Give Locally on #GivingTuesday, 11/28/17

#GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. One of the best ways to get involved is here in your own community. We’ve created a directory to help you find organizations, charities, events and more in the Greater Ravenswood area.

Featured Opportunity | List of Local Charitable Organizations

Help a local public school through your charitable donation
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With all her “old school” charm, Ravenswood Elementary presents some unique challenges as far as structural enhancements go. Improvements as simple as installing updated drinking fountains can be an expensive initiative. Friends of Ravenswood School (FORS) has a goal to install water bottle filling stations throughout Ravenswood Elementary School. FORS, a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation, is seeking tax deductible donations to assist with the purchase and installation. The entire Ravenswood Elementary School student population of over 500 students would benefit from this purchase with your help.

Installation of water bottle filling stations provides many benefits:

  • Solution for Lead Contamination: A key benefit of filtered water bottle filling stations for schools is their ability to provide safe drinking water. Considering 1 in 38 children in the U.S. is predicted to have lead poisoning, the issue of water equity, especially during childhood when the consequences of exposure can be far more devastating, has never been more pressing. Additionally, because lead poisoning, “disproportionately affects children in low-income families living in older housing,” it only adds to a growing list of socioeconomic disparities. By installing water bottle filling stations in public areas and schools, children have greater access to healthy water.
  • Healthier Hydration: Childhood obesity currently affects around 17 percent of U.S. kids. So, why are schools continuing to invest their dollars in vending machines and sugary beverages instead of drinking stations? The health conditions currently affecting American youth make creating positive lifestyle changes, like drinking water, something schools need to prioritize.
  • Reduced Waste: Although it’s true that bottled water is an easy way to implement drinking water into schools, the subscription, disposal, and long-term environmental costs paint a much bleaker picture. It’s estimated that 80 percent of plastic bottles end up in the dump, only to be burned or end up in a landfill. Filtered water bottle filling stations serve as an alternative to plastic water bottles.

Ravenswood Elementary School is a Chicago Public School, providing high-quality, literacy-focused elementary education to students from Kindergarten through eighth grade. An estimated 41% of the student population qualifies for free or reduced-price lunches. With a diverse socioeconomic student body, Ravenswood School relies heavily on the generosity and kindness of community members and non-community members alike to achieve seemingly unachievable improvements to the school.

Friends of Ravenswood School (FORS) is a non-profit group of interested parents and community members joining with school administrators, staff and teachers to gather private supplemental support – in the form of funding, volunteers and various professional expertise – for the benefit of Ravenswood Elementary School, its programs and all of its students. These funds help the school pay for teachers, programs, field trips, supplies and other essentials that make Ravenswood great.

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List of Local Charitable Organizations

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Access Contemporary Music
1758 W Wilson
(773) 334-3650
DONATE
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Access Contemporary Music (ACM) is dedicated to integrating musical creativity into everyday life by presenting the music of living composers at the highest quality, fostering musical creativity in our storefront music schools and through commissions, and partnering with composers, festivals, universities and ensembles in cities throughout the world to build a global contemporary music network.

Alternative Schools Network
1807 W Sunnyside
(773) 728-4030
DONATE
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Alternative Schools Network (ASN) provides quality education with a specific emphasis on urban children, youth and adults, and supporting community-based and community-run programs and schools to develop and expand training and other educational services in Chicago’s underserved neighborhoods. In addition to supporting direct services, ASN has advocated for community-based services in which the people involved are active participants in developing and running programs rather than passive recipients of services. ASN helps shape policies and programs based upon its track record of operating successful education, employment and support service programs.

American Blues Theater
4809 N Ravenswood, Suite 221
(773) 654-3103
DONATE
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American Blues Theater explores the American identity through the plays it produces and communities it serves. Our diverse and multi-generational artists have established the second oldest professional Equity Ensemble theater in Chicago. Members have over 600 combined years of collaboration on stage.

ArtReach at Lillstreet
4401 N Ravenswood
(773) 907-0841
DONATE
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ArtReach is a 501(c)3 non profit founded in 1990. Through studio access, mobile community programs, in-school residencies, afterschool programs and field trips, ArtReach extends access to high quality arts tools, professionals, and spaces throughout the city. In our firehouse community art studio, we provide a safe space for diverse individuals to develop art skills as well as studio management or teaching experience.

The Awakenings Foundation
4001 N Ravenswood
(773) 904-8217
DONATE
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The Awakenings Foundation is an organization dedicated to raising funds and awareness for rape and sexual abuse survivors who wish to pursue art for the purpose of self-expression and healing. Our Chicago, Ravenswood-based Art Gallery is a special place that we’ve built to showcase the stories of survival that our artists share, with our community of advocates. Our goal is to help survivors find a sense of empowerment and peace through artistic expression, while also encouraging a candid conversation with the public about the cultural taboos surrounding rape and sexual abuse.

Black Ensemble Theater
4450 N Clark
(773) 769-4451
DONATE
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Founded in 1976, Black Ensemble Theater (BE) has grown from a small community arts organization to a vibrant nationally and internationally renowned arts institution. A leader and innovator in the African-American and mainstream arts communities, Black Ensemble Theater is recognized as one of the most diverse theaters in the country, producing excellent musical theater. On November 18, 2011, BE celebrated the Grand Opening of the Black Ensemble Theater Cultural Center, the theater’s first permanent home located at 4450 N. Clark Street. The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater is to eradicate racism and its damaging effects upon our society through the utilization of theater arts. BE is the only theater in the nation whose mission is to eradicate racism. We utilize theater and educational outreach programs to bring races together in a community which embraces similarities and fosters dialogue, understanding and acceptance.

CHIRP Radio
4045 N Rockwell
(773) 357-6647
DONATE
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CHIRP is a volunteer-driven, community radio station that focuses on music, arts, and culture. The station can be heard on the north side of Chicago at 107.1FM and worldwide at chirpradio.org. We are live and local every day of the year from 6am-midnight from our studios in Chicago’s North Center neighborhood, and the city we live in is a key part of everything we do. CHIRP Radio plays a wide mix of local, independent, lesser-heard, and just generally good music from a variety of genres and eras. The station also features conversations with artists, activists, and other people doing interesting work, and our features department produces pieces highlighting Chicago’s diverse voices and stories. CHIRP is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization funded primarily through individual giving, special event revenues, and grant support.

Friends of Amundsen
5110 N Damen
friendsofamundsen@gmail.com
DONATE
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Friends of Amundsen was founded in 2012 to support the educational mission of Amundsen High School. FOA is made up of parents, teachers, alumni and community members helping Amundsen continue to be an outstanding high school of choice in Chicago.

Friends of McPherson
4728 N Wolcott Ave
(773) 208-6768
DONATE
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Friends of McPherson (FOM) is a non-profit organization that works to assist McPherson Elementary in Ravenswood. Through fundraising activities, including special events, solicitations and grant requests, FOM strives to support the school’s academic and extra-curricular programs. FOM works to enhance learning opportunities for students and fosters relationships between parents, community members and school staff. We endorse McPherson as an exceptional school and encourage neighborhood families to attend their neighborhood school and get involved in its educational and community programs.

Friends of Ravenswood
4332 N Paulina
(773) 320-7260
DONATE
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Friends of Ravenswood School (FORS) is a non-profit group of interested parents and community members joining with school administrators, staff and teachers to gather private supplemental support – in the form of funding, volunteers and various professional expertise – for the benefit of Ravenswood School, its programs and all of its students. The funds we raise help the school pay for teachers, programs, field trips, supplies and other essentials that make Ravenswood great.

The Friendship Center
3448 W Foster
(773) 907-6388
DONATE
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The Friendship Center is a community center dedicated to providing our neighbors in need with food, clothing, and household goods at no cost in a friendly and safe environment. We operate two food pantries (as well as a pet food pantry) on the north side of Chicago.

Gene & Rosemary Schulter Foundation
P.O. Box 25430, Chicago, IL 60625-0430
info@SchulterFoundation.org
DONATE
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The Schulter Foundation was established as a charitable trust in 2011. As former 47th Ward Alderman for 36 years, Gene and his wife Rosemary, lifelong residents, are dedicated to making the 47th Ward a place where parents want to raise their children and longtime seniors want to stay. The foundation provides scholarships to young adults preparing for college and supports safety education programs for seniors. To accomplish its goals, the foundation relies on its voluntary board members. Each year a select number of scholarships are awarded to high school senior students to assist them with their college endeavors. To support quality of life for the senior community, the foundation provides support for senior safety education programs. The Gene and Rosemary Schulter Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, independent, nongovernmental organization.

GROWCommunity
4550 N Hermitage
(773) 340-9462
DONATE
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GROWCommunity is a community-wide effort aimed at significantly strengthening student outcomes at and positive perceptions about Chicago Public Schools neighborhood high schools Amundsen and Lake View, as well as the 17 CPS elementary schools that feed into them. The initiative spans four wards on Chicago’s North Side, and involves educators from the 19 schools, parents, neighbors, elected officials, philanthropic partners and community leaders. GROWCommunity has partnered with UChicago Impact at the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Institute to provide research-based school improvement tools and professional learning to both high schools and a cohort of elementary feeder schools. GROWCommunity strives to be a citywide model for equitable, high-quality neighborhood-based K-12 systems that prepare all students for success in college and beyond.

Heartland Alliance
4411 N Ravenswood
(773) 728-5960
DONATE
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Heartland Alliance advances the human rights and responds to the human needs of endangered populations—particularly the poor, the isolated, and the displaced—through the provision of comprehensive and respectful services and the promotion of permanent solutions leading to a more just global society. Heartland Alliance is dedicated to ending poverty by ensuring equity & opportunity for all people. We help people achieve prosperity through housing, healthcare, jobs, and justice. Chicago based, globally focused.

Interrobang Theatre Project
2936 N Southport
(504) 296-5082
DONATE
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Interrobang Theatre Project (ITP) produces visceral and timely works, rarely produced texts, and new American plays. We strive to excite a new generation of theatergoers, to engage our community through challenging plays, to maintain an environment in which artists can do their very best work, and to change our world one play at a time. ITP is not recommended for audiences who prefer theatre to be benign or familiar. For those wondering, “Whats an interrobang?”, it is the combination of a question mark and exclamation point, joining the Latin word for “question” (interro) with a proofreading term for “exclamation” (bang). Through the plays we produce, Interrobang Theatre Project aims to pose questions that challenge our understanding and assumptions of who we are and the world in which we live.

JASC
4427 N Clark
(773) 275-0097
DONATE
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Founded in 1946, JASC engages people of all ages to experience Japanese American history and culture, and to improve their well-being through innovative, high quality programs and services tailored to the multicultural community.

Jane Adams Resource Corporation
4432 N Ravenswood
(773) 728-9769
DONATE
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An aging workforce, emerging new technologies, and continuing decline of trades in high schools and community colleges will result in an estimated two million unfilled manufacturing jobs in the U.S. over the next ten years. This is a tragedy when so many people struggle to pay the bills, find a living wage job, and support their families in places like Chicago. At Jane Addams Resource Corporation (JARC), we support healthy communities and economies by teaching low-income adults and workers the skills they need to earn a living wage. But we go beyond basic skills training. We also connect job seekers with good jobs in the manufacturing sector, and we foster the life skills that create a path out of poverty.

The Night Ministry
4711 N Ravenswood
(773) 784-9000
DONATE
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The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization that works to offer housing, healthcare and human connection to members of the Chicago community struggling with poverty or homelessness. With an open heart and an open mind, we accept people as they are and work to address their immediate needs while affirming their sense of humanity.

North Side Housing & Supportive Services
4410 N Ravenswood
(773) 244-6401
DONATE
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North Side Housing & Supportive Services measures success by the transformation in the lives of the people we serve each day. We believe housing is a basic human right and partner with our clients to improve their lives. We provide a path to healing from homelessness through intensive services at the Uptown Men’s Shelter, the Day Support Services Center in Ravenswood, and almost 200 apartments of permanent housing throughout the city of Chicago.

Ravenswood Community Council
1770 W Berteau, Suite 207
(773) 975-2088
DONATE
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Established in 1958, the Ravenswood Community Council (RCC) connects residents, businesses, schools, community organizations and local government to promote a vibrant, locally-focused economy. RCC initiatives include greening and sustainability projects, arts grants for local schools and promotion of our community as a destination neighborhood in Chicago.

Ravenswood Community Services
4550 N Hermitage
(773) 769-0282
DONATE
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Ravenswood Community Services (RCS) provides resources to neighbors in need and creates opportunities for individual and community outreach in the Ravenswood and Uptown neighborhoods on the north side of Chicago. We realize this mission by connecting our neighbors with the basics of food and supplies, health screenings and information and life skills education so that they can achieve health, stability and dignity.

{she crew}
P.O. Box 25122 – Chicago, IL 60625
info@shecrew.org
DONATE
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{she crew} is a six-week summer program for girls in Chicago, ages 12 to 14, to engage in a multi-disciplinary journaling workshop that culminates in a theatrical performance written entirely by the participants. We are investigating the question of what it is to be a woman, what womanhood is, and how we see ourselves in relation to it, all through multiple forms of artistic expression. Questions and writing prompts include topics of: womanhood and identity, women in relation to family and community, career, and the physical body. The program also includes special guests that are performers/writers/educators/directors to lead the group in projects, discussions, or just to be present and add their perspectives as female professionals. This program will be free for participants, as well as provide free public transit cards, and a meal. We believe that preparing and eating a meal together will help us to build a community that welcomes conversation and individual creative expression.

Thresholds
4101 N Ravenswood
(773) 572-5500
DONATE
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Thresholds serves persons with severe and persistent mental illness. As the state’s largest and oldest provider of community behavioral healthcare, Thresholds is a national and world leader in psychosocial rehabilitation. Recognized with achievement awards from the American Psychiatric Association, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the U.S. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association and the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Thresholds is unparalleled in its focus on recovery from mental illness through the routine use of evidence-based practices and innovative, effective models of care. More information at www.thresholds.org.