, volunteers are responsible for packing food for neighbors around the city during the ongoing hunger crisis — other volunteer tasks include delivering food or hosting events for the organization. Sign up is available on their website — take an active role in supplying food to the neighbors across Chicago and the North Shore.
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- Where to Donate School Supplies and Money to Help Students in Need Around Chicago and the Suburbs
Lucy Shapiro is Better’s editorial intern for the summer of 2022, currently a rising senior at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign studying Journalism with a minor in Political Science.