- Art education, community connection for youth through the Evanston Art Center
- A guide to good deeds
- Technology for Humanity bridges the digital gap
- Beautifying Belmont-Cragin Elementary School
- Local businessman doing good abroad
- Israel Sport Center for the Disabled raises spirits and changes lives
- National Council of Jewish Women strives for social justice, turns progressive ideals into action
- Good Deeds Directory
A Safe Place provides shelter, court advocacy, referrals and counseling programs for victims of domestic violence. (Children, Domestic Violence, Housing and Shelter, Women) www.asafeplaceforhelp.org, 847-249-5147.
Advocate Lutheran General Hospital is a 617-bed teaching, research and referral hospital and a Level 1 trauma center. It is home to Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital, the only children’s hospital in the greater north and northwest suburban region. (Adults, Children, Health, People with Special Needs) www.advocatehealth.com/luth/about/community/volunteer, 847-723-6105.
American Cancer Society (ACS) is looking for volunteers to drive cancer patients to their chemotherapy and radiation appointments. The ACS is also seeking cancer survivors to provide support to those currently facing a diagnosis. (Adults, Health, People with Special Needs) www.cancer.org, 847-328-5147.
American Jewish World Service (AJWS) alleviates poverty, hunger and disease among the people regardless of race, religion or nationality. (Health, Housing and Shelter, Nourishment, Poverty) www.ajws.org, 800-889-7146.
American Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) serves as the overseas arm of the American-Jewish community. JDC sponsors programs of relief, rescue and renewal and helps Israel address its urgent social challenges. JDC is committed to the idea that all Jews are responsible for one another. (Israel and Other Jewish Communities Abroad) www.jdc.org.
ARK provides opportunities for Jews to volunteer and perform mitzvahs (good deeds). ARK delivers medical, social welfare, legal and similar human services in the spirit of tzedakah (charitable acts) and chesed (loving-kindness). (Adult, Children, Community Resources, Elderly, Families, Health, Housing and Shelter, Jewish Community in Chicago, Nourishment) www.arkchicago.org, 773-943-1000.
CASA (National Court Appointed Special Advocate Association) supports and promotes court-appointed volunteer advocacy for abused and neglected children so that they can thrive in safe, permanent homes. (Children) www.nationalcasa.org, 847-808-9154.
Cancer Wellness Center provides free supportive services and health information for people diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones. (Adults, Community Resources, Families, Health, People with Special Needs) www.cancerwellness.org, 847-509-9595.
CENTER for Enriched Living serves people with developmental disabilities or special needs. (Young Adults, People with Special Needs, Recreation) www.centerforenrichedliving.org, 847-948-7001.
Chai Lifeline offers comprehensive services to address the needs of children suffering from serious illness and their families. (Children, Health, Jewish Community in Chicago) www.chailifeline.org/midwest, 847-763-1818.
Chicago Action for Jews in the Former Soviet Union is dedicated to the sustenance and security of the Jews in the third largest Jewish community in the world. (Israel and other Jewish Communities Abroad) www.chicagoaction.org, 847-433-0144.
Chicago Botanic Gardens promotes the enjoyment, understanding and conservation of plants and the natural world. Volunteers monitor butterflies, plant annuals and help in classrooms and the Café. (Environment)
Chicago Christian Industrial League provides clothing, shelter, counseling, training, life skills and affordable housing opportunities for the homeless. (Adults, Children, Housing and Shelter) www.ccilworks.org, 312-421-0588.
Chicago Lighthouse for People Who Are Blind or Visually Impaired provides education, clinical vocational and rehabilitative services for children, youth and adults who are blind or visually impaired including deaf-blind and multi-disabled. (People with Special Needs) www.thechicagolighthouse.org, 312-666-1331.
Chicago Public Library’s Talking Book Center (TBC) provides Chicago residents with visual or physical impairments a free library program for the Library of Congress, National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The TBC provides specially designed equipment to residents who are unable or have difficulty reading standard print materials. (People with Special Needs) www.chipublib.org/003cpl/irlbph/cpltbc.html, 312-747-4001.
Children’s Memorial Hospital is Illinois’s only freestanding hospital exclusively for kids. Volunteer opportunities are available in many programs. (Children, Health, People with Special Needs) www.childrensmemorial.org, 773-880-4000.
Children’s Research Triangle (CRT) improves life for children with special needs or those who are at risk for developmental, behavioral, psychological or educational problems. In addition to clinical services, Camp SOAR (Special Outdoor Adaptive Recreation) is a weeklong overnight camp for children with extensive cognitive or physical special needs, including those who require total care. (Children, People with Special Needs, Recreation) www.childstudy.org, 312-726-4011.
Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life (COEJL) helps Jews make a connection between Judaism and the environment. (Environment) www.coejl.org, 212-532-7436.
Council for Jewish Elderly (CJE), through its commitment to Jewish communal values, provides community-based and residential programs and services for older adults and their families. (Community Resources, Elderly, Health, Housing and Shelter, Jewish Community in Chicago, Recreation) www.cje.net, 847-929-3064.
Direct Relief International provides medical assistance to improve life for people victimized by poverty, disaster and civil unrest at home and throughout the world. (Health) www.directrelief.org, 805-964-4767.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries. (Health) www.doctorswithoutborders.org, 212-679-6800.
Emily Dorfman Foundation for Children raises fund to support those who will find cures and provide needed supportive services for seriously ill children. Miles for Smiles is its annual fundraiser. (Children, Health) www.emilydorfman.org/miles, 847-291-3690.
Ezra Multi-Service Center secures resources that keep community residents from falling through the cracks and promotes active participation in community affairs through linkages to other organizations. (Adults, Community Resources, Families, Nourishment, Poverty) www.ezramsc.org, 773-275-0866.
Friedman Place provides housing and supportive services to people who are blind or visually impaired so that their lives can be healthy, dignified and stimulating. (Housing and Shelter, People with Special Needs) www.friedmanplace.org/home.shtml, 773-989-9800.
Ginkgo Organic Gardens grows, using organic methods, approximately 1,000 pounds of vegetables, herbs, fruit and flowers each year and donates them to Uptown-area nonprofit organizations. (Environment, Nourishment) www.ginkgogardens.org.
Glenview Terrace Nursing and Rehabilitation Center offers compassionate skilled nursing, rehabilitative, Alzheimer’s and respite care. (Animals, Elderly, Health, Jewish Community in Chicago) www.glenviewterrace.org, 847-729-9090.
Greater Chicago Food Depository, a food distribution and training center, provides food for hungry people while striving to end hunger. (Nourishment, Poverty) www.chicagosfoodbank.org, 773-247-3663.
Habitat for Humanity builds simple, decent, affordable housing for people in need. (Housing and Shelter) www.habitat.org, 847-623-1020.
Heifer International works with communities to end hunger and poverty as well as to care for the earth. The goal of every Heifer project is sustainability and project partners achieving self-reliance. People create an expanded network of hope, dignity and self-reliance when they share their animals’ offspring — along with their knowledge, resources and skills — with others. (Animals, Families, Nourishment, Poverty) www.heifer.org, 800-422-0474.
Inspiration Corporation (the Inspiration Café and the Living Room Café) helps people who affected by homelessness and poverty to increase self-sufficiency. (Community Resources, Nourishment) www.inspirationcorp.org, 773-878-0981.
International Center on Deafness and the Arts (ICODA) provides access to educational resources and professional arts opportunities to children who are deaf and hard of hearing. (Arts, Children, People with Special Needs) www.icodaarts.org, 847-509-8260.
International Rescue Committee serves refugees and communities victimized by oppression or violent conflict worldwide. The IRC is committed to freedom, human dignity and self-reliance. This commitment is expressed in emergency relief, protection of human rights, post-conflict development, resettlement assistance and advocacy. (Health, Housing and Shelter, Nourishment, Poverty) www.theirc.org, 212-551-3000.
Jewish Big Sisters assistis Jewish girls ages 9-18 with special social needs. (Children, Recreation) www.jewishbigsisters.org, 773-764-4759.
Jewish Child & Family Services offers therapeutic, educational and preventative programs and fosters personal growth and dignity in individuals, couples and families. (Children, Community Resources, Families, Health, Housing and Shelter, Jewish Community in Chicago, People with Special Needs) www.jcfs.org, 312-357-4800.
Jewish Council on Urban Affairs combats poverty, racism and anti-semitism. Guided by prophetic Jewish principles, JCUA pursues social and economic justice by promoting a vision of empowering communities from within. (Jewish Community in Chicago, Poverty) www.jcua.org, 312-663-0960.
Jewish Funds for Justice invests in healthy neighborhoods, vibrant Jewish communities and skillful leaders. (Jewish Community) www.jewishjustice.org, 212-213-2113.
JUF TOV: The Tikkun Olam Volunteer (TOV) Network places members of the Jewish community with Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation affiliated agencies and community service projects, in accordance with tikkun olam — the Jewish concept of repairing the world one good deed at a time. (Other) www.juf.org/tov, 312-357-4762.
JUF Uptown Café is Chicago’s first kosher anti-huger program for the needy. In addition to providing hot meals in a restaurant-style setting, the program brings dignity and hope to people in need. (Nourishment) www.juf.org/tov/uptown_cafe.aspx, 773-275-0866.
Jewish Women International (JWI) finds and heals victims of abuse and break the cycle of violence in Jewish relationships and homes. (Children, Domestic Violence, Women) www.jwi.org, 847-373-3535.
Kagan Home for the Blind provides a home and therapy to the blind and visually impaired citizens who are unable to live independently. (Elderly, People with Special Needs) www.kaganhome.org, 773-478-7040.
Kids Can Free the Children: To help free children from poverty and exploitation, Free The Children implements four specific Education for All Children programs: education, alternative income, health care, water and sanitation and peace building. (Children, Health, Poverty) www.freethechildren.com, 416-925-5894.
Lake County Forest Preserves preserves a dynamic and unique system of diverse natural and cultural resources. Every weekend, volunteers are needed for land management, brush cleaning, seed collection and planting, weed control, tree planting and other projects. (Environment) www.lcfpd.org, 847-968-3329.
LifeSource, Chicagoland’s Blood Center supplies blood and blood products to 94 percent of Chicago’s hospitals. (Health) www.lifesource.org, 847-298-9660.
Make-A-Wish Foundation grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and joy. (Children, Families, Health, People with Special Needs) www.wish.org.
Maot Chitim of Greater Chicago searches for the best and most reasonably priced Kosher products. Products are packed and delivered at Pesach and Rosh Hashana. (Jewish Community in Chicago, Nourishment) www.maotchitim.org, 847-674-3224.
NA’AMAT, Hebrew acronym for “Movement of Working Women and Volunteers,” strives to enhance the quality of life for women, children and families in Israel, the United States and around the world. (Children, Israel and other Jewish Communities Abroad, Jewish Community in Chicago, Women) www.naamat.org, 847-675-7275.
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) takes a progressive stance on issues such as child welfare, women’s rights and reproductive freedom. (Children, Jewish Community in Chicago, Women) www.ncjwcns.org, 847-853-8889.
Night Ministry serves homeless, runaway youth, working poor adults, uninsured and underinsured individuals seeking medical assistance, children who are unsupervised and need a place to gather in safety and others who have fallen through the cracks. (Housing and Shelter, Youth) www.thenightministry.org, 773-784-9000.
North American Conference on Ethiopian Jewry (NACOEJ) was founded with four mandates: to help Ethiopian Jews survive in Ethiopia, to assist them in reaching Israel, to aid in their absorption in Israel and to help preserve their unique and ancient culture. (Israel and Other Jewish Communities Abroad) www.nacoej.org, 212-233-5200.
Northfield Township Food Pantry is sustained entirely by local individuals, community organizations, schools and churches that generously donate canned food, food certificates and/or funds. (Families, Nourishment) www.twp.northfield.il.us, 847-724-8300.
OneFamily provides direct financial, legal and emotional assistance to victims of terrorism in Israel. (Israel and other Jewish Communities Abroad) www.onefamilyfund.org, 866-913-2645.
PADS of Lake County (Public Action to Deliver Shelter and Supportive Services) provides emergency shelter, permanent housing and services to those experiencing homelessness. (Adults, Community Resource Center, Housing and Shelter, Nourishment) www.pads-crisis-services.org, 847-689-4357.
Palliative Care Center and Hospice Center of the North Shore promotes independence, wellness, comfort and quality of life for the ill, aging and dying. (Elderly, Health) www.carecenter.org, 847-467-7423.
Project Hamotzi, at Beth Emet Synagogue, combats hunger and poverty. Activities include a weekly soup kitchen, annual High Holy Day food drive, food stamp application program, Council of Jewish Elderly Shabbat lunch and Interfaith CROP Walk Against Hunger, as well as educational workshops and advocacy programs. (Nourishment, Poverty) www.bethemet.org, 847-869-4230.
Project Linus supplies handmade security blankets to comfort children who are critically ill, traumatized or otherwise in need. (Children, Health) www.orgsites.com/il/projectlinuschicago, 847-498-3959.
Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism (RAC) educates and mobilizes the American Jewish community on legislative and social concerns, advocating on issues from economic justice to civil rights to religious liberty to Israel. (Legal) www.rac.org, 202-387-2800.
Response Center’s supports adolescents and their families in the Jewish and general community by providing prevention, outreach, counseling and medical services in a teen-friendly environment. (Health, Youth) www.responsecenter.info/, 847-676-0078.
REST (Residents for Effective Shelter Transitions) provides safe, quality, permanent and emergency housing options and supportive social services. (Adults, Community Resource Center, Housing and Shelter, Nourishment) www.restweb.org, 773-784-0909.
Ronald McDonald House is a temporary respite near a medical facility where family members can sleep, eat, relax and find support. (Children, Health, Housing and Shelter, Nourishment) www.restweb.org, 773-784-0909.
Sarah’s Circle offers welcoming, safe refuge for women who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. (Nourishment, Community Resource Center, Women) www.sarahs-circle.org, 773-728-1991.
Save-A-Pet is a no-kill animal shelter dedicated to finding loving, quality homes. (Animals) www.1-800-save-a-pet.com, 800-728-3273.
Shalva provides services to help victims and survivors of domestic abuse in the Jewish community. Free, confidential clinical services include 24-hour help line, individual and group counseling, legal information, referral services and rabbinical court support. (Domestic Violence, Women) 773-583-4673.
Soles 4 Soul impacts lives with the gift of shoes. (Adults, Children, Poverty) www.soles4souls.org, 866-521-7463.
Special Olympics empowers individuals with intellectual disabilities to become physically fit, productive and respected members of society through sports training and competition. (Children, People with Special needs, Sports) www.soill-org.secure05.anaxanet.com/index.php, 847-478-0935.
United Power for Action and Justice provides training and development opportunities for the current and emerging generation of leaders. The organization seeks to build power systematically and wield power effectively. This power — the ability to act — enables the institutions to operate with more impact and success with other power figures and power institutions in the private and public sectors. (Children, Health, Housing and Shelter) www.united-power.org.
West Deerfield Township operates a year-round food pantry for needy residents. (Families, Nourishment)
WINGS (Women in Need growing Stronger) helps homeless and abused women and children by offering shelter, education, guidance and support.
(Children, Domestic Violence, Housing and Shelter, Women) www.wingsprogram.com, 847-577-4668.
Women’s Residential Services (WRS) is a residential treatment program for chemically dependent women and their children. Mothers and children live together and receive treatment jointly for the family disease of chemical dependency. Individualized treatment focuses on two main areas: developing a chemical-free lifestyle and improving parenting skills. (Children, Housing and Shelter, Women) www.co.lake.il.us/health/bhs/SubstanceAbuse/wrs.asp
Yad Sarah, the largest voluntary organization in Israel, provides free or nominal-cost services for sick, disabled and elderly people and their families. (Elderly, Health, Israel and other Jewish Communities Abroad, People with Special Needs) www.yadsarah.org, 212-223-7758.
Youth Services of Glenview and Northbrook promotes positive mental health for young people by aiming at prevention and/or intervention in all types of environmental stress and juvenile delinquency. (Youth) www.youthservices-gn.org, 847-724-2620.
Courtesy of www.bjbe.org/story/outside-volunteer