Whether through volunteering, donations, or other forms of support, pay it forward this summer by supporting these five organizations that have worked tirelessly for our community throughout the pandemic.
CASA Lake County
To promote and protect the best interests of abused and neglected children, you can help CASA Lake County by working as a volunteer advocate. Each volunteer will be matched with an individual foster child to get to know them, so that they can advocate for them in courts, in schools and in our community to “help them find safe, permanent and loving homes.” Those interested in becoming a volunteer should fill out an application on CASA’s website.
Give: Time and Support
Since 1998, The Willow House has provided support and services to children and their families who are coping with the loss of a loved one. Their services are used by hundreds of families each year. Volunteers can donate their time by helping facilitate a Willow House event or by becoming a Volunteer Facilitator. Applications for both can be found here. Additionally, you can help by giving monetary donations to support their Expressive Arts Program. This program allows children ages 3-18 to partake in activities including drawing, song writing, dance, and yoga—all of which help them develop healthy coping skills. Donations can be made online or by mailing a check to Willow House: 2231 Lakeside Dr., Bannockburn, IL 60015.
Breakthrough strives to help those affected by poverty open new doors of opportunity. Their Fresh Market food pantry welcomes new volunteers to help “unload deliveries, organize groceries and household essentials, and package up food for families.” Learn more about Breakthrough.
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Give: Time and Support
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention aims to save lives and bring hope to those affected by suicide. They carry out this mission by funding research, educating the public about mental health and suicide prevention, advocating for public policies in these areas, and supporting all those affected by suicide. To help further their mission, AFSP welcomes people to get involved by partaking in their Out of the Darkness Community and Campus Walks, hosting their own fundraisers, volunteering, helping educate their community about suicide prevention, and advocating for suicide prevention legislation. Monetary donations can also be made online. If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255 or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
Sheldrick Wildlife Trust
For the past 43 years, the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust has served as a conservation organization for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. Their impactful projects across Kenya include safeguarding the natural environment, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, and enhancing community awareness on these matters. You can help the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in various ways: by making a monetary donation, purchasing merchandise from their shop, adopting an orphan, or spreading the word about their organization.
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Alexa Weinberg is a summer intern for the editorial staff at Better. She is currently working toward a Cognitive Science and Psychology degree at the University of Michigan with a minor in Writing. At school, she works to promote her love of writing through various organizations, including Project WriteOn and WOLV-TV. In her free time she enjoys running, reading, and spending time with friends and family.