At this time of giving thanks, the board and staff of the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation are especially thankful for the generosity of Oak Park and River Forest residents.

Through the support of donors, volunteers and other partners we are able to strengthen our community through philanthropy.

We are working to grow the Community Works endowment by $4 million.

Every dollar contributed between now and Sept. 30, 2011, will be matched by a dollar from the Grand Victoria Foundation up to $2 million — a 100 percent investment return.

Due to the generosity of the community we are now just about half way toward our $2 million goal. This continued generosity creates an additional $4 million in endowed funds that will provide $200,000 in grants annually to local nonprofits.

In partnership with our fund holders this year, the Community Foundation has distributed $76,500 in grants to local nonprofits. We look for ways to support and partner with organizations that demonstrate measurable impact in Oak Park and River Forest.

Grants range from general operating support to supporting innovative programs; from vision screenings for preschoolers to a summer teens employment program; from grants supporting the OPRF Senior Center to the Community Leadership Program for emerging leaders; while supporting the long-term availability of OPRF by funding the Plan It Green Initiative, a community plan that guides Oak Park and River Forest toward environmental sustainability.

Part of the foundation’s commitment to the many philanthropists in our community is through the Excellence in Philanthropy Awards. This award seeks to honor those who demonstrate significant philanthropic impact in Oak Park-River Forest.

Three awards are made: Outstanding Individual Philanthropist, Outstanding Business or Organization (including nonprofits), and outstanding Youth, either individual or group. Nominations for the awards are open until Nov. 29.

Awards will be presented at the Community Foundation’s annual meeting in February. Applications are available at our website,

Thank you for your support of Community Works, the Future Philanthropist Program, the Excellence in Philanthropy Awards and the annual grants made available through the Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation. Charity does, indeed, begin at home.

Sophia Lloyd
Executive Director, OPRF Community Foundation

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