In 2009, Be Alright was founded with a purpose of converting Chicago domestic violence shelters into havens of healing. Completely volunteer staffed, Be Alright supports survivors of domestic violence and the shelters they reside in; including Greenhouse Shelter, Apna Ghar and Maria Shelter. They annually conduct a back to school backpack drive for kids and teens living in Chicago shelters.
Alternative Medicine $47,000
Third year of a three-year grant ($15,000 in 2015; $45,000 in 2016; $40,000 in 2017) to support the expansion of the Integrative Medicine Program and Integrated Comfort Team. The funding will cover continued support of residency training program for integrative/alternative medicine; research opportunities for further CAM exploration; expansion of CAM offerings in the areas of nutrition, yoga, meditation and acupuncture; the addition of CAM outpatient clinic. The Pediatric Comfort Team was launched by the hospital to address the suffering and pain of children with serious, chronic illness. The “team” uses CAM to optimize the quality of life for children receiving palliative care with a focus on treating underserved children, reflecting a growing recognition that a palliative care team is a critical part of a comprehensive pediatric oncology program.
Massage Therapy Foundation was founded by the American Massage Therapy Association in 1990 with the mission of advancing the knowledge and practice of massage therapy by supporting scientific research, education and community service. The Oberweiler Foundation has partnered with the Massage Therapy Foundation to identify and fund research and service projects that align with our mission. The goal of Howard Area Community Center’s chair massage program is to offer a therapeutic service to women who have violent experiences with human touch. According to research and healthcare experts working with this population, experiences with safe and appropriate touch through massage helps to override the imprint of traumatic touch from abuse.
Assisting Sick and Abused Children $121,000
Almost Home Kids provides transitional care in a home-like setting to children with complicated health needs (cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, etc.), training for their families and respite care. This grant funds AHK’s Medical Education Program which teaches the management of this type of complex child care to medical students, residents, fellows and practicing doctors in the community. The primary goal is to prepare tomorrow’s medical community with the knowledge, skills and attitude to allow them to competently serve a vulnerable population.
CASA DuPage County is a non-profit, volunteer organization that advocates for the best interests of abused and neglected children within the Juvenile Court system. Funding supports a new program assisting the county’s probate court in cases where an individual is seeking guardianship of a minor. This program provides value in that the advocate investigates and gives the court timely, critical information when making decisions about a child’s placement. Without the volunteer advocates, the judge would appoint a Guardian ad Litem whose fees would need to be paid by the parties.
Chicago Lights is strategically undertaking initiatives, such as the addition of a solar power system, to decrease operational costs and further increase the self-sufficiency of the Urban Farm through its next five years and beyond. This addition is one aspect of becoming a more environmentally conscious and economically sustainable enterprise. With higher energy costs for the regulation of greenhouse temperatures in the highly variant climate of Chicago, solar power is a crucial next step in meeting the organization’s needs.
The Rice Center offers high-level treatment and programming for extremely vulnerable children who, as a result of child abuse and neglect, are in need of 24 hour care. The Family Support Initiative will strengthen long-term outcomes for kids by providing intentional, dedicated support for children, and their families, from the moment a child enters treatment to their transition into a loving family.
ChildServ’s Military Therapy program provides therapy for veterans and their families. The services compliment the Department of Veterans Affairs services by concentrating on therapy needs the VA does not cover. This includes serving children, significant others, siblings, and parents as well as veterans with less-than-honorable discharges, Reservists and National Guard members. ChildServ therapists have received extensive competency training in issues affecting the veteran population and provide therapy for families impacted by trauma associated with military service.
Charlie’s Gift Center for Autism and Related Disorders provides a family-centered, team approach dedicated to personalized care and treatment. The center services 100 children and their families annually through personalized support plans, individual and group therapy and social communication sessions. The Oberweiler Grant pays for the approximately 40% of programming expenses not covered by insurance.
Second year of a two year grant. Green City Market (GCM) was founded on a mission to improve the health of local communities. Manierre Elementary School is located in Old Town and 97% of its families are considered low income. While there is a grocery store in the neighborhood, spending money on healthy food is out of the reach of most of these families. The Edible Education Program is a new offering for GCM and seeks to move students at risk for illness/lack of nutrition to a place of food security and confidence through a school garden; education about nutrition and sustainability; and Family Nights Out. This program will not only provide healthy food in each cooking class but will teach over 100 sixth through eighth grade students and ultimately families, how to grow healthy food in their school and at their homes. This access to food and knowledge about how to become more self-reliant for their food needs will empower them for life.
Make-A-Wish serves a unique, and vital, role in helping strengthen and empower children battling critical illnesses. This grant funds a wish for Kayli, age 7 from Pendleton, Indiana. Despite fighting Chronic Lung Disease, Kayli continues to be a happy, funny, 7-year-old. Her heartfelt wish is to go to Disney World so she can meet Minnie Mouse and see Cinderella’s castle
Shelter’s mission is to help and protect children who are abused, neglected, or dependent by providing 24-hour emergency and longer-term care. The Fund covers the cost of critical and immediate health needs for adolescents who are uninsured and unable to access private or state health insurance. These children are provided with additional medical visits, dental visits, prescription medications, glasses, and medical equipment that the children would not otherwise have available to them. The Shelter also provides for health screenings and physicals necessary to detect health problems.
A human services agency serving central Kane County, Tri-city Family Services is dedicated to strengthening people and building community through quality affordable counseling, youth crisis intervention, prevention and early intervention services promoting sound mental health and family functioning.
Turning Point’s mission is to confront violence against women and children in McHenry County. This grant supports children and adolescents who have witnessed or experienced first-hand the devastating trauma of domestic violence. Turning Point provides 24-hour crisis intervention; response and stabilization; individual counseling; mental health therapy; emergency secure shelter; a support group for teens; and a preventative anti-violence program
Funding for four, college summer interns who participate in weed control, seed production, planting plugs, education functions, and other miscellaneous conservation issues as part of a native habitat restoration project to return the Flint Creek Savanna, and other critical properties in the Barrington area, to their original (pre-1840) condition of tall grass prairie, oak and hickory savannas, sedge meadows, and wetlands as a habitat for bluebirds, bob-o-links and sand hill cranes. Donation honoring Tom Vanderpoel, board member and head of CFC’s restoration efforts. Tom was a visionary in the work of conservation, a 40 year veteran in the field and a friend to the Oberweiler Foundation.
The Forest Preserve Foundation dedicates energy and resources needed to connect people with nature in Cook County. This grant funds restoration efforts in the Spring Creek Preserves in Barrington, Illinois. Given the sensitive nature of the fen and presence of federally-listed endangered species, management activities must be done in a careful manner. Brush was removed from around the fen, herbaceous invasive species in the site wetlands were hand-wicked, and herbicide work completed.
This is the second year of a two year grant ($25,000 per year). Friends of the Chicago River’s mission is to improve and protect the Chicago River system for people, plants, and animals. The MWRD Land Leasing project aims to protect thousands of acres along the Chicago and Calumet rivers thereby expanding forest preserves, connecting trails and providing important connected green healthy open space along the river. Friends will identify and recruit partners who will lease, protect, and manage priority MWRD parcels in ways that meet the goals of increasing conservation and recreation opportunities.
Midwest Pesticide Action Center is dedicated to reducing the health risks and environmental impacts of pesticides by promoting safer alternatives. The Midwest Grows Green project’s overarching goal is to support the restoration and preservation of regional watersheds and to reduce the negative impacts of synthetic lawn care chemicals on pollinators, people and pets. The grant funds efforts to involve citizens in the Calumet region to serve as environmental stewards while better understanding natural lawn care and organic gardening techniques.
Habitat restoration of a 110-acre expansion of Grassy Lake Forest preserve located at the confluence of Flint Creek and the Fox River. The land was purchased in 2009 and public access improvements were completed in 2015. Funds will be used to restore this property’s diverse native habitat and improve the ecological function of this preserve.
In 1983, The Nature Conservancy in Illinois and the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission created the Volunteer Stewardship Network (VSN) to connect volunteers to the outdoors and the natural world. Since then, the VSN has empowered thousands of people to preserve Illinois’ lands and waters. These volunteers work to protect and restore natural areas by collecting and dispersing native seeds, removing invasive species, planting trees and other plants, performing prescribed burns and many other activities. This grant supports scholarships and tools necessary to allow volunteers to get the certification and training they need to participate in the very important function of prescribed fire.
The “606” is an innovative project on Chicago’s Northwest side that transformed nearly three miles of unused rail line into the elevated Bloomingdale Trail, which links five ground-level neighborhood parks. This grant helps to fund final stages of the “606” public parks and trail system.
A Safe Haven is a non-profit social enterprise that helps people aspire, transform and sustain their lives as they transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency with pride and purpose. The grant supports ASH’s fourth annual Veteran Stand Down. The event provides approximately 500 homeless and at-risk veterans with breakfast, lunch, military surplus goods, clothing, footwear, and supportive services (Haircuts, eye exams, medical screenings, employment services, etc.).
Since 1998, Angelic Organics Learning Center has helped build sustainable local food and farm systems through experiential education and training programs in partnership with rural and urban people. This grant will fund the second year expansion of Angelic Organics’ service model specifically to U.S. veterans. The goal of the Veteran Beginning Farmer project is to leverage the resources of the most innovative farmer-led farmer training programs in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin for the benefit of veterans. Veterans will have the opportunity to learn about farming, to create a business plan to launch their farm businesses, gain access to capital and financial training, and work apprenticeships at operating farms.
BraveHearts provides innovative equine-assisted activities and therapies in support of children, adults, and our military veterans. Located in Harvard and Poplar Grove Illinois, BraveHearts has the largest horse program in the country for military veterans; all veterans receive services at no cost. In 2016, BraveHearts provided 12,962 equine sessions to 639 veterans from across the country. Through collaboration with equestrian and US Gold Medalist Aaron Ralston and the NYPD mounted police, a team of BraveHearts staff and veterans completed a 22-mile trail ride in New York City. The ride brought awareness of the 22 veterans who commit suicide each day in the U.S. while also raising funds for the BraveHearts veterans program.
Horsefeathers provides high quality Equine Assisted programs including horsemanship/adapted riding programs for children and young adults with special needs, and hippotherapy and psychotherapy services. Following a conversation with the vocational rehabilitation counselors from the Lovell Veterans’ Administration in North Chicago, the organization decided to explore how it might also assist the local military veteran population. Veterans served typically have barriers that prevent them from successfully obtaining and maintaining employment (mental health issues, physical impairments, age, criminal backgrounds, poor and sporadic work histories, etc.) Funding supports the placement of veterans at the Horsefeathers facility. The veteran receives a work environment and experience.
Kid’s rank provides military children with a sense of stability through interactive group learning experiences and community service. Through the formation of local clubs, Kids Rank engages children in hands-on skill building projects and volunteer opportunities designed to encourage resilience. These military children serve their communities just as their parents serve (or have served) our country. This grant provides funding for a pilot program expansion in the city of Chicago’s Hope Manor II facility. Hope Manor if one of the first large scale supportive housing developments specifically designed for Veterans with families.
Salute, Inc. passionately pursues meeting the financial, physical and emotional needs of military service members, veterans and their families. Military members served are currently experiencing the effects of the economic challenges our country is facing along with reentry to civilian life, unemployment in many instances caused by PTSD, physical injuries, and emotional issues, all due to their military service. As well, many experience delayed benefits from the enormous VA backlog. Financial assistance includes delinquent rent, tax bills, food counseling, medical bills, phone and utility, car payment, out-patient transportation, insurance, etc. All payments are made to vendors (not directly to veterans) and cases managed by experienced volunteer counselors.