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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Tuesday, March 5

Gapers Block

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jennifer / September 15, 2004 11:15 AM

I volunteer time. I used to volunteer for different organizations quite frequently, using to find opportunities. This reminds me, i've not volunteered in a while....

Andrew / September 15, 2004 11:20 AM

I've donated art (photography) to silent auctions, and I always take my stuff to Brown Elephant, run by the Howard Brown health centers.

In terms of cash, I donate to WBEZ and WLUW.

suzanne / September 15, 2004 11:37 AM

I have more time to give than money!
Volunteer with Literacy Chicago,Old Town School (which is a non-profit), my work (which runs a direct service program) and we have mandatory volunteer days with different agencies at work as well.
I'm a volunteerin' fool....

Paula / September 15, 2004 11:42 AM

I volunteer both time and money. Time to CARE, the volunteer branch of the Evanston Animal Shelter (comeout to our Farmer's Market Bake Sale this Saturday!) and money to Alley Cat Allies.

Mike / September 15, 2004 11:59 AM

I donate a little bit to Amnesty International and the Armed Forces Relief Fund (also for families, not just vets). But I really don't have that much to give.
Timewise, I've worked on political campaigns more than charities lately. Once Nov. 2 is over, I'm looking for something in my neighborhood (NW side) to work on.

Steve / September 15, 2004 12:44 PM

I buy Girl Scout cookies. And also the occasional issue of Streetwise when the vendor has an appealing spiel.

Plus the American Cancer Society through our annual giving program at work.

miss ellen / September 15, 2004 12:57 PM

after just signing up at the YMCA, i've noticed the many opportunities to volunteer. i'd like to get involved with something like that in the future.

as for $$$, i donate to the MS Walk and MS Bike Rides. i had an uncle who passed away from MS, so that's always been big in our family. and, a little bit to some political groups, like, but that isn't really a charity, just an organization i admire.

eliina / September 15, 2004 1:42 PM

cash to WBEZ, time to the Northwestern Legal Clinic and to various political campaigns

Eamon / September 15, 2004 2:27 PM

I donate cash, the missus donates time. We give to WTTW, WBEZ, the Chicago Food Depository, several AIDS organizations, and various walks and such throughout the year; and I think Project Philanthropy was the last organization my wife worked for.

Antoinette / September 15, 2004 3:13 PM

I've volunteered since high school- a run-away youth organization, explaining cancer to kids, Red Cross drive, Housingworks Bookstore (all profits go to AIDS patients) in NYC, National Organization for Women-NYC.
Recently, I've volunteered for theater companies and other arts organizations. During a charitible streak last January, I decided to finally donate money to different places- Planned Parenthood, Reproductive Freedom, the Sierra Club, ACLU... Now I just get solictiations from non-profit companies in the mail every day asking for more money.
My conclusion is that giving your time is probably more valuable than giving a little money.

Emily / September 15, 2004 3:18 PM

Both. I give time to Cabrini Legal Aid Clinic, the Wild Scallion (and Wild Onion in season), Literacy Chicago, Chicago Humanities Festival, and Social Service Chicago (SASC). I give money to Heifer International because they go the root of so many problems--food, and any walk/run a friend is doing. And definately to those Girl Scouts. I think they put an addictive additive in those Thin Mints.

Shameless plug: Chicago Humanities Festival 2004 needs volunteers for a variety of times between Oct 30 and Nov 14. Clink the link for information and a volunteer form. It's a great experience and you can attend the other events gratis in return for your service. It's one of the best-run volunteer opportunities in Chicago, I think.

Ken / September 15, 2004 4:44 PM

Although it doesn't quite count as a donation, I'm employed by a local graduate school of social service which does some great work.

This is the first year I've ever had any money to support anything financially, and, as such, 2004 saw me give to BEZ, the DNC, and MoveOn PAC.

Erik / September 15, 2004 5:03 PM

I am a big brother in Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Chicago. I have been doing it for about 2.5 years and it has been a wonderful experience. The orginization always needs more male volunteers.

george / September 15, 2004 10:48 PM

I've started getting into this thing called Freecycle, where I 'donate' things that I no longer want, to people that would love have it.

It's like giving things to good will or the salvation army, expect the person who gets your stuff comes in person to get it it.

check it out:


Cinnamon / September 16, 2004 12:13 AM

I'm such a fan of donating things to non-profits, that I started a business so I could support more. Ones I've supported in just the past few months: Chicago NOW, Inspiration Corporation, Planned Parenthood, Chicago Abortion League, Ms. Films Southern Documentary Fund, NARAL, as well as a few medical fundraising walks. And all of this is possible because I sold some purses.

Heather S. / September 16, 2004 10:09 AM

I donated my old car to:

I used to volunteer at (and adopted two cats from):

This isn't a local charity but it's one worth checking out:

Heather S. / September 16, 2004 10:11 AM

Ack! Need more coffee:

I used to volunteer at (and adopted two cats from):

al / September 16, 2004 10:11 AM

I'm a fan of Working Assets which lets me donate $$ without even thinking about it. I am currently using their wireless plan and credit card. I know their long distance service used to give out coupons for free Ben and Jerry's every month.

Joe / September 16, 2004 12:33 PM

I fly United Airlines every chance I get. They are a great non-profit company, har har har

Iris / September 16, 2004 3:42 PM

I help coordinate Poetics, a youth newsletter in Back of the Yards. Once a week I volunteer my time to meet with young girls and help them flesh out and edit their articles. The newsletter serves as a tool for expression. The girls love it and can write about anything they want. They are currently holding a book drive, in an effort to encourage literacy and fundraise for printing their issue.

Michael T / September 16, 2004 4:26 PM

Beverly Unitarian Church gets most of my charity time and money.

BEZ gets the rest.

Roni / September 17, 2004 12:17 AM

The organizer in me has to chime in, yes, we love your time, but we need your money. Esp some of the smaller orgs.

That said, I've volunteered since I was kid. First around school then hooked on Amnesty, worked in a clinic for Planned Parenthood, and now volunteer with Chicago NOW. I also give money when I can, often in cycles to various places like NOW, NARAL, Feminist Majority, PP, Greenpeace (worked for them too), etc. I also give to charities that my friends get involved in.

michael / September 29, 2004 9:49 PM

Check out Rock For Kids - I am biased because I am the Executive Director, but at least I know that the money raised isn't going to my salary! The funds we raise bring music education and other gifts and necessities to children living in Chicago's homeless shelters.

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