Chicago charities for kids?
June 22, 2010 1:09 PM   Subscribe

Any suggestions for Chicago area charities that help kids?

After reading Alex Kotlowitz' There are No Children Here I am anxious to find Chicago area charities that specifically target and try to help either children, families with children, teachers at underfunded schools, or clinics.

I am looking mostly for donation opportunities, but am definitely open to volunteering opportunities as well.
posted by ztdavis to Human Relations (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It may not be as local an organization as you were thinking, but Feeding America helps people across the country, and is headquartered in Chicago.
posted by runningwithscissors at 1:19 PM on June 22, 2010

eamondaly has a favorite.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:19 PM on June 22, 2010

Chicago Abused Women Coalition

As a former volunteer, I know they do great things with their money, and as a former committee chair for fundraising, I know they always need money.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:21 PM on June 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

A Chicago-based but not strictly servicing Chicago kids is Chances by Choice, which focuses on finding adoptive parents for HIV+ kids. the kids themselves usually come from outside the US.
posted by not that girl at 1:25 PM on June 22, 2010

Check Childrens Memorial Hospital. I'm sure they have opportunities. I might do it myself down the road.
posted by stormpooper at 1:29 PM on June 22, 2010

2nding Chicago Abused Women Coalition (CAWC). I have worked with them a couple of times and they are great.
posted by Tchad at 1:36 PM on June 22, 2010

The Big Shoulders Fund is certainly religious based, but supports children of all faiths. It is also directly related to your request to help educate kids in Chicago.
posted by blackjack514 at 1:38 PM on June 22, 2010

I worked at Prevent Child Abuse America for two years back in the 90s when I used to live in Chicago and it was a great agency.
posted by The Straightener at 1:42 PM on June 22, 2010

My favorite Chicago charity for well over a decade has been the Tribune Holiday Fund which gives grants throughout greater Chicagoland. Their grants to agencies that help kids come under the heading of "family strengthening" and include hunger, literacy and domestic violence protection. (They also focus on homelessness and mental health, both of which can affect kids.)

In addition to caring about the work they support, I like this foundation for two other reasons:

1.) 100% of what I give goes to programs; the foundation covers all administrative costs.

2.) They never hassle me. I hear from them twice a year: when they thank me for my donation--and they never ask for more when they do, like so many charities--and when the holidays are approaching, as a gentle reminder, they send a list of agencies and programs they supported during the past year, including amounts and locations.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 1:44 PM on June 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

I have ties to an organization that offers free or low cost arts education to kids that would not normally have access to lessons in music, dance, drama and tumbling.

Maywood Fine Arts does amazing work.

Memail me for more details about a very deserving and well run children's charity.
posted by readery at 1:55 PM on June 22, 2010

Yesterday on the show etown I heard about Sit Stay Read! which brings dogs to underprivileged schools so that kids can read to them. At first blush, that's a goofy concept, but it works on a lot of levels, it sounds like.
posted by knile at 2:30 PM on June 22, 2010

Donors Choose allows you to donate to a teacher in a specific geographic area.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 2:49 PM on June 22, 2010

After School Matters does great after-school programming for teenagers, keeping them off the streets until their parents come home from work and supplementing the underfunded public school system.
posted by ism at 2:53 PM on June 22, 2010

If I was looking for a charity of this sort in Chicago, I'd consider donating to the Midtown Educational Foundation. I'm comfortable with the Catholic/Opus Dei backing of the charity, but you might not be.
posted by Jahaza at 4:42 PM on June 22, 2010

Rock for Kids provides free, quality music instruction to children in need.
posted by shannonm at 7:28 PM on June 22, 2010

Mustaches for Kids Chicago uses Donors Choose to support kids and schools. Grow a mustache and raise money or donate to one of the growers in November.
posted by Bunglegirl at 8:54 PM on June 22, 2010

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