According to the Chicagomag.com in an interview with Sandra Miniutti, “While a good charity may certainly meet a need or fill a void in the community, a great one is demonstrably efficient, ethical, and effective.” There are many charity organizations in Chicago and around the United States that, without a doubt, help others and contribute to many different causes. There is no doubt that each and every one of them is useful for their target.
If you take a closer look at charities with in cities, you will find that there are some charity organizations that simply stand out and deserve a special chapter in the history book. They have a strong connection to their city, in this case the Chicago area, and if they didn’t exist it would be a noticeable absence.
The Chicago Community Trust, CCT
As it can be read in their webpage, and could not be explained better, “ it is a community foundation dedicated to improving our region through strategic grant making, civic engagement and inspiring philanthropy”. This institution has been around for more than 98 years and has the ideal that philanthropy in not only about giving money, as the three ideals in the new strategic plan are as follows: inspiring philanthropy, engaging residents and leading change on the biggest issues. People can also contribute by only attending their events all year around. Within the fiscal year of 2014, the Trust made combined grant commitments totaling $168.1 million.
Alliance for the Great Lakes.
The name says it all. It is an organization that is fully committed to “help” the great lakes through advocacy, education, and restoration. They work side by side with scientists, policy makers, businesses, community groups and everyday citizens to protect and restore this amazing and very important surface freshwater resource. They have been providing help since 1970. Just to mention an example, this institution helped reach the groundbreaking commitment made in June by the governors of Michigan and Ohio and the premier of Ontario to reduce pollution flowing into Lake Erie by 40 percent. Some of their programs are: Clean Water, Healthy Beaches which is committed to sewage overflows reduction and control of pollution from unregulated contaminants; Adopt-a-Beach program, where volunteers monitor pollution sources and clean Great Lakes coastlines every year; and the Education program that aims to include Great Lakes into the classrooms of more than 1,125 teachers and institutions with activities focused on lakes, sand dunes, wetlands, human communities and history. Their total spending by 2014 was of $2.7 million, devoting 81% of that money directly to their programs.
As their website states in the “who are we” section: “it is a dynamic, non-profit organization committed to transforming the lives of homeless families through partnering with talented, resourceful individuals and groups in the community.”. It is an organization that dedicates their money, 82 % of their $3.0 million of total spending, to helping people , not only by providing housing for those families in great need, but also by providing financial education on how to save money, information on budgeting skills and on how to get a better job to help them get back on track within two years so they can continue by their own in a sustainable way. To make a long story short, the provide housing for two years in a comfortably furnished apartment along with financial advice, career advice, interview preparation, therapy, and even nutritional counseling.
Pets could not be left behind and this is one of the best charity organization there are to help this four legged friends of the family. It was founded in 1997 and only in that year more than 42,000 dogs, cats, and other pets were euthanized in the City of Chicago. in May 1997, an article published in the Chicago Sun-Times revealed that Chicago was killing more than 40,000 pets each year. The city pound (Chicago Animal Care & Control) had one of the highest euthanasia rates in the country. The founders, Paula Fasseas and Alexis Fasseas, after seeing what was going on in the city , and combined with Alexis´ experience at a local traditional shelter, where she tried to save as many animals as she could by taking them to their house, motivated this family to start this very useful charity organization. Fortunately, or even unfortunately, only last year fewer than 10,000 were euthanized and all thanks to the work of PAWS.
Next time you are in the area, or if you live in Chicago and want to contribute to society in any way, you can choose one of these charity institutions and help out with the topic that most appeals to you. Some people want to help but sometimes they don’t even know which institutions can help. You now have 4 charities to start your search.