The holiday season is undoubtedly a time when people reach deeper into their pockets and give to non-profits (charities) with the intent of spreading well-being to the causes they care deeply about. There many non-profits out there, but which ones are working towards those causes in an effective way? Furthermore, which ones would leave a big hole if it were to no longer exist? MBG has narrowed down 5 Chicago area non-profits that are excelling at their mission and should be on your radar this holiday season.
Instituto del Progreso Latino
Instituto's mission is to contribute to the fullest development of Latino immigrants and their families through education, training, and employment. In 2015 alone, more than 10,000 have walked through their doors and found assistance and success with education, employment, literacy, and citizenship applications. Oh yeah, and their Executive Director, Juan Salgado just happened to be named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow. No big deal! With the strategic assistance of Najera Consulting Group, Instituto has truly become an organization that others should (and do) take best practices from.
Teatro Vista, Theatre with a View, was founded in 1990 by Edward Torres and Henry Godinez to address the lack of opportunities for Latino artists and other artists of color, and to explore the new work of Latino writers. Teatro Vista has a proven track record for discovering and showcasing the best Latino talent. In 2015, ensemble member Sandra Márquez was awarded a Jeff Award for her work in A View From the Bridge. Furthermore,past resident playwright Tanya Saracho went on to write for HBO's Looking and is now an official member of "Shondaland", writing for How To Get Away With Murder on ABC.
More than just a housing program, Bridge takes on a 360 degree approach to assisting its clients - homeless families and individuals in DuPage County. Bridge takes on a limited number of families a year, but in return they receive two years in a comfortably furnished apartment, financial coaching, career advice, interview preparation, therapy, and even nutritional counseling to help them get back on track. It's through this holistic approach that 94% of families were able to maintain stable housing and 84% were able to maintain stable employment. Bridge is a game changer in how it approaches helping the homeless (or near homeless) and giving them physical, emotional and intellectual tools to thrive.
Angelic Organics Learning Center
Angelic Organics Learning Center builds sustainable local food and farm systems through experiential education and training programs in partnership with rural and urban people. In short, they teach people about food: how to grow it, how to sustain it, how important it is to eat unprocessed and unpackaged food, and they help to make this food accessible in areas where food deserts are disproportionately in abundance.
Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance
No one would shame you if you went to the doctor for a broken arm or a high fever. We take care of our bodies and our teeth, we even maintain our hair and make sure to stay manicured. However, when it comes to mental health, there is still so much stigma attached to depression, anxiety and bipolar disorders that those who suffer often feel alone in their struggle. DBSA provides hope, help, support, and education to improve the lives of people who have mood disorders.
Do you know of a nonprofit that should be featured? Reach out to us in our comments section or on social media. We love to hear from our readers.
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