Everything we need for a better world – now more than ever! More Art, More Compassion, More Education, More Equity, More Food, More Health, More Housing, More Peace.
Browse, read, share with your children. Give Locally – Give Joyfully!
African American Christian Foundation (AACF)
AACF empowers young adults trapped by extreme poverty to spearhead them through education to become leaders in their communities. These are young people who persist and cope with immense traumatic hurdles as they strive to build a better future. Founded in 1985, AACF takes a holistic approach focused on positive youth development, goal setting, and opportunity. We encourage youth to take control of their potential through mentoring, enrichment and reinforcing life skills. Youth are engaged in internships, employment, secondary education, vocational training, and provided with supportive services that encourage achievement in all their endeavors. Youth enduring severe poverty face tremendous challenges, we need and count on supporters like you to join us to help them succeed.
For more information, or to make a donation, please visit us at aacfworks.org
Animal Care League
Animal Care League offers a safe haven for pets in need. Rooted in the community since 1973, Animal Care League takes a proactive approach to animal care and adoption as well as preventative measures to help reduce the number of homeless animals in our communities. With over 1000 pets coming to our doors each year, Animal Care League counts on supporters to ensure that we can provide what is needed from routine vaccinations to life saving surgery.
Make a difference in the life of a homeless animal by visiting animalcareleague.org where you can sign up to volunteer, make a donation, view our adoptable pets, and learn about upcoming events.
Arbor West Neighbors
Arbor West Neighborsis a grassroots organization of neighbors connecting to empower adults to thrive as we age in community. We support the residents of Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park and Austin as we age in homes of our choice. We envision multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and economically diverse communities where all older adults are valued, age with dignity, and enjoy opportunities for growth and engagement.
Do you want to age with a purpose? Join us to share your collective talents, experiences and passion to broaden the image of aging. Learn more at: Arborwestneighbors.org
When the pandemic hit, we revamped our service model to keep everybody safe. Instead of inviting people to shop inside our food pantry, we now prepack boxes with nearly 80 pounds of groceries and pop them into car trunks or shopping carts for participants. We’ve added more home delivery recipients knowing that elderly and disabled individuals are more at risk for COVID-19. The contents of each box is tailored to meet the needs of our community. Along with food, we include toilet paper, toothpaste, and reusable washable masks. With your support, we can make sure no one in our community goes hungry this winter. Even a little goes a long way: every $1 donated can feed a neighbor for an entire day.
To donate, visit GoBeyondHunger.org or send checks payable to Beyond Hunger, 848 Lake Street, Oak Park, IL 60301
Since 1969, BUILD has helped Chicago’s most vulnerable youth escape gangs and violence to become positive leaders in their communities. These young people face enormous obstacles and trauma, and so we surround them with the counseling, mentoring, training, and opportunities they need to build a future and succeed. We engage youth at every stage, with specialized teams dedicated to street violence interventions, gang detachments, creative after-school programming, academic school and college support, mental health care, community violence crisis response, and enrichment activities ranging from art and music to sports, podcasting, engineering and gardening. Potential doesn’t discriminate, neither should opportunity.
Join us in BUILDing a better future. Visit and donate at buildchicago.org/
Celebrating Seniors Coalition
Since our inception a decade ago, the Celebrating Seniors Coalition has been passionate about dispelling outdated and inaccurate myths about what it is to be a senior in our society.
At the same time, the Coalition has raised funds to help meet the basic needs of daily living for dozens of elders in our community. As we get to the “other side” of the pandemic and embark on our second decade, join us in Celebrating Seniors—those people 60 and over in Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park.
Learn how you can join honor and support these esteemed elders at our updated website: www.CelebratingSeniors.net.
Cluster Tutoring is a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides free one-to-one tutoring to students in grades K through 12 from Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. Tutor-student pairs work together during the school year on reading, math, and other homework to prepare the student for a successful academic career. When Cluster started nearly 30 years ago, fewer than half of Chicago Public Schools graduated from high school. Now, all of Cluster’s seniors not only graduate but are accepted at colleges and other post-graduation programs. Donations go toward materials that help students learn.
To learn more or to donate, visit clustertutoring.org.
The Collaboration for Early Childhood
Support young children this giving season. For over 15 years, the Collaboration for Early Childhood has embraced the vision that all children should arrive at kindergarten safe, healthy, and ready to thrive. This year we sharpened our equity focus and responded to the needs of our community members affected by the health pandemic and national events of racist violence. We launched Ready, Set, Kindergarten! a virtual support system for 30 families whose children transitioned to kindergarten in the midst of COVID-19. We distributed 175 ‘Activity Kits’ to families of children with disabilities to enhance their at-home learning. We supplied 62 families in need with essential items, and the work continues.
For more information, or to make a donation, please visit us at www.collab4kids.org or follow us on Facebook.
Concordia University Chicago
Concordia University Chicago is a liberal arts, Christ-centered, Lutheran university where truth, freedom, and vocation form students for lives of influence and service for the common good. Founded in 1864, the University is located on 40 acres in River Forest, Illinois. Historically a college for teachers, it now offers more than 100 areas of study through traditional, blended or online classes. Students can earn a bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees through one of four colleges: the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Business, the College of Education and the College of Graduate Studies. Professors are passionate about teaching, learning and preparing students for success in their chosen vocations. Beyond academics, Concordia offers NCAA Division III athletic teams, intramural sports, touring music ensembles and numerous student clubs and organizations focused on service, recreation, spiritual life and more. Currently, more than 6,400 students are enrolled.
The Day Nursery
Since 1912, The Day Nursery has provided exceptional early childhood education in an environment that welcomes all children, enhances individual strengths, and fosters the academic, social-emotional, and physical development that leads to school readiness. You can help lay the foundation today for successful adults tomorrow.
To learn more about us and to donate, visit www.thedaynursery.org
The Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory
The Oak Park Conservatory began as a community effort to house exotic plants residents collected during their travels abroad. Completed in 1929, it is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Free to the public with 50,000 visitors annually, the Conservatory offers a rich atmosphere throughout three indoor showrooms featuring more than 3,000 plants.
The Friends of the Oak Park Conservatory offers programs focused on enriching the visitor experience at the Conservatory. Toddlers through adults can participate in year-round educational and recreational programs, volunteer opportunities and special events. To learn more or to join, visit fopcon.org.
Growing Community Media
Growing Community Media is dedicated to building community through independent, non-partisan local journalism. We believe that high quality community journalism preserves and strengthens the fabric of our democracy. Independent community journalism holds local governments to account. It connects neighbors. It is the credible source when social media goes haywire, and it allows a community to debate and celebrate. Through Austin Weekly News, Wednesday Journal, Forest Park Review and Riverside-Brookfield Landmark, Growing Community Media reports local news and tells compelling local stories across many platforms. Our mission calls us to build fact-based accountability and connection, conversation and civility, diversity and a sense of belonging.
Join our mission by donating at growingcommunitymedia.org or contacting email@example.com
Hephzibah Children’s Association
Hephzibah is making a difference in the lives of vulnerable children and struggling families. Oak Park’s oldest social service agency, Hephzibah is the only program in Illinois designated to care for the most severe cases of abuse and neglect of young children ages 3-11. Hephzibah Home provides comprehensive, therapeutic care for traumatized young children. Our Family Based Program supports more than 100 foster care children and stabilizes 150 families in crisis. Our Day Care Program delivers quality, affordable day care and summer camp programming for elementary school children in Oak Park.
Make a difference with us at hephzibahhome.org.
Historical Society Forest Park
The Historical Society Forest Park was founded in 1975 for the purposes of “collecting and preserving the rich heritage of Forest Park.” We offer tours of Haymarket Martyrs Monument in Forest Home Cemetery every Saturday in the summer, have regular bicycle tours of cemeteries, hosts several historical events in partnership with the business community and are raising funds for a mobile museum that can bring Bloomer Girls, Forest Park Amusement Park, the Forest Park Racetrack and more rich history to events around town.
For more information about the Society, events and programs, or to become a monthly or annual donor to support us, visit forestparkhistory.org or mail us: Historical Society of Forest Park, PO Box 311, Forest Park IL 60130
Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest
We are the community’s story tellers, and our new facility is an 1898 Oak Park Landmark at Lake and Lombard called Oak Park River Forest Museum, selected by Illinois Association of Museums as Small Museum of the Year. We invested $1 million in private funds to create a welcoming space in a former firehouse. Come and check out featured exhibit “Open House: The Legacy of Fair Housing,” before it closes in 2021. We are not supported by tax dollars and a gift of any amount funds our 2021 schedule of programs, our research center, and our knowledgeable staff.
Learn more and donate at oprfmuseum.org or 708-848-6755
Housing Forward is passionately focused on one vision – ending homelessness. We believe in bold, comprehensive approaches to prevent homelessness whenever possible, respond to housing crises, and stabilize individuals and families through permanent housing. With offices in Maywood and Oak Park, we offer wraparound services including case management, housing, outreach, employment, and emergency assistance. Last year, we served over 2,000 adults and families across 20+ communities. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, our emergency shelter and supportive services programs consolidated into a 24/7 Interim Housing model for clients on a path to permanent housing—including medical respite. This site joins Sojourner House and Ohana House in assisting individuals and families, plus two new housing programs focused on youth and veterans.
IWS Children’s Clinic
Help us champion childhood health! The OPRF Infant Welfare Society (IWS) and our Children’s Clinic have continuously been there for at-risk children and families since the start of the pandemic. We serve the dynamic whole health needs of children: sick visits, critical vaccines at well child check-ups, integrated behavioral health services, and preventive and restorative dental care, including for children with special needs. Together, we are ensuring the health and well-being of children in our community, including Oak Park, Chicago’s West side, Berwyn, Cicero and beyond.
IWS Children’s Clinic serves 3,400 children each year, and your generosity is key as our costs of providing care have increased substantially due to COVID-19. A gift of $50 pays for two essential vaccines. A gift of $150 provides specialized dental services.
Champion Childhood Health – Give Today! https://childrenscliniciws.org/donate or 708-406-8661.
L’Arche Chicago provides high quality care in community-integrated homes for adults with intellectual disabilities in the OPRF area. Our mission is lived through daily life shared in mutuality: afternoon walks to the park, doctor’s appointments, and dinner parties. Moreover, L’Arche is committed to life together in a way that welcomes difference. As our society seems increasingly fearful of difference, L’Arche offers a counter story: that the differences so often keeping people apart can become the substance of joyful and transformative relationships.
Make a needed local impact through our people and mission at www.larchechicago.org/opendoors
Maywood Youth Mentoring Program
Organized in 1993 as a 501c3, the Maywood Youth Mentoring Program has served hundreds of middle to high-school youth providing a variety of programs, workshops, field trips, and experiences designed to increase academic potential and instill cultural pride. Since 2008, the program has hosted free monthly youth breakfasts with topics ranging from anger management/and conflict resolution, etiquette, police/community interactions, sexual health, drug and alcohol avoidance, and academic excellence. Youths practice critical thinking skills to encourage positive life choices. Volunteer mentors interact with youth providing positive role models for college and career choices. Funds are needed to continuously provide free services and incentives for participation.
To volunteer, or to donate, visit us at maywoodyouthmentoring.org, or contact Barbara Cole, founder/CEO at 708-344-3577.
New Moms believes in the strength, skills, and potential of all families and communities to achieve audacious possibilities for their futures. At New Moms, young moms take powerful first steps towards economic mobility and family well-being. Our 2-Generation Approach puts families experiencing poverty in control of their goals and unleashes their potential. We partner with families to construct the foundations of well-being by strengthening core life skills, incorporating early childhood development supports, building pathways to and preparation for education and employment, and expanding positive social networks and access to community resources.
Learn more and donate at newmoms.org.
The Nineteenth Century Charitable Association
The Nineteenth Century Charitable Association strengthens our community through learning, giving, and sharing our landmark building through space grants to local non-profits (80% of its usage is non-profit). During COVID-19 our building has been largely closed, but we have been connecting with our community with weekly Monday Enrichment Zoom programs. We are also providing community outreach to food pantries, shelters and first responders. We need your help keeping our ‘doors’ open.
Oak Park Art League
Celebrating its centennial in 2021, the Oak Park Art League (OPAL) is one of the longest, continually running non-profit arts organizations in Illinois. OPAL is a vibrant cultural center where the invitation and challenge to use art as a medium for personal and community growth is made available to people of all ages. Since 1921, OPAL has brought arts education, appreciation, exhibitions, and the spirit of artistic inquiry to the surrounding community. OPAL is committed to meaningful community outreach to the population that makes up our greater community through partnerships and on-site art and programming with local social service agencies through our “Family stARTs” program.
For more information about membership, volunteering, or to make a donation, please contact Executive Director, Jill Kramer Goldstein at 708-386-9853 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Oak Park Art League is located at 720 Chicago Ave., Oak Park, IL 60302.
Oak Park Mutual Aid
Oak Park Mutual Aid (OPMA) is a coalition of neighbors dedicated to directly caring for one another and those around us in greatest need. We provide direct community support including food, clothing and limited financial assistance. Our website and volunteer responders also share a collection of resources that can help support those living in Oak Park and the surrounding area during this difficult time. To date, we have raised more than $47,000 in donations and assisted hundreds of area residents.
As the situation will remain difficult for the foreseeable future, we need your help through donations and volunteering! https://oakparkmutualaid.com/
Oak Park Regional Housing Center (OPRHC)
For more than four decades, the Oak Park Regional Housing Center (OPRHC) has been an advocate for fair housing. Our mission is to achieve vibrant communities and promote intentional and stable residential integration throughout Oak Park. The OPRHC is the only non-profit in Oak Park and the Greater Westside Region that encourages pro-integrative housing options. Our work is at the heart of why Oak Park is such a wonderful, diverse, and vibrant community, welcoming to everyone.
The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation
The Oak Park-River Forest Community Foundation is based on a powerful promise: to create an enduring institution where people can come together and pool their resources to meet our community’s most pressing needs — not just now, but forever. For over sixty years, generations of thoughtful and caring donors and residents have empowered the Foundation’s work to safeguard and advance the community in which we live, raise our families and work. Now more than ever, our work is vital to the health and vibrancy of our area and for all who call it home.
Visit oprfcf.org to learn more about our services to donors, scholars, and nonprofits. Together, we can create a brighter future for all.
Oak Park and River Forest High School Alumni Association
Through its Bobbie Raymond Summer Enrichment grant program, the Oak Park and River Forest High School Alumni Association helps current OPRFHS students experience life-changing experiential learning opportunities that advance their interests and knowledge in preparation for higher education and future career goals. All freshman through juniors are eligible to apply for awards, though students from under-resourced families receive greater consideration. For more than 20 years, students have traveled to destinations throughout the U.S. and the world, taking part in cultural exchanges, camps, and enrichment opportunities. The future outlook of these life-changing opportunities, and their accessibility for students most in need depends on your support today.
Donate at https://tinyurl.com/oprfalumni-donate
OPRF High School Scholarship Foundation
In May 2020, the Oak Park and River Forest High School Scholarship Foundation granted $140,000 in scholarships to 63 graduating seniors. Since 1924, the Scholarship Foundation has been an important and growing partner in the community, providing much-needed financial assistance to OPRFHS students as college tuition and expenses continue to increase.
Please visit our website at www.scholarships4oprfhs.org. and make a gift to our General Fund to help increase the number and amount of scholarships we offer or to the College Knowledge Project (CKP) Scholars Fund that supports our CKP alumni, many of whom are first generation college students.
We hope you will join us by investing in the future of OPRFHS students today and make a tax-deductible donation. Contact email@example.com to learn more about all scholarship opportunities.
One Earth Film Festival
By taking care of each other, we take care of ourselves. That’s the lesson that the COVID19 pandemic and the growing social & environmental justice movements are teaching us. And that’s the Power of We! The One Earth Film Festival continues to grow and expand our circle of engagement. Save the date for our exciting 10th anniversary One Earth Film Fest, March 5-14, 2021. The Festival was born in Oak Park, and this year, we will be screening virtually to a national audience. Join us for quality films, engaging discussion, meaningful action opportunities and community-building. Memberships start at $25 ($15 for students / seniors). 0
For more information and to donate, visit oneearthfilmfest.org/give.
Opportunity Knocks is dedicated to enriching life and community for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) as they live, work, learn, grow and connect within their community. We use a dynamic, person-centered and community-based approach to programming that serves to engage the voice of our participants, foster interdependent connections, encourage exploration, promote holistic wellness and healthy relationships.
We are 95% privately funded so your support is more important than ever this year in keeping our mission moving forward. To join us in creating a more dynamic and inclusive community for all, visit opportunityknocksnow.org, 8020 Madison Street, River Forest, IL 60305.
The Parks Foundation of Oak Park
The Parks Foundation of Oak Park promotes giving opportunities to support initiatives for the Park District. Our mission is to collaborate with residents, community groups and partner organizations to support exceptional projects that enhance and enrich our parks and community life.
We believe a commitment to equity and diversity is what makes our community strong. Our fundraising efforts enhance scholarship funding to make it possible for all community members to participate in Park District programs. Last year over 200 scholarships were provided to enable individuals and families to participate in park district programs.
To learn more, and make a donation, visit parksfoundationop.org
Providing equitable access to instrumental music for students in grades 4 through 12 in Oak Park and River Forest public schools has been the mission of PING! (Providing Instruments for the Next Generation) for more than 20 years. PING! loans band and orchestra instruments to students in need, and provides music enrichment through workshops; mentoring; and scholarships for summer music camps, school music trips, and private instruction. In this challenging year of COVID, PING! is adapting these enrichment programs to fit the needs of our students learning at home. Community support for our PING! students this year is more important than ever.
Pro Bono Network
We believe access to justice should not depend upon your ability to afford an attorney. There are simply not enough legal aid lawyers to help people in dire need of civil legal aid. These include issues of safety from an abuser, adequate housing, critical care documents, and more. Pro Bono Network has enabled 400 attorneys to give more than 24,000 hours of free legal assistance to over 4,300 clients whose lives were meaningfully changed.
To get involved or donate, visit pro-bono-network.org. Your support will make an impact the lives of many!
Proviso Partners for Health
Proviso Partners for Health (PP4H) is a community-led coalition to advance racial and economic pathways toward justice, community health, and well-being. COVID-19 disproportionately affects people of color and highlights the unmet mental health needs that Black/African American and Latinx residents have experienced for generations. In response, PP4H launched True You, a virtual series that gives voice to the historical and current racial trauma and promotes racial healing. The series recognizes the power and strength of self-discovery through peer support among people of color.
Support our vision and expansion of this work by donating and visiting https://www.provisopartners.com/
Race Conscious Dialogues
The Race Conscious Dialogues are designed for people who are white to deepen their awareness of identity, power and privilege, then develop tools for anti-racism work. The foundational workshop series consists of 4 sessions, 3 hours each, with light readings to be done in preparation. This volunteer-based nonprofit was intentionally created for our community of Oak Park and surrounding areas. All discussions, readings and activities are framed around unpacking and understanding Whiteness – our own racial identities, the historical and current harm being caused by Whiteness, and guided discovery of how we show up and work collectively to eradicate racism.
We invite your participation! Donations are appreciated as well www.raceconsciousdialogues.org/donate
River Forest Public Library Foundation
River Forest Public Library connects our community with information and entertainment, with each other and the world. RFPL Foundation works to enhance the Library today and for the future through fundraising and advocacy. The Foundation fully funded major updates in the Children’s Room in 2019. We have provided support for the Lobby/Circulation renovation, Summer and Adult Reading Programs, special programming, and the Anne Smedinghoff Memorial Garden.
Help ensure a strong community and a bright future for River Forest Public Library with your gift. We gratefully accept cash, credit/debit, securities and bequests. Visit RFPLFoundation.org/donate.
Founded in 1982 by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, SisterHouse educates and empowers women to lead sober and fulfilling lives by providing a safe and structured spiritual living community. Each successful and resilient woman is reaching towards her full potential by growing in self-awareness, self-respect and forgiveness, learning to embrace self and others, while building healthy relationships. She learns not only how to maintain sobriety, internalizing the 12 steps and building a support system, but also how to thrive in life. Each SisterHouse woman secures quality employment and stable housing. She makes plans for her future and acquires the skills, knowledge, and abilities to realize her dreams.
For more information or to donate go to sisterhousechicago.org.
St. Angela School
St. Angela School has walked with the families of Chicago’s west side for one hundred years—walked with a deep commitment to enriching the lives, and the futures, of their children. We have a rich and varied history – and a future of great promise. We provide our children with a safe and loving environment and challenging academics; we help them explore paths that lead to meaningful and rewarding careers; and we teach them, above all, to believe in themselves. As we prepare for our next hundred years, we’re proud to reaffirm our commitment to love and serve all those who choose to be part of our community.
Learn more about St. Angela School at saintangela.org or call us at (773) 626-2655.
If you are curious about how to shift to an anti-racism, anti-white supremacist way of being, while considering what a world that accepts and supports Black women broadly and widely looks like, we invite you to join our community. The Sweet Rest subscription is designed as a set of 12 monthly emails that build on each other and invite the reader on a journey. The content is geared toward a white audience ready to change from within. The coaching emails, complete with monthly action items that compel readers to act without further traumatizing people of color, will deepen the justice walk of white people without further burdening the lives of people of color. Your monthly subscription dollars are used to create rest opportunities for Black women. This is the kind of restorative framework that we hope will move us toward a more equitable way of being.
To learn more or to subscribe please visit www.sweetrest.net
UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago
UCP Seguin believes that all people, regardless of ability, deserve to achieve their potential, advance their independence and act as full members of the community. So we stop at nothing to provide life skills training, assistive technology, meaningful employment and a place to call home for people with disabilities, as well as specialized foster care for children. Our goal: life without limits for people with disabilities.
Make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities. Donate online at ucpseguin.org or send gifts to UCP Seguin, 332 Harrison Street, Oak Park IL 60304
West Suburban Special Recreation Association
West Suburban Special Recreation Association provides recreational programming for individuals with disabilities who reside in Oak Park, River Forest & nine other surrounding communities.
Join us for our Virtual Celebration Benefiting the Stars of WSSRA. Auction opens 9:00am November 30. View Auction Items or make a donation at https://one.bidpal.net/wssrastars2020
Youth Outreach Services
Youth Outreach Services supports youth ages 12 to 21 and their families, by providing free programs that offer skill development, therapeutic interventions, and mentorship to improve their safety and well-being. Through the past 60 years, YOS has offered outpatient, community-based behavioral health and substance abuse treatment, after school mentoring and outreach, family therapy, crisis intervention services, case management, foster care, transitional living and housing services, in-school prevention curricula, and juvenile justice programs.
Help youth flourish by donating at www.yos.org/donate or text @YOSCARES to 52014. Or help empower youth to reach their goals, by calling 773-777-7112 to refer them for services.
Each of these organizations paid a fee to participate in this year’s Season of Giving. If you have a nonprofit and you would like to be listed here, or if you would like to sponsor a nonprofit to be listed here, please contact Lourdes Nicholls (Lourdes@oakpark.com) or Marc Stopeck (Marc@oakpark.com).