Every year, Propllr celebrates the holidays by donating to charities we care about. This year, we’re donating to the following groups, each chosen by one member of our team.
Chicago Police Memorial Foundation
Due to the actions of a few, police officers have been getting a bad reputation in the media these days. However, the majority of police officers are still risking their lives every day to protect our public safety. Chicago Police Memorial Foundation (@cpdmemorial) is a charity that provides support to the families of those killed or injured in the line of duty.
– Amy Zhao
Over 80,000 people are considered homeless in Chicago. It’s something I think about daily. Last year during Chicago’s second coldest day in history, I started researching non-profits I could donate to that were helping Chicago’s homeless population stay warm and fed – and I found Sarah’s Circle (@Sarahs_Circle), an organization that provides services to women who are homeless or face barriers to achieving permanent and safe housing. They are doing some really outstanding and important work.
– Erica Zazo
Urban Gateways (@urbangateways) is a nonprofit organization that gives young people in underserved urban areas of Chicago access to the arts and other creative endeavors. I know from personal experience how cathartic it can be to use art to express yourself, and I think it’s crucial for young people in low-income or high-risk areas to have access to that same outlet. Donations allow Urban Gateways to have a real impact: During the 2016 – 2017 program year, for example, the group provided arts experiences to over 80,000 youth in Chicagoland.
– Hunter Stuar
Alliance for the Great Lakes
Growing up in northern Ohio meant miles of woodland and rolling hills. Coming to the concrete jungle of Chicago was an adjustment. But the one thing that gave me that same sense of peace and calm as the landscapes of my childhood was Lake Michigan. I can’t believe it’s a totally free, totally accessible place of incredible natural beauty. With that great privilege, however, comes responsibility. The Great Lakes face many threats, from microplastics to invasive species. I joined the Young Professionals Board of the Alliance for the Great Lakes (@A4GL) because of its emphasis on citizen engagement. The group does an amazing job mobilizing and educating those who live around the lakes to act to protect them. It employs the grassroots passion of regular people, giving them a direct way to help protect the lakes for all.
– Jillian Smith
Hydrocephalus remains a misunderstood and often hidden condition, and the general population largely remains unaware of the breadth and depth of the impact of hydrocephalus. This lack of clarity complicates diagnosis, and, not surprisingly, it also results in limited funding. The Hydrocephalus Association (@HydroAssoc) supports the gathering of resources to educate the community in hopes of finding a cure – but more than that, in building a place where families and people who cope with this condition can feel like they are not alone. My brother was born with congenital hydrocephalus. I work closely with this foundation and I love it.
– Becca Reyes
Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly Chicago Chapter
Through a wide variety of activities and events, Little Brothers (@LBFEChicago) helps older adults access essential programs and services, stay connected to friends, and combat feelings of loneliness. On Christmas Day, members will deliver meals to homebound elders and throw three family-style parties for aging adults who’d otherwise celebrate alone. Year around, they run a visiting program, social clubs, and vacation experiences. I think isolation is one of the most devastating feelings for human beings, and I’m glad that Little Brothers helps provide a sense of community to a group that is sometimes forgotten.
– Jack McHugh
Hereditary Disease Foundation
The Hereditary Disease Foundation (@hdfcures) is a nonprofit that primarily funds research for Huntington’s Disease, an inherited neurodegenerative disease that often results in a devastating total decline of cognition and movement. There’s currently no cure, but new research and clinical trials show a lot of promise for future treatment. These recent breakthroughs are really exciting because, as HD is caused by a single gene, HD research can enhance our understanding of – and help us find a cure for – related brain disorders like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and ALS. HD runs in my family, so this hits close to home. It’s great to see an organization supporting research that can change the lives of millions.
– Julianna Marchant
Snow City Arts
Snow City Arts (@snowcityarts) makes life a little more bearable for children who are in the hospital – through the power of art! Snow City’s teaching artists (who are all working artists themselves) work one on one with hospitalized children. One thing I love about the organization is that it offers kids a choice in a time when they don’t have many. Teaching artists knock on the door and say, “Do you feel like making some art today?” And if kids do, the artists facilitate workshops. If they don’t, no big deal. One way Snow City raises money is through an annual gala, where attendees can purchase prints of student work. We have one hanging over our sofa, and it brings me great joy.
– Brenna Lemieux
Chicago House (@ChicagoHouse85) helps the LGBT community and those affected with HIV / AIDS to find employment opportunities, housing, and access to healthcare. I think this is especially important given that LGBT youth are 120 percent (!) more likely than non-LGBT youth to be homeless. And this organization gives these people – who have been kicked out of their homes, discriminated against for their status, or in other unfortunate circumstances due to their sexuality – the basic necessities when they are most in need.
– Clay Kuntz
Why ProPublica (@propublica)? Because the people need a watchdog. Sure, maybe it snarls as some things that don’t turn out to be threats, but better that than no warning at all. ProPublica has a long track record in investigating and reporting on abuses in criminal justice, immigration, politics, and education, and it deserves support now more than ever.
– Josh Inglis
South Side Weekly
South Side Weekly (@SouthSideWeekly) is a nonprofit news magazine and radio show that covers arts, politics, and culture on the South Side of Chicago. In a city where there's a lot of news to cover every day, SSW is a vital part of the journalistic ecosystem. While some northsiders may have trouble locating a copy in their daily rounds, South Side Weekly is always worth the read and is easy to come by in the Loop. If you love keeping up with Block Club Chicago, the Chicago Reader, ProPublica Illinois, Chalkbeat Chicago's education coverage, and City Bureau's forums, make sure South Side Weekly is in your news rotation.
– Julia Heney
Want to hear about who we donated to in 2018? Read the Propllr Gives Back 2018 edition!