The mission of the Greer Foundation is to support programs that address the root causes of violence, poverty and social injustice, protect the ecology of the earth, and promote effective healthcare including psychological health and alternative medicine. Our funding interests fall under the following categories:
Basic Needs, Emergency Assistance and Job Training
Health and Wellness
Education and Scholarships
Read below to find out more about our current grantees:
Apna Ghar provides holistic services to women and children across immigrant communities in the Chicago area to end the cycle of domestic violence. Apna Ghar empowers women to be self-sufficient by providing them with a full spectrum of services from education to emergency and transitional housing to counseling and legal services.
- 24-hour hotline that addresses the immediate safety needs of callers, who can connect to Apna Ghar services and receive referrals to other programs and services
- Emergency and transitional shelter that provides women and their children a homelike atmosphere where they can begin rebuilding their lives
- Case management that helps clients identify and connect to community resources for health care, vocational and academic training, job placement, housing, and other critical services
- Counseling that helps women and their children process and heal from the trauma of abuse using individual therapy, support groups, and art therapy
- Legal advocacy that helps clients understand their legal rights, navigate the legal system, and connect to pro bono and volunteer attorneys. In addition to civil and criminal matters, our legal advocates help survivors acquire immigration status and work authorization through protective legal statutes.
- Supervised visitation and safe exchange provides a safe place where children can interact with their noncustodial parents in the presence of a trained facilitator and a safe location for parents to pick up and drop off their children for unsupervised visits
Between Friends is a Chicago-based nonprofit agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of domestic violence and building a community free of abuse. The agency provides a safe and supportive environment for women and children in crisis situations.
- REACH (Relationship Education: A Choice for Hope), an education program to help prevent teen dating violence
- 24-hour crisis helpline that provides support to domestic violence victims
- Individual, family, and group counseling
- Court advocacy that provides information on legal rights and advocates in the court system
- Outreach to inform and educate the community
- Support for healthcare providers so they can respond to the needs of domestic violence victims safely and with sensitivity
Bottom Line helps low-income, first-generation students get accepted into college, graduate, and go far in their careers. The organization strives to dramatically transform urban communities by producing thousands of career-ready college graduates who are breaking the cycle of poverty. Bottom Line expects students participating in their program to earn a bachelor’s degree, accumulate no more than $36,000 in debt, and be employed or continuing their education within six months after graduation.
Breakthrough Urban Ministries is a 25-year-old holistic community development organization in the East Garfield Park neighborhood on the west side of the city that partners with those affected by poverty to build connections, develop skills, and open doors of opportunity. Breakthrough serves over 4,800 youth, families, and homeless adults each year through an integration of core service areas focusing on housing stability and wraparound services, employment and job creation, health and wellness, and education. In addition to Breakthrough’s men’s and women’s homeless centers and the client-choice Fresh Market food pantry, Breakthrough’s FamilyPlex facility offers the following services to neighborhood residents:
- Breakthrough Beginners, early childhood education
- Sports and Fitness Academy
- Arts and Science Academy, STEAM education opportunities
- Nettie Bailey Student Achievement Program, afterschool academic enrichment
- Bridge Cafe
- Fitness center
- Lawndale Christian Health Center
The C. G. Jung Center is a nonprofit organization located in the downtown of Evanston, Illinois, offering:
- Sliding-scale depth psychotherapy
- Public programs such as movie nights and workshops
- CEUs for mental health professionals
- Clinical training opportunities
As a community, the C. G. Jung Center promotes self-exploration and growth through the offerings of the Center.
The mission of the Institute is to advance Analytical Psychology, the theoretical foundation of Jungian psychoanalysis, as a practice that speaks to the basic human need for psychological growth and consciousness. The objectives of the Institute are to train psychotherapists to become Jungian Psychoanalysts as well as to educate mental health professionals in the principles of Analytical Psychology. The Institute also maintains a collegial society that provides continuing education and ethical review for member analysts as well as supports scholarly research and publication among its members to advance Jungian psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Finally, the Institute offers educational programs in Jungian thought for the general public.
Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation works to end sexual exploitation by changing the culture so that institutions and individuals will no longer perpetrate, profit from, or support sexual exploitation. CAASE’s work in the Chicago community focuses on four key areas:
- Prevention, creating and implementing educational curricula that encourage high school students to work against sexual exploitation
- Policy and Advocacy, fighting for legislative and policy reforms that will increase legal and social accountability for perpetrators of harm, especially sex traffickers, pimps, people who buy sex, and those who commit sexual assault, while promoting support and resources for survivors
- Community Engagement, preventing sexual exploitation by increasing public understanding of the harms inherent in the sex trade while developing toolkits for nonprofits, faith-based groups, schools, businesses, feminist groups, and other communities and individuals who would like to take action against sexual harm
- Legal Services, engaging in civil litigation against perpetrators and facilitators of sexual harm while advocating for appropriate and effective criminal prosecution of perpetrators
Chicago Lights helps meet the needs of children, youth, and adults facing poverty in Chicago. Through supportive relationships and diverse programs, Chicago Lights empowers youth to succeed academically and assists people in attaining economic stability, leading healthy lives, and building community.
Chicago Light’s six signature programs are:
- Tutoring, which pairs students in grades 1-12 with one adult tutor/mentor and provides innovative educational, arts, and enrichment resources that promote long-term academic and social success.
- The Urban Farm, which provides organic produce, nutritional education, workforce training, and microenterprise development.
- The Elam Davies Social Service Center, which provides assistance with acquiring food, clothing, and housing.
- Summer Day, a six-week program that provides a safe place for 100 students in grades 1-9 to engage in academic classes and arts instruction each summer.
- Chicago Lights Academic Success in Schools (CLASS) supports learning and creative self-expression through fine arts programming, addressing the needs of students who attend schools in Chicago that are under-resourced and often, under-performing.
- Free Write Jail Arts and Literacy provides individual literacy tutoring as well as daily writing and arts workshops for youth who are awaiting trial or sentencing at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center.
Located in a Central Wisconsin woodlands sanctuary, The Christine Center is committed to global transformation through interfaith meditation, spirituality and wellness retreat programs. Grounded in the spiritual lineage of St. Francis and St Clare of Assisi, seekers and practitioners of all faith backgrounds are welcome to come and experience spiritual deepening within a supportive community. The Christine Center offers unique opportunities for meditation and inner work through group retreats, personal retreats, sabbaticals and volunteering. The Christine Center embraces environmentally sustainable practices.
Connections for Abused Women and Their Children is a Chicago nonprofit committed to ending domestic violence. Using a self-help, empowerment approach, CAWC provides shelter for women and children, as well as counseling, advocacy, and a 24-hour hotline for people affected by domestic violence. CAWC works for social change through education, service collaboration, and institutional advocacy.
To help abused women and their children, the bilingual and culturally diverse staff at CWAC provides help through a variety of programs and confidential services, free of charge.
Victims of domestic violence can receive:
- Emergency shelter
- Individual and group counseling
- Life skills training in goal setting, budgeting, and safety planning
- Housing, income, employment, and educational information
- Legal advocacy including court orders and immigration
- Specialized services for children who have witnessed domestic violence to help break the cycle of violence in families
The Crisis Center for South Suburbia in Tinley Park, Illinois, is a nonprofit community organization that provides emergency shelter and other essential services for individuals and families victimized by domestic violence. It also addresses the societal issues that contribute to domestic violence.
The agency offers a broad array of services throughout the Chicago Southland with a focus on safety first. Those services include:
- 24-hour crisis hotline
- Emergency residential shelter
- Transitional housing
- Legal advocacy in courts and police departments
- Hospital advocacy and emergency room crisis intervention services
- Adult and children’s individual and group counseling, therapeutic intervention, family counseling
- Individual and family case management
- Dating violence prevention, intervention, and education services
- Outreach education and training for the community
- Batterers’ intervention and education
Curt’s Café is a nonprofit organization that provides training in food service and life skills for Evanston-area at-risk youth aged 15-22 who have had contact with the judicial system or might be headed that way. Curt’s Café trains youth in marketable skills, assists them in finding employment, and supports them in developing life skills that fall into four areas:
L – Life Skills such as opening a bank account, making decisions, and readying themselves for employment
I – Intellectual Skills such as English, math, and computer literacy
F – Food Service Skills in the kitchen such as working as a barista, providing counter service, or preparing food
E – Experiential Skills, which are gained by working with mentors provided to support the students outside their work in the café
Training is provided in the Curt’s Café, in a classroom setting, and sometimes with individual mentors who work one-on-one with the students.
The Experimental Station’s mission is to build independent cultural infrastructure on Chicago’s south side by fostering a dynamic ecology of educational and cultural programs, small business enterprises, and community initiatives. Their focus includes—but is not limited to—the arts, ecology, food culture, cultural criticism, independent publishing, and alternative models of education.
Since 2006, Woodlawn Experimental Station has been creating its own programs to provide innovative response to local needs. Programs include:
- Cultural events
- Blackstone Bicycle Works
- 61st Street Farmers Market
- LINK Up Illinois
- LINK Access for Chicago farmers markets
Whether fostering new audiences for the arts, supporting independent cultural producers, initiating public conversations around important local issues, promoting entrepreneurial initiatives, offering healthy food access and food education, or providing youth education, guidance on preparing for college, or job skills training, Experimental Station seeks to extend its hospitality to improve quality of life for all.
Family Shelter Service, located in Wheaton, Illinois, offers help and hope for victims of domestic violence and works to create a community that is safe for all. It also provides culturally appropriate services for Latino victims of violence.
- 24-hour hotline staffed by counselors trained to help people dealing with domestic violence
- Counseling to empower people to make informed decisions regarding their needs
- Shelters that provide a safe and supportive environment for physical and emotional healing
- Court advocates who provide support and information about legal remedies for those affected by domestic violence
- Children’s programs to help children to heal and to find healthy ways to cope with their family’s experiences
- Community education and prevention
Family Rescue is dedicated to eliminating domestic violence in the Chicago community by providing comprehensive support services and shelter to victims of domestic violence, particularly abused women and their children; engaging in advocacy to promote future system change; and encouraging prevention through community education.
Incorporated in 1981, Family Rescue has provided progressive services for over 30 years. The organization has been a leader in the field, educating the community on how to prevent domestic violence. In 1982, Family Rescue opened the Rosenthal Family Lodge, the second shelter in Chicago specifically for victims of domestic violence. The Community Outreach Program began in 1990, providing counseling outside of shelters and educating the community on the prevention of domestic violence. The Ridgeland Apartments and Children’s Program, started in 1991, was the first program of its kind in the nation to provide supportive transitional housing for domestic abuse survivors. In 2000, the Court Advocacy Program (CAP) opened as an independent program. CAP provides advocacy, prevention education, and intervention at each step of the criminal and civil legal system, maintaining a consistent presence in a Chicago Police District Station, civil court, and misdemeanor and felony criminal courts.
- Batik program that provides training to women in sewing and other handiwork. Proceeds from sales go to the women and to the program.
Glenwood Academy is a 126-year old, nondenominational residential/educational organization located in Glenwood, IL. One hundred fifty boys and girls in grades 3-12 live in 12 residences located on a 120-acre campus, 20 miles south of the Chicago Loop. The on-campus school serves students through eighth grade. High school students attend Bloom Township High School or Marian Catholic High School.
Eighty-nine percent of the students come from single-parent homes, with ninety-two percent living at or below the federal poverty income levels. Parents who apply are seeking a stable living environment for their children, away from unsafe family and/or community environments.
Students enjoy a range of recreational opportunities as well as organized sports programs in junior and senior high school. Over 92 percent of the graduating seniors during the past 10 years have gone on to work toward a college education.
House of the Good Shepherd offers a comprehensive, curative program for women who are domestic violence survivors and their children. Through their 14 transitional housing apartments, they help women and their children to heal and recover from the violence. They also enable the women to develop independence and self-sufficiency and to break the cycle of abuse.
During their 8-16 month stay, women are provided with access to job training, financial counseling, child programs, ESL and GED courses, and other wraparound services that allow most of them to graduate from the program with $1500-$4000 in savings, employment, and a lease for a safe place to live.
Humanity Healing International is a humanitarian, nonpolitical, nondenominational spiritual organization promoting Spiritual Activism as a means to foster healing in communities around the world that have little or no hope.
Humanity Healing International seeks out and identifies specific projects worldwide and implements definable and sustainable solutions. Their projects include:
- Partnering with Hope Development Organization to stand up for the women and girls of Pakistan and wipe out the stain of honor killings
- Rescuing at-risk albino children in Uganda and relocating them to safe schools and environments
The mission of Chicago-based Imerman Angels is to provide personalized connections that enable one-on-one support among cancer fighters, survivors, and caregivers.
Through a unique matching process, Imerman Angels partners anyone seeking cancer support with a “Mentor Angel.” A cancer survivor is paired with someone who is the same age and same gender, and most importantly, who has faced the same type of cancer. A caregiver is paired with another caregiver who has experienced similar challenges in supporting someone who is fighting cancer fighter.
These one-on-one relationships give a cancer fighter or caregiver the chance to ask personal questions and get support from someone who has been there before. Mentor Angels can offer guidance and empathy and help cancer fighters and caregivers navigate the system, determine their options, and create their own support systems. Frequently, caregivers experience feelings similar to those of the person facing cancer. Mentor Angels can relate to those they are lending support to while being sensitive to an individual’s unique experience and situation. The service is absolutely free and helps anyone touched by any type of cancer, at any cancer stage level, at any age, living anywhere in the world.
Imerman Angels was created on the belief that no one should have to fight cancer alone and without the necessary support. At 26 years old, founder Jonny Imerman was diagnosed with testicular cancer and began his fight against the disease. Throughout his experience, Jonny was lucky enough to have loving support from his family and friends but had never met anyone his age who was a cancer survivor. He wanted to talk to someone just like him, someone who truly understood and was intimately familiar with his experience, including having survived the same type of cancer. This was the beginning of Jonny’s vision and in 2003, it became a reality when he founded Imerman Angels.
Kimmapii Kids is a Canadian Charity that delivers hope and opportunity in every satchel full of school supplies given to children in the Cusco and Sacred Valley areas of Peru.
In 2007, a small group of like-minded, big-hearted people traveled to Peru to learn about the ancient wisdom of the indigenous elders. While touring the villages and communities in rural areas, they witnessed firsthand many challenging conditions children faced, and felt an urge to help. The small group asked the elders what was needed most to support their community, and the answer was clear: access to education. Education would provide new opportunities and enrich their children’s lives.
An idea that started as a seed has grown into an annual program delivering 1500 satchels filled with school supplies to children who might not otherwise be able to attend school. The government pays for schools and teachers but not books and pencils, so volunteers make the annual trip to hand-deliver reusable, locally made satchels filled with school supplies that have been purchased wholesale from Peruvian merchants. In this way, Kimmapii Kids supports the local economy and minimizes their environmental footprint. The experience these volunteers have of giving from the heart lasts a lifetime.
The Silver-Spring, Maryland-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) is an association of the leaders of congregations of Catholic sisters in the United States. The conference has more than 1400 members, who represent more than 80 percent of the approximately 51,000 sisters in the United States. Founded in 1956, the conference assists its members in carrying out their service of leadership to further the mission of the Gospel in today’s world.
LCWR promotes an understanding and living of religious life by providing education and resources to its members that help them to:
- Further the mission of Christ in today’s world
- Foster dialogue and collaboration among religious congregations as they serve the Catholic Church and the larger society
- Advocate for change that improves the lives of others and creates a more just and peaceful world
- Establish relationships with other groups concerned with the needs of society, thereby maximizing the potential of the conference for affecting change
The Lighthouse Church of All Nations is a nondenominational ministry serving people of over 60 different nationalities. Known as Chicago’s “Bridging the Gap” Church, it is both multicultural and multigenerational and offers programs for all ages including extensive programming for youth. Highlights of its youth programming are:
- The All Nations Leadership Institute with classes in multicultural ministry, leadership, and spiritual foundations
- A state-of-the-art children’s ministry
- Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
- Youth choir
- Weekly youth arts workshop
- Monthly open mic and “light” club
- Record label
- Singles and marriage ministries
- Seniors group
- Food pantry
The mission of the Lincoln Park Community Shelter (LPCS) is to bring communities together to empower homeless men and women to make and sustain life changes. The organization’s core efforts are the Interim Housing Community and the On Track Program, through which LPCS operates a 24-hour, year-round facility serving 35 homeless men and women. Working in tandem, the Interim Housing Community and the On Track Program help guests discover ways to meet the expectations of today’s housing and job markets while building a personal foundation that will help sustain independence for the future. Each year, over 50 percent of those seeking employment find jobs, and over 70 percent of participants return to permanent housing.
LPCS also provides ancillary services to those still living on the streets or in emergency shelters, or tenuously housed through the Community Engagement Program. Emergency services such as hot meals, showers, laundry, food, and clothing are offered, as are referrals to case management for those who are ready to take steps to change their lives for the better. Each year, over 40 percent of the shelter’s clients improve their housing status through engagement with LPCS staff and volunteers in this low-barrier program.
The Graduate Community continues to provide service to LPCS guests who have secured permanent housing. It provides meals, rental assistance, donated items, case management, and referrals to agencies that can help them. The LPCS community of staff, volunteers, and guests provide ongoing guidance and support, resulting in nearly 80 percent of those served remaining in stable housing two years after their exit from the interim housing program.
The newest endeavor, the Independent Community Living Program (ICLP), began in the summer of 2013. This is a scattered-site permanent supportive housing program, currently designed to serve 15 disabled men and women. LPCS works with landlords to provide safe, clean apartments and offer comprehensive case management and other services to residents in their homes and communities.
The Little Sisters of the Poor at St. Joseph’s Home for the Elderly in Palatine, IL, serve the needs of the elderly poor regardless of race, creed, sex or nationality, and offer a family-like, loving home filled with care, compassion, and respect. At St. Joseph’s Home, the Little Sisters, nursing staff, and visiting doctors and dentists strive to meet the individual, physical, social, spiritual, and emotional needs of residents, while preserving their sense of dignity and self-esteem. Most residents are over 85 years old and lack the financial means and often, social and family support needed to maintain their independence with dignity.
The values of the Little sisters of the Poor are:
- Reverence for the sacredness of human life and for the uniqueness of each person, especially those who are poorest and/or weakest. This is reflected in care that is holistic and person-centered.
- Family Spirit: a spirit of joyful hospitality embracing all with open arms, hearts, and minds; fostering participation in the life of the home; and rejecting all forms of discrimination.
- Humble Service: the desire to raise others up and to put their needs before our own; an appreciation of simple, everyday tasks and experiences; and humble means in accomplishing our work.
- Compassion: empathy for sharing the weaknesses and sufferings of others; eagerness to relieve pain in all its forms and to make the elderly happy.
- Stewardship: the recognition that life and all that is good are gifts from God and should therefore be used responsibly for the good of all; trust in God’s Providence and the generosity of others to provide for our needs; just compensation for our collaborators; a spirit of gratitude and sharing.
LivingWell Cancer Resource Center in Geneva, IL, provides compassionate care that empowers, encourages, supports, and provides hope to cancer patients and their families. Since opening their doors in 2005, LivingWell has served as a community-based, community-funded cancer resource center.
The focus at LivingWell is to help cancer patients and their caregivers learn vital skills that enable them to regain control, reduce isolation, and enhance their quality of life. Living Well’s staff has an unwavering commitment to ensuring that people facing cancer feel empowered with knowledge, strengthened by action, and sustained by the support community created by LivingWell. The ultimate goal of all of the LivingWell programs is to increase the quality of coordinated care for cancer patients and increase patient and family member’s mental health and well-being. All programs and services are offered free of charge.
Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, located in Chicago, Illinois, is a Catholic organization offering programs for youth who have experienced trauma and want to improve their lives. Challenges faced by the young people served by Mercy Home include neighborhood violence, academic problems, abuse, gang pressure, and depression. Youth who need the safety and stability of a residential program live at Mercy Home, attend school and hold a part-time job if they are sixteen years old or more. Former residents of Mercy Home receive continued support through the AfterCare program, which helps them find apartments, improve job skills, procure employment, and transition to college if they are continuing their formal education. Youth in need of assistance, but whose situations allow them to remain with their families, take part in the Friends First mentoring program, where they are matched with adults who offer guidance and activities such as trips to museums or ball games. Access to positive adult role models helps these youth make good decisions and become productive adults.
Midwest Shelter for Homeless Veterans is a nonprofit agency with a passion for helping homeless and at-risk veterans achieve self-sufficiency. Located in DuPage County, Illinois, MSHV conducts community outreach and provides veterans and their families with housing programs and supportive services. The organization was founded by veterans, and the staff at MSHV work to integrate the military experience of clients into the array of intensive, personalized programs that the agency provides.
- Transitional Housing: Marine LCpl. Nicholas Larson Home
- Affordable Housing: Army Sgt. Robert J. Miller Home and Tammy’s Trace
- Captain Kevin C. Landeck: Freedom Commissary providing clothing, household, and basic needs to low-income veterans
- Supportive Services for Veteran Families Program: providing case management and financial assistance to rapidly rehouse homeless veterans or prevent homelessness for those who are facing eviction
- Community Outreach: staff and resident weekly trips to seek out veterans who are homeless and in need of resources such as shelter and basic supplies
- Veterans Employment Program: helping underemployed or unemployed veterans connect to employment opportunities that lead to self-sufficiency
- Supportive Services: case management, mental health, and other services to enrich all of the above programs and goals
Mujeres Latinas en Acción empowers Latinas by providing services that reflect their values and culture, and by being an advocate on the issues that make a difference in their lives. Focusing on violence prevention and leadership development, programs incorporate cultural proficiency and a strengths-based approach, forming a pathway that is easy to navigate and designed to assist participants in developing and working toward their personal goals.
- Domestic Violence Program: Mujeres’ largest program provides assessment, individual and group counseling, children’s therapy, legal advocacy, a 24-hour bilingual hotline, case management, access to income support, community education, transportation, and respite child care as well as referrals to temporary housing.
- Sexual Assault Program: Offers assessment, individual and group counseling, medical and legal advocacy, community education, and referrals to services. Long-term therapy is also available through a Master’s-level therapist for those requiring more intensive assistance.
- Empresarias del Futuro: Provides the opportunity for domestic violence survivors to reach economic independence through entrepreneurship with a focus on leadership, financial literacy, and small business development. Collaboration with Women’s Business Development Center and Acción Chicago.
- Latina Leadership: Empowers Latinas to improve the quality of their lives and communities through leadership development and community involvement on issues directly affecting residents.
- Parent Support: Offers educational classes for parents seeking to enrich their parenting skills to improve family life. This program also includes Project Sanctuary, a supervised child visitation program for noncustodial parents.
- Youth Programs: Proyecto Juventud/Jovenes con Palabra (Project Youth/Young Men of Their Word) focuses on leadership development, academic success, pregnancy prevention, and violence prevention among both boys and girls.
- Ventanilla de Salud: Housed at the Mexican Consulate, VDS provides to Mexican immigrants referrals to health services and information on topics such to disease prevention, health screenings, and the Affordable Care Act.
Northwestern Medicine Osher Center for Integrative Medicine in Chicago, Illinois strives to change medicine for the better by optimizing the wellness of its patients through empowerment, education, and patient-centered care. The center offers integrative medicine consultations, primary care, acupuncture, naturopathic medicine, nutrition counseling, health psychology, bodywork, energy therapies, smoking cessation, and a range of wellness classes. The Osher Center is identified as the leading regional resource for reputable information on lifestyle and complementary medicine. The Center’s major priorities are to:
- Initiate new evidence-based research projects and enhance this knowledge through dissemination. Currently, the Osher Center is one of ten leading integrative medicine centers to participate in BRAVENET’s PRIMIER launch. This is a landmark study for which data will be collected on patient care outcomes in integrative settings. NIM also initiated its own research work on the ACTIVATE Cancer Care, a pre- and post-acupuncture assessment for patients undergoing chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment
- Establish a full spectrum of medical education programs aimed at expanding the knowledge and attitudes of current and future physicians and the community-at-large
- Deliver exceptional whole-family integrative care and underwrite the provision of care for patients with various diseases who would benefit immensely from the compassionate and innovative care provided through integrative medicine
The Osher Center consciously examines the evidence for effective complementary and alternative practices from around the world and blends them with the very best of conventional medicine. The goal is to provide the highest quality personalized health care to patients.
Pachamama Raymi in Cusco, Peru, is a nongovernmental organization that focuses on the economic, social, and ecological revitalization of rural and urban communities in Peru.
The name “Pachamama Raymi” comes from the indigenous Quechuan language and means “Fiesta of Mother Earth.” Pachamama Raymi fulfills its mission by providing peer learning to local communities through workshops, practical training, and farmer exchanges.
Community contests are held to encourage adoption of sustainable farming practices, diversification of income sources, environmental reclamation, and improvement of living conditions. Individual and community winners are awarded monetary prizes for implementing the greatest improvements.
All contest participants benefit by gaining from advances in the quality of day-to-day living. The effects of improvements undertaken by individual families impact the whole community. For example, increasing the quality of stoves and their ventilation decreases indoor smoke, improving respiratory health in the community, while greater stove efficiency lowers fuel use and decreases deforestation. Other changes might include using more effective animal husbandry practices, leading to better nutrition and the ability to use manure to produce biogas fuel, and planting of trees to increase reforestation and future economic opportunity. The target of the tree-planting program is for each participating family to plant 1000 trees per year, a goal that is often exceeded.
The mission of the People’s Resource Center community is to respond to basic human needs, promote dignity and justice, and create a future of hope and opportunity for the residents of DuPage County, IL, through helping them to discover and share personal and community resources.
People’s Resource Center provides a lifeline to people in crisis through assistance from our social services programs. These include:
- Food pantry
- Emergency rent and mortgage assistance
- Clothes Closet
- Financial assistance and social services
PRC also offers programs to promote self-sufficiency that include:
- Education—GED and citizenship exam preparation, tutoring, and summer science programs for children
- Computer access and training—computer classes, computer equipment for families, and free repairs
- Job assistance and guidance
- Art classes to help participants develop confidence and self-esteem
The Replogle Center for Counseling and Well-Being in Chicago, Illinois is a resource for those seeking to find more contentment in a busy life, grow as a person, prevent and reduce stress, and/or strengthen relationships. It offers programs that integrate mind, body and spirit, enhancing individual creativity and resiliency. These include:
- Legacy of healing: With a 37-year tradition of providing professional, compassionate, and holistic services to those in need, the Replogle Center offers unique and diverse care from a team of experienced therapists representing a broad array of backgrounds, spiritual traditions, and training. The Center is open to all and serves a wide-ranging population inclusive in race, gender, age, sexual orientation, and religious or spiritual point of reference. It is connected to a referral network to ensure that all who come to us for help receive appropriate services and support.
For those with limited financial options, The Replogle Center offers scholarships and sliding scale fees.
- Counseling: The Replogle Center provides counseling services that include individual, group, and couples counseling for adults. A variety of approaches are employed, many of which include some aspect of mindfulness. The staff at the Replogle Center treats clients’ trust with the utmost respect, knowing that confidentiality is at the core of successful therapeutic relationships. The goal is to help clients recognize negative patterns and develop methods to cope with and change these patterns.
- Relationship coaching: Relationship coaching, also known as marriage counseling, helps couples recognize and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. Relationship coaching gives couples tools to communicate better, negotiate differences, problem solve, and resolve conflict in a healthier way so that they can create the relationship they desire. The Replogle Center provides counseling services to couples struggling with communication problems, life’s transitions, and intimacy concerns so that they may achieve greater levels of intimacy and understanding.
- EMDR: EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) is a powerful technique used to help clients overcome emotional difficulties due to traumatic situations and events such as having been assaulted or abused, served in combat, or experienced a natural disaster. Scientific research has established EMDR as effective for treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in which improperly stored images, thoughts, and feelings are relived and re-experienced when memories are triggered, resulting in a disruption of a person’s ability to function. EMDR has also been used effectively to treat complications of grief and reduce stress as well as anxiety.
The Romanian Evangelistic Medical Mission (REMM) was founded by a group of doctors shortly after the fall of communism in Romania in 1990. Initially limited to a medical mission, their work in Romania now includes:
- Short-term mission teams lead by medical professionals that “bring medicine in one hand and a Bible in the other” to a country still in need of physical and spiritual healing
- Casa Josef, an orphanage that has housed 8 girls since birth
- A mercy ministry that provides food, clothing, and other needs to poor families
- A gypsy ministry that provides hot lunches for children, teaches basic hygiene and health care, builds wells to bring fresh water to communities, and provides food staples to families in need
- The Walnut Tree Project, which seeks to provide sustainable revenue to the ministry through planting walnut trees and harvesting the nuts
The mission of Sarah’s Inn is to improve the lives of those impacted by domestic violence and break the cycle of violence in order to improve the lives of those in future generations. With a network of supporters, volunteers, and partners, Sarah’s Inn accomplishes this mission through:
- Comprehensive services for families to help them find safety, rebuild their lives, and heal
- Legal and intervention services to help ensure protections for victims as well as to help educate offenders and promote accountability
- Prevention programs to teach children and adolescents about how to cultivate healthy relationships
- Training and education to promote an appropriate community response to violence
Founded in 1981, Sarah’s Inn has grown to become the largest and most comprehensive domestic violence agency serving Chicago and surrounding West Cook County suburban communities. The agency currently operates from a hub in Oak Park and six off-site locations throughout Chicago and West Cook County with the help of partner agencies and area courthouses.
Friends of Sarnelli House was set up to support the work of Sarnelli House, an orphanage for children who have HIV/AIDS, located in Don Wai, Thailand. Sarnelli House opened in October 2000 and was built with donations from the Redemptorist’s Priests Foundation of Thailand, a Catholic religious order. Up to 70 children can live at the orphanage at any one time. They receive shelter, education, and healthcare, including antiretroviral (ARV) medications.
The name “Sarnelli House” is also the umbrella name for projects coordinated by the Redemptorist’s Priests Foundation in the province of Nong Khai in northeast Thailand, which include:
- Nazareth House, a home in Don Wai for teenage girls with HIV/AIDS
- St. Patrick’s Boys Home, a home in Pi Si Tong for abandoned and orphaned boys
- Jan and Oscar House, a home in Pi Si Tong for teenage boys
- House of Hope, a home in Pi Si Tong for babies and toddlers
- Our Lady of Refuge Home for Girls, a home in Viengkhuk for abandoned and orphaned girls
- Outreach program that provides home visits and support for people living with HIV/AIDS
The Sawtooth School for Visual Art is the only community art school serving the Winston-Salem, North Carolina area. For nearly 70 years, Sawtooth has offered classes and workshops in a variety of visual arts and crafts, including painting and drawing, ceramics, metals, glass, wood, fibers, photography, digital art, and more.
Healing and Wellness through the Arts, a pilot project of the Sawtooth School, helps adult oncology patients use art as a means of expressing loss and grief. Through partnerships with cancer centers at Novant Health and Wake Forest Baptist Health, the program offers on-site exhibitions, demonstrations, and short workshops.
Sojihuggles’ mission is to provide underprivileged children under the age of 19 with the basic necessities in life so they may grow, thrive, experience a sense of purpose, and contribute to society. To that end, Sojihuggles works with school nurses, instructional coaches, guidance counselors, and state aid offices to identify the needs of children at their schools or in state programs. Managed entirely by volunteers, Sojihuggles provides no salaries or stipends to anyone working in or with the organization. One hundred percent of proceeds go to directly supporting children in need, providing them with:
- Clothing, including diapers and toiletries as well as coats, sneakers, shoes, and everything in between
- School lunches, and the organization is committed to providing a minimum of 10,000 free, nutritional school lunches a year for those whose families cannot afford them
- Free EpiPens
- Free hearing exams and hearing aids
- Free vision exams and eyeglasses
While Sojihuggles’ mandate is to provide basic necessities, the organization is very fortunate in that its volunteers choose to create memories for children by gifting the following items, in the name of Sojihuggles, to local food pantries and shelters upon request:
- Birthday Bags – complete with everything needed for a small birthday party including cake mix, icing, baking pan, card, balloons, party hat, and blowers
- Holiday Items — Valentine’s Day cookies, Easter baskets, Christmas stockings, and holiday gifts
The mission of Stephen’s Children is to serve Christian children and families living in Cairo’s garbage slums or in impoverished communities throughout Egypt as well as in rural Upper Egypt. Stephen’s Children ministries aid more than 31,000 children and their families.
Many of Stephen’s Children’s Egypt-based workers grew up in impoverished communities and are now giving back to help change the lives of others. The ministries in which they serve offer mentoring and humanitarian assistance, access to pre-primary schools, a Basic Education School, vocational training, and spiritual instruction. Ancillary programs, available to all people regardless of religious affiliation, include:
- Home visits
- Community education
- Literacy classes
- Mothers’ gatherings
- Sports camps
- Vocational training
- Medical services
- Parenting programs
For Chicago area families experiencing domestic violence, South Suburban Family Shelter in Homewood, Illinois, provides comprehensive, coordinated services without imposing any one solution. South Suburban Family Shelter’s programs increase the safety of victims and their families and empower victims by helping them to increase their knowledge about healthy relationships. They also increase offender accountability and raise awareness and understanding of domestic violence issues within the community. All services are provided free of charge in both Spanish and in English.
- A 24-hour hotline
- Emergency shelter
- Transitional housing
- Group and individual counseling for adult victims
- Group and individual counseling for child victims/witnesses
- Court advocacy in criminal and civil court
- Medical advocacy
- A school-based prevention program
- Community outreach and education
- Re-learning groups for abusers
The Taproot Foundation drives social change by mobilizing and engaging professionals in pro bono service, providing leadership to organizations tackling social problems that don’t have access to the marketing, design, technology, management, or strategic planning resources they need to succeed. Access to pro bono talent to assist them in addressing critical issues such as the environment, health, and education helps them to reach their goals and maximize their impact.
Taproot engages the nation’s millions of business professionals in pro bono services both through our award-winning programs, and by partnering with companies to develop their own pro bono programs. Its vision is that all organizations with promising solutions will be equipped to successfully take on urgent social challenges.
True North Treks is a nonprofit organization that offers young adults between the ages of 18-39 who have been diagnosed with cancer the chance to spend time in beautiful wilderness areas where they can slow down and reconnect to nature, other cancer survivors, and themselves. Using mindful awareness practices such as yoga and meditation, participants learn to live more intentionally and to increase their appreciation of and connection to the present moment. These practices have been shown to improve one’s ability to respond to stress and adversity with greater equanimity and curiosity. Participants also gain increased awareness and acceptance of themselves and others as they experience nature through canoeing and backpacking treks while learning “leave no trace” outdoor practices. True North Treks is based in the idea that connecting with the healing space found in nature, connecting with others the same age who have also been affected by cancer, and connecting with oneself though mindful awareness practices can help a young adult forge a new pathway beyond their disease, beyond their treatment, and beyond all the labels, assumptions, expectations, stereotypes, and fears that cancer can bring.
Unite the World with Africa Foundation is a US-based 501c3 non profit organization whose mission is to promote peace and prosperity for the world’s poor through the provision and advancement of health, education and micro finance programs in Tanzania, East Africa. Unite casts a wide net to uncover local leaders who are impacting impactful sustainable change at a grassroots level. Once these individuals are identified, they and their teams and programs are carefully vetted before being approved as a partner of Unite. Once approved, the Foundation works to provide all the resources, mentoring, education, materials, staff and volunteer support to ensure their short and long-term success.
Each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
~ Robert F Kennedy
We Grow Dreams provides people with disabilities the opportunity to lead fulfilling lives and to train and work in a supportive, safe, and caring environment while producing and providing products and services to the community. In this pursuit, We Grow Dreams honors the concepts of human dignity, respect, hard work, fellowship, and friendship. The center’s mission is to provide job training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and have been doing so from the same location in West Chicago for 13 years.
Wellness House in Hinsdale, Illinois, provides resources at no cost for people diagnosed with cancer as well as for their family members and caregivers. Programs include exercise classes, healthy cooking classes, stress management techniques, support groups, and social events. Wellness House’s boutique makes wigs available to cancer patients at no charge, and their library contains resources on a wide range of health-related issues.
WINGS seeks to help women in the northwest suburbs of Chicago who are affected by homelessness or domestic violence. WINGS provides programming designed to support the individual needs of each client. All WINGS programs offer safety planning, therapeutic and financial counseling, support groups, community referrals, life skills enhancement, career and housing solution assistance, mentoring, and access to food pantries.
Services that WINGS provides include:
- A 24-hour safe house that provides 45 beds for up to 6 weeks of emergency housing for women and their children
- Transitional Housing for single women and women with children
- Individual and group counseling for women and children who have been affected by domestic violence
- Vocational counseling and referrals to education and training
- Project Lifeline, which links community mentors with women who are homeless or victims of domestic violence
- ALAS (Advocating for Latinas Achieving Self-Sufficiency), which focuses on the supporting the needs of Latina Women in the community.
Wyman Center envisions a day when all young people in America will thrive in learning, work, and life. The center’s mission is to empower teens from economically disadvantaged circumstances to lead successful lives and build strong communities.
The Greer Foundation also has scholarship programs: Greer Scholars and the Tichenor-Greer Scholars. Both fund educational opportunities for minority and economically disadvantaged youth who might not otherwise have access to higher education. The Greer Foundation provides grants to higher educational institutions and nonprofit organizations that offer scholarships for students to attend college, trade school, or certificate programs with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM). Scholarship programs are administered by the grantee organizations, and they select eligible students to be Greer Scholars.
The following organizations currently participate in the Greer Scholars or Tichenor-Greer Scholars Programs.
- Chestnut Hill College, Tichenor-Greer Scholars Program
- Lehigh University, Greer Scholars Program
- Mercy Home for Boys and Girls, Greer Scholars Program
- Glenwood Academy, Greer Scholars Program
- The Lighthouse Church of All Nations, Greer Scholars Program
- The Experimental Station, Greer Scholars Program
- Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Greer Scholars Program
- Unite The World With Africa, Greer Scholars Program
- Northwestern University, Greer Scholars Program
- Loyola University, Greer Scholars Program
- Chicago Lights, Greer Scholars Program