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Monday, March 4

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Slash / August 16, 2006 6:24 AM

The non-profit organization I support with most of my money is the City of Chicago...they are kind enough to accept my 'donations' on a daily basis via taxes, fees, fines, political dontaions, etc.

Beth Z / August 16, 2006 8:15 AM

(Howard) Brown Elephant resale shops. They have received much of my ex-boyfriend booty, as well as much of the unnecessary clutter in my life. More power to them to get what they can for it! Freedom for me and cash-ola for them! Win-win!

Hal / August 16, 2006 8:32 AM

I give money (based on available cash and the time of year) to Public Radio, Rice University (my alma mater in Houston - they do an amazing job of getting students financial aid.) and the Columban Fathers Mission in Pakistan.

The guy running the show in Pakistan is a friend from here in Chicago. I was disgusted with the thought that my weekly offerings/contributions were going to a sexual abuse settlement fund here in Chicago. As best I can find, the Columbans have never had any allegations against them. In part, I would chalk that up to fairly progressive, frank discussions regarding sexuality and chastity/celibacy that don't happen in most orders. Anyway, Fin uses a big chunk of my donations to fund arts supplies for the kids in his neighborhood in Lahore.

Crap. Maybe that's where my $100 should have gone yesterday.

Appleby / August 16, 2006 8:35 AM

Lakeview Pantry -- I donate money and I volunteer there.
Habitat for Humanity - $
Doctors Without Borders - $
And I do some random volunteering through a professional organization (we volunteer our services to people or groups in need).

shermann / August 16, 2006 8:49 AM

After working for a large national "non-profit", I now encourage people to volunteer or donate to a local charity.

With nationally run non-profits your money doesn't go where they lead you to believe it goes.

Kevin / August 16, 2006 9:02 AM

The non-profit organization I support with most of my money is the City of Chicago...

Slash. I believe the original question was in reference to non-profit; not criminal organizations.

J / August 16, 2006 9:17 AM

WFMU at . Nice freeform music station that I listen to on the net.

Andy / August 16, 2006 9:24 AM

I'm dying to see what Blagg has to say in response to this one.

I've given money on occasion to Chicago Public Radio, WTTW, Planned Parenthood, the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council (one of the better national environmental groups, in my opinion), and the Greater Chicago Food Depository.

I recommend using Charity Navigator if you're planning to donate and you're not sure about a particular charity.

Emerson Dameron / August 16, 2006 9:25 AM

Another 'FMU pledger here. I also give money to subway musicians, and (although it ain't perfect) the ACLU.

Marco / August 16, 2006 9:28 AM

Giving my time to the Taproot Foundation. New to Chicago after successful starts in NY and San Franciso, Taproot provides volunteer opportunties for marketing and i/t types to deliver services to local non-profits. It beats stuffing envelopes!

Andy / August 16, 2006 9:28 AM

Oh, and I should also mention that WLUW/88.7 is in the middle of one of their pledge drives:

nattles / August 16, 2006 9:28 AM

I volunteer with and donate to a beagle rescue organization called BREW. Very well-run rescue organization dedicated to educating as well as rescuing and re-homing beagles in the Midwest (and Mid-Atlantic).

Y A J / August 16, 2006 9:30 AM

I give my money and/or spare time
Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network – the coalition of Chicago area domestic violence services - send your money!

Chicago NOW – the Chicago chapter of the National Organization for Women - here’s good too

Chicago Foundation for Women – one of the largest women’s funds in the world – or send it here

Rape Victim Advocates – serves Chicago area sexual assault survivors - you get the point

Animal Welfare League – south suburban shelter that saved my beloved Satchmo! - Animal Welfare League

Buy Blue, Move On, National NOW & Feminist Majority Foundation

Mikey / August 16, 2006 9:30 AM

I donate $ to the Sierra Club through an annual membership...

I volunteer at adoption events for New Leash on Life, and am currently fostering a pit bull through them for the second time as well...

nattles / August 16, 2006 9:31 AM

I should say educating people and prospective adopters, not educating beagles. Beagles are too clever already.

Marco / August 16, 2006 9:32 AM

Oops, Taproot's URL is:

Jay / August 16, 2006 9:51 AM

I give to Chicago Public Radio for their news and WFUV in New York for their music. That station has excellent music. Besides that - Sierra Club & Red Cross.

mike-ts / August 16, 2006 9:58 AM

I've donated a ton of belongings to the Salvation Army, and I've bought from them, too, so they were helped from both ends by me at their stores. Plus, when Hurricane Katrina hit, the one national organization I trusted with my donation was them.

Like Hal, I'm fed up with the problems in the RC Church, so I've cut my tithe in half, and donate the rest to programs like Project Prevention.

I just discovered, and they'll probably get a check. Pizza and sody-pop for IDF soldiers, what a great idea!

I've been supporting the NRA for a dozen years now, and the CBF for half a decade. Non-profit doesn't always mean charity.

JB / August 16, 2006 9:59 AM

Poised for Success, an independent charity in Lombard. We help women in need become self-sufficient by providing them interview- and work-appropriate clothing that they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford.

In the past, where I used to live, I volunteered for Habitat, a DV shelter, and an AIDS organization. I'm not tooting my own horn, just trying to point out the variety of charities that exist. There's one out there for whatever interests you--and I think as much as they all need cash, most of them need bodies, too.

As I mentioned yesterday, mine would be overjoyed to have someone to do data entry for four hours a month. Not sexy, but necessary.

mary / August 16, 2006 10:00 AM

both my time and money has gone to midwest palliative and hospice care center. i work mostly with a children's bereavement group, with the best name ever, braveheart.

Mark / August 16, 2006 10:08 AM

826 Chicago is a great tutoring center in Wicker Park that can always use volunteers and funding, check it out:

Marilyn / August 16, 2006 10:18 AM

My number one charity is Amnesty International. I give them dollars and time, write letters, etc. It's not just Darfur either. With torture in the Chicago Police Dept. (see Chicago Reader report on John Burge and Area 2), the issue is a grassroots issue in our city.

I donate household items to SHORE, an organization for the developmentally disabled.

I send money to the Nature Conservancy because they use it the way I want it used--to buy land for preservation. Ownership talks in these United States.

I send money to the Greater Chicago Food Depository. I worked one day in their warehouse, but it was terribly hard work and I'm not that young anymore.

Other charities get money or time as the spirit moves me.

I work full-time for one of those "dreaded" national nonprofit organizations. I believe we try to get as much money into our programs as possible.

leah / August 16, 2006 10:22 AM

I sponsor a child in Chile through Children International.

She sends me the cutest drawings. She's my leedle Chilean pre-teen. It's cute.

staci / August 16, 2006 10:27 AM

I support 826CHI, too. And although it is part of a national group of orgs, any money you donate is used locally. And the majority of donations are used for building the programs. This is why the programs are so great!

Andrew / August 16, 2006 10:29 AM

I am not a cop, but I do support the Chicago Police Memorial foundation. They are building a memorial for slain police officers and an endowment to support the children of slain officers.

Very few of us have jobs where every day we face a very real possiblity of getting shot at or, worse, murdered.

And, the kids of these officers certainly didn't choose to have a mom or dad who faces danger on the job every day.

People who do that kind of work so I can raise a family in a safe community deserve my recognition and my $$.

fluffy / August 16, 2006 10:31 AM

I've contributed to:
America's 2nd Harvest & American Red Cross (mostly after Katrina hit),
Greenpeace & Save the Children (not anymore), WLUW, NPR, NARAL (Pro-choice America), Planned Parenthood, and the ASPCA.
I support: Environmental Action, AAUW (American Association of Univeristy Women), I trained for the Chicago marathon with the AIDS foundation and raised $ for research, I've helped build a house with Habitat for Humanity (long time ago), I fostered animals until they got adopted (Operation Kindness in Tx), Currently: I read books in Spanish to kids waiting at the welfare offices, participate in CareTeam by handing out gloves and stuff to homeless people in the winter as well as cooking and serving dinner at shelters, and I donate clothes/books, etc to shelters. And yes, sometimes I buy Streetwise.
~I'm answering the question, please don't criticise me for being a bleeding heart, pushover, or whatever~we all have out reasons.

sten / August 16, 2006 10:36 AM

Deborah's Place
Parents United for Responsible Education
the United Church of Hyde Park


Chicago Public Radio
Democracy for America

waleeta / August 16, 2006 10:37 AM

The one I started, called "Assyria Foundation". Website coming in 2 weeks:

I promise it will be pretty.

And Planned Parenthood.

fluffy / August 16, 2006 10:37 AM

I also volunteered briefly at 'reading for the blind' - they always need people to read textbooks for blind students. I'll probably start that up again now that I work close-by.

Marilyn / August 16, 2006 10:44 AM

I forgot. I donate money to the Garfield Park Conservatory regularly. They are a great resource in an underserved part of town and worth every penny.

tina / August 16, 2006 11:01 AM

i volunteer at literacy chicago in the adult literacy program. the ability to read is a skill many of us take for granted. i can't imagine trying to get through life without it.

Josh / August 16, 2006 11:08 AM

Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago. I went in there once to adopt a cat and it was heartbreaking to see so many animals so desperate for love.

By the way, when making any donations to law enforcement agencies (CPD, FOP, etc.) do it anonymously. Don't EVER give these people your phone number. They will aggressively harass you over the phone for more money.

And yes, I too, always give money to steet musicians. Its takes verve to pursue your art in that manner.

Lisa May / August 16, 2006 11:17 AM

What a lovely thread - thanks.

I give money on a monthly basis to ACLU and NARAL Pro-Choice America.

WBEZ gets at least a yearly contribution, as do Barrel of Monkeys - a fabulous arts education org run by fabulous people. And of course I give to my own organization, the Illinois Arts Alliance, a statewide arts advocacy and service organization.

I give stuff to the Brown Elephant and to Free Geek Chicago - a really wonderful startup that deserves much more support and recognition for their efforts to keep computer parts out of landfills and supply working computers to those who need them.

I have given time in the form of board service to various arts organizations and am exploring the possibility of joining another board soon.

Spook / August 16, 2006 11:22 AM

I donate to Radio Air America, and Progressive Radio,
which are very pleasant alternatives to NPR that should not get public funding because it’s not an alternative voice. I also give to my local Streetwise Vendor, Roy whose model is “help a man trying to help himself” I also donated to AIDS Orphan Trust Fund because they have local representatives and their money actually goes to the people in need.
I agree with Shermann.,too many national not for profits orgs just poverty pimps

Blagg the Axman / August 16, 2006 11:23 AM

My charity is the people of this kingdom, and to this cause I pledge my ax and my life. Now, I may have given my soul as well.
After weeks of skulking outside the knights’ fortress, I stole inside as the corrupt knaves rode out for a midnight hunting party; what they were hunting I hope never to know. As I descended to the dungeons, the lack of security was laughable. The half-wit servants I ran across were frightened away with a mere shake of the ax and a loud growl.

In the castle’s depths I found my quarry—the still-seeing Eye of M’yrrgh, hag queen of the swamps. I slipped out of the knights’ keep without incident and made my way back to the Great Bog, arriving at M’yrrgh’s shack one night to find her waiting for me. She did not hide her excitement, snatching the Eye from my hand and scampering out into the black marsh. Though I made to follow her, I stopped short as the burning red eye stared back at me from a distance.

“I shall keep my bargain, Axman, and give you the information you seek,” said M’yrrgh. “But first, mine Eye and I have a score to settle.” And with that she disappeared.

Forgive me, King Mandrake. What evil hath I wrought?

Greg / August 16, 2006 11:52 AM

in decreasing order of importance:


Heifer International

US Curling Association (quiet, you!)

WLUW on and off. Though I'm tiring of getting alumni solicitations from Loyola (I didn't attend, and as I see it, the college the main reason WLUW had to sign the Faustian agreement with Malatia).

The ACLU once, but quickly became disheartened that my basic $25 or whatever bought $50 in junk mail asking for more money.

Sabrosa / August 16, 2006 12:01 PM

I am a company member for Darknight Theatrical Productions and I am a member of Friend's of the Parks. I've done their bike ride for almost 8 years, so I figure I might as well just be a member of the org. They've got great environmental activities when you're a member!

Carrie / August 16, 2006 12:02 PM

I donate to The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee ( You can feed an elephant for a day for $30, send money to help buy more land for the girls, send supplies, etc.

Planned Parenthood gets money from me a couple times a year.

I also used to volunteer as a mentor with the Boys and Girls Club. I've heard good things about the Wicker Park program that was mentioned above- I'm going to look into that now.

JS / August 16, 2006 1:03 PM

Spook, you can donate to Air America? I tried to listen to it once, instead of public radio, but found the commercials really annoying. I figured the commercials surely took the place of asking people for money.

esskaycee / August 16, 2006 1:05 PM

Donate time and money to with New Leash on Life Chicago, Election Protection, and 826CHI. Simply donate money, sometimes time, to Planned Parenthood, International Federation for Animal Welfare, Noah's Wish, People for the American Way, Al Franken's Midwest Values PAC, and some few I'm forgetting. Support many other causes in spirit and in non-monetary but take-action ways. And I've always worked in not-for-profits, so maybe that counts as support as well.

What about patronizing non-profit cultural institutions (e.g. theatres, museums, etc.)? I do that stuff all the time too.

Tobermory / August 16, 2006 1:12 PM

I've been volunteering (and donating supplies and money) at CARE - the volunteer arm of the Evanston Animal shelter for 12 years. I feel good about it because nobody there receives any kind of paycheck so all the money goes towards helping the animals.

I also donate once or twice a year to Alley Cat Allies because I wholeheartedly support their trap/neuter/release programs for stray cats.

I made a donation to the ASPCA after Katrina, but it's pissing me off that they've frittered away any money I gave them on sending me crappy 'gifts' (notecards, t-shirts, and most recently a mini umbrella) trying to get me to give them more money.

HLOnWhls / August 16, 2006 1:14 PM

I donate most of my money and my time (sometimes, I think it has taken my soul too) to Will Act For Food.

The WWF, Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood get my money too.

jonesybot / August 16, 2006 1:24 PM

It provides free visual arts and college planning courses after school and on weekends to Chicago's underserved youth.

Check it out:

Jill / August 16, 2006 1:40 PM

It's a home for the mentally/physically disabled on Ridge & Devon. My aunt has lived there for as long as I can remember. They are run in part by volunteers whose family members live at the school.

If you live up there - check out their Greenhouse Inn restaurant on Ridge; the food is excellent!

Steve / August 16, 2006 2:39 PM

My voluntarily unemployed wife. : )

roderick / August 16, 2006 2:55 PM

I'm a tutor for Chicago Lights Partners in Education, a tutoring program run by Fourth Presbyterian Church. Heck, I'm even on the Board.

All of the kids are from Cabrini or Henry Horner. Those kids rock, but have a hugely tougher life than I think I'm ever going to have.

Despite the program being run by a church, it's pretty non-demoniational as far as tutors go. Always in need of help, hint hint.

Eamon / August 16, 2006 3:01 PM

Primarily Chicago Public Radio and the Chicago Food Bank. Other non-profits we donate to on a non-regular basis include Heifer International, the Chicago Abused Women's Coalition, the Red Cross,, the EFF, the Comic Book Legal Defense fund, and various AIDS and breast cancer rides and marathons. I also donate platelets monthly to LifeSource, but that's really just for the free movies and Oreos.

My wife donates our old clothes to Care for Real in Edgewater (5459 North Broadway) and her time to Project Philanthropy, which helps non-profits develop identiy and marketing materials for growth.

eep / August 16, 2006 3:37 PM

I sponsor a child through Children International, too. Sadly, the little girl in Manilla that I was sponsoring died earlier this year, but I have a new sponsored kid. I'm looking forward to her letters.

I also give/have given on a regular basis to Planned Parenthood, the ACLU, the Humane Society, and I think there's one other I'm forgetting.

Leelah / August 16, 2006 4:07 PM

$ - Y-Me and Susan J. Komen (breast cancer research), the Anti-Cruelty Society, Amnesty International, The Greater Chicago Food Depository, WTTW.
St. Vincent DePaul (clothing donations).
And I check off that box on the gas bill to pay $1 to share the warmth.

gate / August 16, 2006 4:10 PM

I just ordered 18 bacon pizzas from for for those hard working IDF soldiers to show my appreciation. Good job bringing us one step closer to the rapture.

kelly / August 16, 2006 4:19 PM

i give a monthly donation to Beyondmedia - a great local media arts & activism organization that works primarily with women and girls (who just happened to be my employer for 4 great years!)

and also Crossroads Fund - an amazingly nurturing funder who helps social justice organizations like Beyondmedia grow and evolve.

mike / August 16, 2006 7:58 PM

(quick note)
someone should compile this info with links for gapersblock....

I've worked with Horizons for Youth.

and 826chi is good.

and i currently work as a high school english teacher at El Cuarto Ano at Assocation House, a non-for-profit that's been around for 100+ years.


mike / August 16, 2006 7:58 PM

(quick note)
someone should compile this info with links for gapersblock....

I've worked with Horizons for Youth.

and 826chi is good.

and i currently work as a high school english teacher at El Cuarto Ano at Assocation House, a non-for-profit that's been around for 100+ years.


Sarah / August 16, 2006 8:50 PM

I volunteered pretty much every weekend for two years at Links Hall, an arts organization that is dedicated to supporting the creation of new, experimental and contemporary dance and theater.

I have a membership at the MCA and am considering becoming a donor as well.

I also support Crossroads Fund a great foundation that supports grassroots and neighborhood based social justice organizations in Chicago, as well as the local chapters of GLSEN and other organizations that I dig.

Jason / August 16, 2006 10:04 PM

The American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA, and the Gay Men's Health Crisis get my money.

My students get my time.

Flips / August 16, 2006 10:06 PM

Heifer International for certain, I love it for donations in other people's names at the holidays. Something for every budget. Buy a bunny for your honey! Or bees for that matter!

Brown Elephant & Salvation Army for donations and buying,

Red Cross, libraries at my alma mater which were well known for being lame, and Meals On Wheels in memeory of my grammy.

I am sure there are others but I am forgetting them presently.

Shylo / August 16, 2006 10:35 PM


Planned Parenthood.

Greater Chicago Food Depository.

And I'm always looking for new places to give dough, including socially responsible investing.

Plus, we've started trapping local ferals. If anyone wants two totally sweet little kittens, let me know. Chunk and Cubbie need a home!

paulette / August 17, 2006 7:23 AM

I am currently donating my time to Girls Rock! Chicago, a week-long rock n roll day camp for girls aged 9-16. This is camp week and I'm a counselor (with a headache) - the girls are from all over the city, and the camp fee is a sliding scale, which allows anyone to ROCK who wants to.

You can support us by coming to the finale performance at Schuba's this saturday at 1pm! Tickets are five bucks and you get to see 4 girl bands rock it out.

PP / August 17, 2006 7:48 AM

If you give money to Planned Parenthood, you should know that the local director gets over $200,000 a year and has a BMW provided to him. So call and let them know if you think that's out of line.

Julie Martin / August 17, 2006 8:22 AM

I've been a long-time donor of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, one of nation's most visionary, efficient and effective nfps.

From a volunteer proposal, its CEO then inspired me to form a partner, stand-alone nfp: BREAD FOR THE HEAD.

(Drat you, Mike Mulqueen!)

BREAD works individually with Kids Cafes, where kids receive hot, nourishing GCFD after-school meals. BREAD there provides NEW quality books; promotes pleasure reading; and builds reading communities.

Would that we could infect everyone with the energy, awareness and generosity of Gaper readers.

Patrick / August 17, 2006 9:35 AM

Boy Scouts of America.

It's a great organization (outdated social stigma notwithstanding) and I don't just say that as an Eagle Scout.

Theater Buff / August 17, 2006 9:42 AM

I support non-profit theater in Chicago. I donate my time whenever I can, and (being the poor artist that I am) I donate money when I go to see shows around town. Non-profit theater can ALWAYS use more money, so donate!

Support Profiles, The Gift, The Griffin, The Neo-Futurists, Strawdog, Rogue, etc. There are hundreds of them...

And I've donated to NPR.

JS / August 17, 2006 9:50 AM

PP, that salary isn't that out of line - it's only slightly higher than the average for similar non-profits. Remember you're talking about a multi-million dollar charity, and one that seems to be getting pretty high marks. These organizations are not run out of someone's garage.

PP / August 17, 2006 10:08 AM

JS- I certainly agree with you at the national level. I was talking, however, about the local director.

YAJ / August 17, 2006 10:25 AM

My money and/or spare time go to,

Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women's Network - the coalition of Chicago area domestic violence programs - Battered Women's Network

Rape Victim Advocates - serves Chicagoland sexual assault survivors - Rape Victim Advocates

Chicago Foundation for Women - one of the world?s largest women's funds -
Chicago Foundation for Women

Chicago NOW - Chicago NOW

Tree House Foundation - cageless, no kill cat shelter - Tree House

Animal Welfare League - southwest suburban shelter that saved my beloved Satchmo

Nationally: Move On, Buy Blue, National NOW and the Feminist Majority Foundation.

Shylo - how did you manage to catch feral kittens?!? Last week a tiny feral furball hid from the storm under our porch and then decided not to leave. It scratched up my 75 pound lab Satchmo (who gets along great with cats generally and didn't see that coming!) and ran off when I tried to catch it.

Emerson Dameron / August 17, 2006 10:27 AM

I adopted two cats from the Katrina aftermath. I'm sure there are more still languishing in foster homes, if anyone wants a little excitement around the house.

matt / August 17, 2006 10:57 AM

I support cpr, and also radio paradise, a listener supported web-radio station out of california.

Oh, and also the USO.

Cliff / August 17, 2006 11:13 AM

I donate $ and time to the Chicago Bicycle Federation, and Chicago Public Radio/NPR. And once a year I make a Christmas donation to the American Cancer Society for my sisters instead of a gift. The do well enough, that buying them gifts is unnecessary and a pain, and we lost our mom to breast cancer. So it's appropriate.

Cheryl / August 17, 2006 11:44 AM

I was a docent for the Chicago Architecture Foundation for 10 years. I give money to the Heifer Project, Harmony House (a no-kill cat shelter on the North Side), Windy City Sox fans (they raise money for Chicago Baseball Cancer Charities), and my blood to the Red Cross.

And one time I accidentally plunked 50 cents into a woman's latte. The way she was holding the cup, I thought she was begging.

spook / August 17, 2006 11:45 AM

J.S you can totally donate to Air America if more people did maybe they would'nt run those really bad commercials. Its so important to support true alternative news especially during these times. Air America runs the Mike Malloy show, who use to be on WLS, but got fired for being a truth teller. I do listen to NPR daily, I just won't give them any money because I think its bogus for them to get public funds when all they do is cater to white middle/upper class moderate "balanced" liberal white America. I also think its totally bogus for the local director of Planned Parent hood to get 200, 000 a year, and to be tooling around in a BMW too boot. Although they are doing great things
Amnesty International where I once worked it the same. The money they spend on frivolous junk, like parties, etc, is reprehensible. And yea kelly big ups to Beyond Media the Cross Roads fund who keeps the grassroots projects alive. While organizations like MacArthour Foundation that funds the city of Chicago's ethnic cleansing projects visa via CHA

Joe / August 17, 2006 12:05 PM


Your story about plunking money into a woman's latte made me laugh, and it reminded me of something I did one time.

A friend had been on my case about how I don't donate to charity enough, so I decided that I'd buy a paper from the next Streetwise vendor I saw.

As luck would have it, that day I saw a man holding a couple of papers folded under his arm. He was standing in the doorway of a record store, holding the door open for people the way homeless men often do.

I approached him and said, "I'll buy one of those papers."

He gave me this puzzled look and said, "What?"

I replied, "I'd like to buy one of those papers."

He looked disgusted and said, "This is The Onion, man!", and just then his girlfriend walked through the door he was holding open.

That's the last time I tried to give money to someone on the street.

I am a CAF docent too, so maybe giving money accidentally to non-beggars is a pitfall we are susceptible to....

Eamon / August 17, 2006 12:47 PM

I offered to buy lunch for a disheveled guy who was sitting outside the Wendy's near work. "Uh, I'm a sanitation worker," he replied. "Do I really look that bad?"

I felt pretty awful.

Ralphie / August 17, 2006 12:54 PM

I agree on the Boy Scouts post. Spending time with the kids doesn't mean you agree with the organization as a whole. It means you're spending time helping kids.

I think that's kind of the same situation on the Planned Parenthood thing. People that work at non profits should have a chance to make some money too. How else can they get top people to run an organization? Last I heard, not for profit workers didn't take vows of chastity, celibacy or poverty.

fluffy / August 17, 2006 1:20 PM

I also used to work at the National Youth Hostel Federation when I lived in DC. (non-profit) I got paid very little, but my co-workers were really cool people, and it was fun talking to people from all over the world, helping them plan their trips...this was before 9/11.
If my cat wasn't such a momma's boy, I'd definitely adopt pets left homeless due to Katrina-
Emerson-That's so cool you saved those cats!
Roderick- I guess I'll see you at the tutoring orientation session! :-)

charities / August 17, 2006 3:26 PM

Some good charities that my time and/or money go to -

Shriner's Hospital - free services for children with medical conditions that are fairly complicated . I'm an alum.

Rape Victim Advocates - when someone goes to the ER or police station, an advocate from RVA shows up and stays with them for counseling, support and assistace until they go home that night. You'd be suprised how many times we're the only ones who show up at the ER to help someone. They also do education, prevention, counseling, legal advocacy and more.

Also: WLUW, American Cancer Society, crisis campaigns from American Red Cross, and my mom's students.

Thurston / August 17, 2006 3:36 PM

I work every Saturday morning during tax season for the Chicago Tax Assistance Program, doing income taxes for low income Chicagoans. Contrary to popular belief, many illegal immigrants do pay taxes, but get none of the write offs, credits or deductions. Put than in your pipe and smoke it, Minuteman Project.

aj / August 17, 2006 4:18 PM

Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly has been on my "start volunteering already!" list for quite a while; I've heard great things from others who have given their time to them.

Marilyn / August 17, 2006 4:30 PM

I just started reading "Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago," about the nearly 800 heat wave deaths the occurred here in 1995. Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly was mentioned as one of the very few social service agencies in the country whose mission is to address the problems of aging alone (the largest group who died in the heat wave) "to assist isolated seniors in their efforts to make or remake connections to a world that has left them behind."

I'm ready to sign up, too.

Philanthropy Phil / August 17, 2006 8:08 PM

For over the last 10 years I've been keeping track of all the mail solicitations I get from the various charities as well as political panderings. I have tended to give to over 30 organizations and in small amounts ( under $50 at a time), so your name gets passed around. In 2004 I had 652 mailings, in '05, 700. A word of caution..once you've given money to an American Indian charity you get tons of solicitations. Habitat for Humanity is almost just as bad. I never consider a charity's solicitation where you get those address labels, but will consider the same charity on a different type of come on.

For my local solicitations I give to Little Brothers as well as The Night Ministry, which works with homeless youth. The Salvation Army and the Northern Illinois Food Bank.

Environmentally, Rainforest Action Network, and NRDC.

I won't go into the various international or national ones I have done.

Shasta MacNasty / August 17, 2006 8:36 PM

I support Inspiration Corporation. They help men and women get of homelessness in a dignified and sustainable way. I volunteered with them regularly for nine months when I was laid off and looking for a job. It was humbling and encouraging experience for me. I truly believe in what they do and all the people that work there are just fantastic. :)

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Taking it to the Streets [20]
Chicago Street Fairs: Revolting or Awesome?

I Can Be Cruel [9]
Be real: what is the meanest thing you've ever done?

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