WCL: WCL Cares: Charities

Find out about charities and their causes and how you can help!

Thursday, December 22

Make a difference in the community this holiday season by donating what you can to help Casa Central as they work on transforming lives and strengthening the Hispanic community. Their network of services propels a diverse population of all ages toward self-sufficiency and a higher quality of life.

They inspire lifelong learning among children and youth. They have 500 children ages 2-5 being prepared for kindergarten in their Head Start groups. 175 children participate in their after-school enrichment activities in their School Age Program. 100 teens participate in positive development activities at their Youth Opportunities Unlimited program. They provide safety and foster self-reliance for individuals and families. 70 homeless families receive housing and support services at La Posada, on their way to permanent housing. 65 individuals train and study to become certified nurses' assistants in their Early Intervention program. 500 victims of domestic abuse receive counseling and support through their Violence Prevention Initiative. 800 community residents gain access to the Internet as they learn to use computers at their Community Technology Center.

Casa Central also promotes active, healthy lifestyles for seniors. 150 seniors meet at their Adult Wellness Center, where they socialize, participate in field trips and enjoy many stimulating activities. 1,500 home-bound seniors receive visits from their Home Care aides, who provide basic assistance.


Casa Central is located at 1343 N. California Ave. Chicago, IL 60622.
Telephone: +1 773 645 2300
FAX: +1 773 645 2475

Tuesday, December 20

KLEO (Keep Loving Each Other) is a non-profit organization and facility dedicated to strengthening families and providing a safe haven, through education, training, support and fun for people of all ages in the Chicago land community. Their goal is to create an enhanced ability to navigate the world by providing the necessary tools, skills and support needed for our participants to become a productive part of society.

KLEO is committed to helping families live healthy, productive lives in safe, stable, self-sustaining urban communities. We achieve our corporate objective by working with residents and their community leaders to identify a consensus vision. Once that vision is identified, we help implement that strategy for the vision to be manifested.

KLEO has three areas of focus and an organization. Education, Violence Reduction and Real-Estate Development. These three areas of focus allow us to strategically meet the needs of the organization in general and the needs of the participants that we serve.

For more information or how you can help, go to: www.kleocenter.org

Monday, December 19

After School Matters is a non-profit organization that offers Chicago high school teens innovative out-of-school activities through science37, sports37, tech37, words37 and the nationally recognized gallery37 programs.

We provide these programs through a network of public and private partnerships that include Chicago Public Schools, the Chicago Park District, the Chicago Public Library, and community organizations throughout the city. We have been recognized nationally for our innovative approach to coordinating city resources and delivering unique and diverse programs. Our hands-on, project-based programs expose teens to rewarding careers and help them develop marketable job skills.

After School Matters provides teens with opportunities to discover their potential and find their path to a meaningful life.

To provide Chicago public high school teens opportunities to explore and develop their talents, while gaining critical skills for work, college and beyond.

GET INVOLVED HERE: http://www.afterschoolmatters.org/donors/contribute

Friday, December 16

FIRST TEE OF GREATER CHICAGO is a 501 (c) 3 charitable foundation dedicated to teaching the golf and life skills curriculum to young people. The First Tee of Greater Chicago operates programming in the city at Chicago Park District facilities and at Foss Park Golf Course in North Chicago. The First Tee of Greater Chicago strives to instill in participants The First Tee Nine Core Values - honesty, integrity, sportsmanship, respect, confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, and judgment. Young people who become members of The First Tee of Greater Chicago enjoy a variety of opportunities to learn life skills that can help them grow as individuals and prepare for the future. There are nearly 200 chapters of The First Tee located throughout the country and in five international locations. The Greater Chicago Chapter is based out of Glenview, IL.

For more information go to www.thefirstteegreaterchicago.org

Thursday, December 15

Diane Latiker's "Kids Off the Block, Inc."

Today we focused on a mother and grandmother who has opened her door and heart to the troubled kids in her South Side Chicago neighborhood.

Diane Latiker started Kids Off The Block in 2003 and it's now a successful mentoring program, serving 300 kids just last year. "Ms. Diane," as the kids call her, is truly an inspiration to us all.

Thanks to Office Depot for supplying all of the kids with much needed new school supplies! Additionally, the Office Depot Foundation has donated sack-packs to more than 2.5 million children around the world and wanted to pass some of those along to Diane to share with the younger children at Kids Off the Block.

FOR MORE INFO: www.officedepotfoundation.org/

And our friends at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra would love to come over and visit with Diane and the kids in your program and they'll put on a performance just for Kids Off the Block, a great way to show the kids what they could achieve through music.



Wednesday, December 14

Bear Necessities Pediatric Cancer Foundation is a 501(c) 3 national organization founded in 1992 by CEO/President, Kathleen A. Casey and her son, Barrett "Bear" Krupa, who lost his life to pediatric cancer in 1993. Currently, Bear Necessities funds pediatric cancer research, support service grants nationwide & The Bear Hugs Program, here in Chicago, offers patients comfort & courage through everyday acts of caring because we understand that the little things mean a lot.

There are many ways to get involved! Whether it's donating time, money, in-kind goods or services, there's a way for you to help the many children battling cancer.

For more information go to their website www.bearnecessities.org or www.facebook.com/BearNecessities

Tuesday, December 13

The mission of Sarah's Inn is to stand with women and their families to ensure freedom from domestic violence in every community. Incorporated as a 501C (3) organization in 1981 with the express purpose of offering assistance to battered women and their children in overcoming obstacles that perpetuated the cycle of violence and abuse in their lives. Currently provides services to the Austin community on the west side of Chicago and 22 west suburban communities, including Oak Park, River Forest, Berwyn, Cicero, Melrose Park, Maywood, Stone Park, Elmwood Park, Franklin Park, Forest Park, Hillside, Westchester, LaGrange Park, Riverside, North Riverside, Brookfield, Bellwood, Berkeley, Broadview, River Grove, Northlake and Schiller Park. Sarah's Inn is committed to ensuring a violence-free society with guaranteed rights, protection under the law and equal access to services for all women and their families.

Monday, December 12

WEBSITE: http://www.salarmychicago.org/services/goldenDiners.htm

Volunteers with the Salvation Army Golden Diners program have found that some of their senior and handicapped members would share the meals delivered to their homes with their much loved pets, at times compromising their own nutrition to do so. Help us feed the pets of the seniors in the Salvation Army Golden Diners program!

Ways You Can Give:
You can make a general donation to the organization online here: https://secure20.salvationarmy.org/donation.jsp

Donations for "Furry Diners" can be sent to the following address:
The Salvation Army Golden Diners Service
1031 E. State St.
Geneva, IL 60134-2483
(Please indicate that your donation should go to their "Furry Diners Effort")

Today's featured donor:
PetSmart: (http://www.petsmart.com/. PetSmart provided $2000 in gift cards to their stores to enable the purchase of dog food for the Salvation Army Golden Diners Senior Nutrition Program "Furry Diners" Effort.

Since 1994, PetSmart and PetSmart Charities have been committed to facilitating adoptions for homeless pets. Approximately 8 million pets in shelters and 4 million euthanized every year simply because they do not have homes to go to. PetSmart and PetSmart Charities provide local shelters and rescue groups with adoption space in all PetSmart stores throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. More than 2,000 adoption partners use the PetSmart Charities' Adoption Centers to showcase adoptable pets has resulted in more than 4.5 million pet adoptions.

Click here for more information: www.petsmartcharities.org/

And, this holiday season, you have an opportunity to help give homeless pets a safe, loving home. By purchasing Luv-a-Pet products such as a plush toy, ornament or luggage tag at your local PetSmart store or at PetSmart.com, 10 percent of your purchase goes to PetSmart Charities to help save the lives of homeless pets. As a special gift, PetSmart provided each audience member today with their very own "Chance" or "Lucky" plush.

If you'd like to purchase a Luv-a-Pet plush, check out their online store: http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11492788

Friday, December 9

(RELEASE)Metropolitan Family Services: Holiday Gift Program

Metropolitan Family Services' mission is to provide and mobilize the services needed to strengthen families and communities. For more than 150 years, Metropolitan Family Services has responded to the evolving and critical needs of Chicago's families. Operating seven centers in communities with underserved populations, Metropolitan provides the help and hope needed to encourage and empower families. A comprehensive array of services is offered by bi-lingual professionals including licensed clinical social workers, counselors, case managers, mental health professionals and early childhood educators. Metropolitan Family Services is a 501 (c) (3) organization.

(RELEASE)Ways You Can Give:

Be a Holiday Partner
(Contribute Gift Cards or Make A Donation)
Make the holiday season a special time for Metropolitan's families who cannot afford to purchase gifts or provide special holiday meals by donating gift cards or making a monetary donation. Gift cards (at a minimum of $25) to area grocery stores and "big box" stores located throughout the Chicago area are recommended and greatly appreciated by our families.

Host a Gift/Toy Drive
Conduct a drive for NEW gifts/toys that we can distribute to families in need. Coordinate with your friends, co-workers, church, civic group, or host a party and ask attendees to bring a NEW unwrapped toy/gift.

Sponsor a Family
Provide a family with gift cards or special items for their children or for a senior. We request gift cards at a minimum of $25 per child or senior. Also, help out with a holiday meal by providing a $50 gift card per family to an area grocery or "big-box" store where food is sold.

Click here to donate: http://www.metrofamily.org/events/Holiday-Gift-Program/default.aspx

Thanks to all our friends at Chicago Green Office and Nickelodeon for helping Metropolitan Family Services' children center. They have helped WCL make over 156 children very happy!

About Chicago Green Office: The Chicago Green Office Company provides businesses, schools, and individuals with an opportunity to help achieve more sustainable patterns of production and consumption. Put simply, reducing your waste means that you use less (and therefore spend less), get more out of what is used, and reuse or recycle any unavoidable wastes. By increasing efficiency in this way, businesses can maximize their outputs and increase profits, whilst also save valuable resources and help the environment.

Thanks to Nickelodeon for donating 200 books to Metropolitan Family Services' children center. They donated the latest children's books from their holiday gift guide:

"Spongebob's Kitchen Mission Cookbook" - packed with more than 50 healthy recipes for kids
"Nickelodeon Nursery Rhymes" - featuring Dora the Explorer and Spongebob Squarepants
"Dora: Sing-Along Adventure" - kids can record up to 7 favorite songs
"Team UmiZoomi Preschool Math Kits" - a hands-on way for preschoolers to get a head start with math

For more on Nickelodeon's Holiday Gift Guide: http://shop.nick.com/

Thursday, December 8


Sunda, at 110 W. Illinois St in River North, celebrates the season of giving with their second annual Holiday gift giving program. Now through December 14th, Sunda is asking for the community's assistance in donating new coats and school supplies to benefit schools in need in Chicago as well as the suburbs. Sunda will offer a $25 gift card for every new coat brought in for a child in need and a $10 gift card for any school supplies donated. Gift cards are valid during the months of January and February. Suggested items include: coats for boys and girls in grades K-5 and school supplies with a suggested price between $10 and $50.

Meadowdale Elementary in Carpentersville, IL
300 Cleveland Ave.
Carpentersville, IL, 60110
Phone: (847) 551-8300
Fax: (847) 551-8413
Approximately 80 percent of the students are on free or reduced price lunches. That's how high the poverty level is at the school. This year, more homeless kids are enrolled in that school than any other year. If you want to do more to help, they could always use new books for Pre-K to 4th grade.

Cook Elementary
8150 S. Bishop
Chicago, IL 60620
Phone: (773) 535-3315
Cook Elementary has the highest percentage of kids in the city who receive free lunches because their families can't afford it.

You can drop off coats and school supplies directly to Sunda
110 W. Illinois St Chicago, IL

About Sunda: Sunda New Asian is an award-winning restaurant at the vanguard of America's New Asian movement showcasing Eastern Asian and Southeast Asian regional cuisine. The surprising, simple, flavorful dishes are served and shared while a full sushi bar provides an assortment of sushi, sashimi, and nigiri options. The beverage program revolves around a progressive list of premium sakes, Asian beers, Champagnes, sparkling wines, white and red wines, and an ever-changing seasonal cocktail list. The chic space, designed by award-winning designer Tony Chi, is a spectacular combination of sushi bar, communal and traditional table and lounge area seating styles which form an innovative yet comforting restaurant design. Lunch features a selection of noodle, rice and sushi options, while Sunda's Sunday brunch includes a repertoire of egg dishes and Asian specialty items. Sunda New Asian is a Rockit Ranch Production.


Tuesday, December 6: Holiday Food Drive


The eight-week event runs from Nov.4, 2011, through Jan. 2, 2012. Last year, the food drive was extremely successful and helped collect 1,052,296 pounds of food equivalent to 809,459 meals for hungry men, women and children throughout the Chicago area.

During this effort to fight hunger in the Chicago area, individuals can drop off nonperishable food items at the ABC 7 Chicago lobby, at 190 N. State Street, or at any local Dominick's location or by making a donation to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and the Northern Illinois Food Bank through Food Dollars, available at the check-out counters of any Chicagoland Dominick's store in $1, $2 and $5 denominations. A complete listing of Dominick's stores can be found at www.dominicks.com

The Greater Chicago Food Depository is a nonprofit food distribution center that provides food to more than 142,000 people each week through a network of 600 soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters. For more information, visit www.chicagosfoodbank.org

Northern Illinois Food Bank is a nonprofit organization that distributes nutritious food to all those in need through its network of 665 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, and youth sites in 13 counties. The Food Bank helps more than 61,600 people each week. For more information visit www.northernilfoodbank.org

Monday, December 5: LYDIA Home Association

LYDIA Home Association is a small haven for abused and neglected children. It houses 40 children and does outreach in the community in a program called "Safe Home." Each year LYDIA serves thousands of children and families in and around Chicago by helping them overcome overwhelming obstacles through the following programs: a residential treatment center (home for abused and neglected children), foster care, Safe Families for Children, Families First, counseling centers, Urban Academy (non-traditional high schools in Chicago and Rockford), Learn & Care (preschool) and a graduate training program.

Please join in with WCL Cares this holiday season and consider giving to this great Chicago Charity!

You can visit their website to donate: www.lydiahome.org/10086/donate/Donate

Or mail your donation to their address:

LYDIA Home Association
4300 West Irving Park Road
Chicago, IL 60641
(indicate the Fund you desire your donation to be applied to in the memo line).

This charity in need touched the heart of Brook Jay of the national integrated marketing agency All Terrain, Inc., based right here in Chicago. All Terrain specializes in building and marketing consumer brands and bringing them into peoples lives in meaningful and impacting ways. She, in turn, reached out to Bloomingdale's and they came to the rescue. Between Bloomingdale's and All Terrain - they supplied Lydia Home with new bedding for all 40 of their beds!

Visit Bloomingdale's: www.bloomingdales.com

To check out All Terrain, Inc., visit their website: www.allterrain.net
Or you can write to them at info@allterrain.net