During the holidays, it can be easy to become overwhelmed by all of the sales, parties, and general hustle and bustle of the season. Instead, take a moment to pause and give back to the community. Help these local organizations by giving of your time, things, or support this winter.
According to Cradles to Crayons, 200,000 Chicago kids live in poverty. Help the organization provide essential items to children by volunteering to sort and pack donated items for delivery. Learn more about all volunteer opportunities on the Cradles to Crayons Chicago website.
This Chicago organization is working to end domestic violence through their self-help empowerment approach, providing shelter, counseling, advocacy, and a 24-hour hotline. Help CAWC make this holiday season special for their families by donating items like winter clothing, full-size toiletries, non-violent toys and games, art supplies, gift cards, and diapers, baby wipes, and bottles. Drop off donations at 1116 N. Kenzie Ave., 5th Floor, Chicago, IL 60651 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
On Dec. 15, Breakthrough will host their annual Christmas Store, where community members and homeless guests can purchase gifts at greatly reduced prices. “This empowers parents, grandparents, and caregivers to be part of the gift-giving process, and is a dignifying and practical way for shoppers to provide for loved ones themselves,” Breakthrough writes. Last year, roughly 5,000 gifts were donated for 1,000 shoppers. Breakthrough needs your help raising even more gifts for the families of East Garfield Park. Find a Wish List Flyer online or shop Breakthrough’s Amazon Wish List. Items can be dropped off at the Breakthrough FamilyPlex, 3219 W. Carroll, Chicago, IL 60624.
C24/7 supports the Rogers Park community by reaching, serving, and empowering those in need. The organization writes, “Our kids, who attend our After-School Program, need the most support right now. They are trying to navigate an unsafe community with limited opportunity. Too often they go hungry and have to deal with family situations that make it impossible to learn and mature. Your donation will allow us to provide more security, more support, and more training so they can become all God has created them to be.” Make a donation online or by mail (1348 W. Howard St., Chicago, 60626).
This nonprofit “changes lives through the power of nature,” partnering with the Chicago Park District to offer education programs, events, and resources. If you’re passionate about nature and conservationism, make a donation to support the work of this Philanthropy Award winner. In 2017, more than 17,000 Chicago children enjoyed educational field trips, many for free, because of donors.
The mission of this foundation is to “improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable residents of the county by providing civic leadership, promoting collective philanthropy and partnering with our grant recipients.” Join current LCCF donors and pool your resources, making an even bigger impact on the community. Learn more about how to give on the LCCF website.
Women Thriving Fearlessly empowers women in business by “providing resources, a community space, and unwavering support from other women.” If you’re interested in being a sponsor, your monetary donation will help provide larger venues for events and additional resources, as well as support marketing efforts. Donations can be made via PayPal (email address: [email protected]) or send checks (made payable to Erika Gilchrist Enterprises) to 430 E. 162nd St. #330, South Holland, IL 60473.
Anna Carlson writes the weekly Weekend 101 column and monthly Recommended Events. A graduate of the University of Missouri, her work has been published in Chicago Parent, Inside Columbia Magazine, and Central California Parent Magazine. She is a proud supporter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.