Give Time, Things, Support: 6 Ways to Make a Difference This February Around Chicago

February is known as the month of love. While many of us think of ways we can show love to our family and friends, it’s also a perfect opportunity to show love to those in need within our communities. Here are a few ways to spread the love around this month and support local nonprofits.  

&Rise 

Give: Support 

rise leaders

How about brunching with your girlfriends while supporting a good cause? &Rise is holding its Third Annual Galentine’s Brunch on February 19, with proceeds designated to serve the organization’s community of female trauma survivors through free counseling and support groups. Because &Rise is a staunch advocate of personal development and helping women be the ultimate versions of themselves no matter the circumstances, both speakers at the event will address loving your authentic self and taking care of your own mind, body and spirit. While listening, enjoy heart-shaped waffles, scrambled eggs, cheesy hash brown nests, fruit salad from Baby Cakes and of course mimosas! Past events have sold out, so get your tickets now. 

The Nora Project 

Give: Time and Support 

The Nora Project’s annual Friendship February fundraiser is centered on “acts of kindness”—and let’s face it, we could all use a little more kindness these days. The organization has a goal of raising $15,000 this month to support its mission of supporting educators with training and coaching as well as SEL programs, along with grant funds for its 50 partner schools. The concept is simple: secure pledges tied to a number of acts of kindness (the site offers plenty of ideas) and collect the funds based on the acts completed. Raising money while giving back to the community—we can get behind that! 

PAWS Chicago

Give: Support 

How about a new furry best friend for Valentine’s Day? Through February 16, PAWS Chicago is holding its Big Love Adoption Event with a focus on finding forever homes for select large dogs 40 pounds and over. Bigger breeds can be more challenging to find homes for in the hustle and bustle of the city, so many of these pets would love to find suburban and city homes with fenced yards to play in. PAWS has up to 30 larger dogs at its adoption center and foster homes. Each Big Love dog adopted out goes home with a special care package, including a leash and harness, a crate and a special toy to sweeten the transition to their new home. 

Cradles to Crayons 

Give: Time, Things and Support

cradles to crayons

Punxsutawney Phil has predicted we have at least five more weeks of winter left—and in Chicago that usually means even longer stretches of cold days. Winter is especially challenging for the one in two children in Chicago who are at risk for experiencing clothing insecurity, but Cradles for Crayons’ Gear Up For Winter Initiative is designed to set up those children with warm winter essentials. The nonprofit accepts both monetary and clothing donations to provide everyday essentials to 54,000 children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations. It’s a good time to go through your closets and find all those new or like-new children’s items to donate. 

Ladies of Virtue 

Give: Support 

ladies of virtue

Ladies of Virtue is an award-winning nonprofit with a mission of instilling purpose, passion, and perseverance in Chicago’s Black girls, ages 9 to 18, while preparing them for college, careers and to become change agents in their communities. The nonprofit is always looking for outstanding mentors to add to their team of volunteers. 

Christopher House 

Give: Things and Support 

Christopher House supports families located in Chicago’s Belmont Cragin, Logan Square and Uptown neighborhoods who have an average annual income of less than $19,000, providing them with personalized education, counseling and parent workshops. The nonprofit has an ongoing need for food and household pantry supplies for its families, many of which can be purchased online through its Amazon and Target wish lists to be delivered directly to the nonprofit’s door.


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Donna Berry Glass

Donna Berry Glass is a freelance writer in Marin County who writes mostly about family and kid-oriented topics. When she’s not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family exploring the natural beauty of Marin, snuggling with her Cavalier King Charles spaniel while reading a good book or whipping up something delicious in her space-challenged kitchen. Donna is a supporter of the California Academy of Sciences, a world class science museum and research institution, and the Institute on Aging which provides much needed services to seniors and disabled individuals.