3 Chicago Non-Profits You Should Support

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It’s almost the end of January 2016. How many of you have held true to your resolutions? While most folks tend to focus on themselves (hey, nothing wrong with bettering yourself!) don’t forget about thinking of others. There are many Chicago non-profits and causes that support the well-being of others (even animals). Why not give back to the community because that will make you feel better about yourself.

If you have always considered doing good for others but not sure where or how, here are three great Chicago non-profits you should support:

Chicago non-profits

1. Avanse

What they are about: “Avanse is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is to advance the lives of street children in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

How you can help:

  • Go to the Avanse Monthly Happy Hour Series (#‎AvanseHHSeries‬): On the 3rd Tuesday of each month, Avanse hosts a Happy Hour at some of the city’s greatest hot-spots (IO Godfrey, Bordel, Untitled just to name a few). You can pre-purchase tickets or buy at the door and then network with like-minded folks while giving back to support street children around the world.
  • Donate: Visit Avanse.org for contributing with a monetary donation.
  • Volunteer: put your skills and passion to good use by volunteering.
  • Corporate Sponsorship: feature your brand or company at Avanse events; some companies even match the monthly donations made at the monthly happy hours.
  • Sponsor a Child: for as little as $8/month (which can cover such things as art supplies, school fees, books, and uniforms) you can sponsor a child in Haiti or Colombia.

Now, I admit I only recently found out about this amazing cause, through a friend. I had the pleasure of meeting Jeannette, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer. This woman is the epitome of wonderfullness. She is dedicated and passionate to the cause, she is simply the sweetest gal (and come on, she radiates beauty inside and out!), and has this calming yet inspiring aura about her. Be sure to like AvanseOrg on Facebook and on Instagram.


2. The Boulevard

What they are about: “The Boulevard (formerly known as Interfaith House) provides a healing environment and resources to help ill and injured homeless adults restore their health, rebuild their lives and regain self-sufficiency.”

Chicago non-profit

Holiday Celebrations at The Boulevard

How you can help:

  • Donate: you can make a tax-deductable monetary donation as well as in-kind gifts.
  • Hold a drive! Toiletries, feminine products (including lotions, nail polish, hair care, etc…), clothing, shoes, bedding, socks and undergarments, they need it all.
  • Host a Share A Meal: Grab a few friends, create a simple menu, shop, and come down to the house to prepare a lunch or dinner for our residents. The kitchen is equipped with everything you need to cook a meal, and the residents LOVE it. Plus it’s a great bonding experience!
  • Lead a discussion group with the residents: Are you knowledgeable on balancing a checkbook? Nutrition? Basic home healthcare? Beauty and maintenance? Etiquette in the work place? Resume building? These are all skills and many more that the residents could use a refresher course on. The more creative, the better.

Again, not knowing much about this cause, I learned about it through a dear friend and colleague, Sarah. She is also the Associate Board President which is comprised of volunteers that host social fundraising events and helps spread the word of The Boulevard.


3. PAWS Chicago

What they are about: “PAWS Chicago is focused on implementing solutions to end the killing of homeless pets and create a No Kill Chicago.”

Chicago non-profit

Photo courtesy of PAWS Chicago

How you can help:

  • Donate: from a one-time donation, to monthly donations, or even a memorial or tribute…every little bit helps! Read on to know what your dollars can do.
  • Volunteer: If you aren’t committed to fostering or adopting a pet just yet but have time to spare, you can become a volunteer.
  • Foster or Adopt: show some love to the dogs and cats and adopt (or foster) any of the animals currently available. PAWS regularly holds adoption events (they just had one a few days ago) where you can go and see some of the available animals (which you know will become a pet soon!) and ask any questions you might have.

While I do not own a pet, PAWS is high up on my list of causes I would love to support. Head on over to their Facebook page and enjoy the fluffy feels.

 

Now go forth and spread the cheer in the new year! Whether you volunteer, donate, attend an event or simply help by spreading the word…you are making a difference.

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