Give Local – Giving Tuesday Guide

Give Back

After a weekend of steals and deals, it’s time to come together  as a community and help some local nonprofits as they try to close out their years on a high note. According to the National Center for Charitable Giving,

Giving by individuals makes up the vast majority of contributions received by nonprofit organizations.” Individual giving accounted for 72 percent of all charitable contributions received by nonprofits in 2014.

That’s you, and me, and everyone on your block. By coming together on Giving Tuesday our gifts, no matter how small, can make a huge impact on our community, our county, and our Nation.

Just like a dollar spent at a local business goes farther a donation to a locally based charity also goes even further than one to a national or international charity. As you enjoy your snow day and plan out your end of year giving, please consider helping these McHenry County charities. 

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All charities listed are located in Lake or McHenry County and are doing work for families and children in our own counties.

McHenry County Charities Giving Tuesday Campaigns

Partners for Progress | Busy Brains Children’s Museum | Characters of Character | Second Bridge | Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association | NISRA | Bernie’s Book Bank | CYT Chicago | Caring for Kids Clothing | One Hope United | GiGi’s Playhouse | Adler Arts Center

NISRA Foundation – Crystal Lake

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NISRA Foundation’s Mission: “Giving the gift of fun” NISRA Foundation raises funds to meet the needs of many of NISRA’s unique and innovative programs as well as capital projects.

Giving Tuesday Goal: Raise funds to support the programs needs.

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Partners for Progress – Wauconda

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Partners for Progress Mission is to provide alternative equine therapeutic programs to individuals with physical, mental and emotional challenges. By using quality trained horses, each individual participant rider will have a chance to experience the highest quality therapeutic ride with maximum benefits.

Giving Tuesday Goal: Partners for Progress Giving Tuesday Goal this year is to raise funding to cover the everyday items that we so desperately need during these unprecedented times. Items like – medical gloves, masks, hand sanitizer, hand soap, paper towels, cheap rags, disinfecting wipes, spray disinfectant, toilet paper, laundry soap, vinegar, batteries for thermometers, bathroom cleaner, etc. These may seem like small things but to us, they are really HUGE!! Thank you SO much for helping us to maintain a safe and compliant environment for our riders to work in on overcoming their challenges!

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Busy Brains Children’s Museum

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Busy Brains Children’s Museum Mission: Busy Brains Children’s Museum encourages the joy of learning and discovery in all children, with interactive exhibits and enlightening programs in the arts, sciences, and humanities.

Giving Tuesday Goal: All funds donated during this holiday season will go to our FREE public events that we hope to participate in during 2021. This includes farmer’s markets, public school events, scouting events, community events, and races.

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Photo Credit: Karla Livney, Causeography

Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association

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Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association Mission: Great Lakes Adaptive Sports Association (GLASA) strives to ‘Let No One Sit on the Sidelines’ and operates under a mission to promote and support the optimal development and well-being of youth, adults, and military veterans who have a physical or visual disability through the provision of inclusive recreation, fitness, and competitive sports activities. GLASA, based in Lake County, offers opportunities for empowerment through education, leadership, and training in collaboration with community-based organizations. GLASA is the only agency in Lake County which is solely dedicated to offering sport and recreation activities for those with physical and visual disabilities.

Giving Tuesday Goal: NOW MORE THAN EVER it is important that we continue to provide opportunities for children, adults, and veterans with physical and visual disabilities to stay active, healthy, and engaged. During the COVID pandemic, we have had to find new ways to continue to provide our life-changing programs over the past months. NOW MORE THAN EVER it is important that we continue to provide opportunities for children, adults, and veterans with physical and visual disabilities to stay active, healthy, and engaged. During the COVID pandemic, we have had to find new ways to continue to provide our life-changing programs over the past months. GLASA quickly pivoted to remote programming by increasing the equipment lending program and personally delivering equipment to participants’ homes. We also increased individualized outreach and support to enable and encourage participants to continue their athletic training while confined at home.

GLASA has implemented sessions with a certified mental performance coach (CMPC) as depression is one of the most common “secondary conditions” associated with individuals with disabilities. Donations on Giving Tuesday will directly support the physical and mental wellness of our GLASA athletes and assist in the cost of their adaptive sports equipment. 90 cents of every dollar will be used to directly support program-related costs including personal outreach, video conferencing subscription software, adaptive equipment, and program-related transportation costs.

Goal: $10,000 Donate to GLASA Giving Tuesday Goal

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Second Bridge – Crystal Lake

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Second Bridge’s Mission: Second Bridge connects the community to the needs of foster children. We provide beds, clothing, shoes, toys, toiletries, bedding, diapers, baby gear and anything else that may be needed to support foster children throughout our community.

Giving Tuesday Goal:  They would like to raise $1,000 this Giving Tuesday.

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Bernies Book Bank – Lake Bluff

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Bernie’s Book Bank’s Mission: Bernie’s Book Bank distributes free quality children’s books to significantly increase book ownership among under-served children throughout Chicagoland. Since 2009, Bernie’s Book Bank has distributed more than 18.7 MILLION books!

Giving Tuesday Goal: In March Bernie’s Book Bank launched the “Change Their Story” campaign in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bernie’s Book Bank has distributed more than 1 million free books to local under-served children in the months since we launched this campaign to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our ask on Giving Tuesday is that everyone donates $12 to provide 12 books for an under-served child. Together we can Change Their Story.

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Characters of Character

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Characters of Character’s Mission: Characters of Character provides materials and resources to engage children and youth in character-building activities and lessons. Our mission is to provide a firm foundation for children to establish strong civic values.

Giving Tuesday Goal: $5,000.00 to be able to donate Superhero Activity Boxes to children in the hospitals in McHenry and Lake County, Illinois.

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CYT Chicago – Cary

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CYT Chicago’s Mission: Christian Youth Theater (CYT) is a 501(c)(3), nonprofit, theatre arts training program for students ages 5–18. CYT develops character and creativity in kids of all ages through quality theatre arts training that brings families and communities together while reflecting the Creator

Giving Tuesday Goal: We want to bring theatre to our community in a safe way. To do this, we are following safety precautions and looking to raise $35,000. Your gift to CYT helps fund these masked shows. People like you bring storytelling, hope, joy, and an outlet in a dark and isolated world. Thank you.

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Caring for Kids Clothing – Winthrop Harbor


Caring for Kids Mission: Every year hundreds of children go without proper clothing. Caring For Kids Clothing is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization that helps provide these children with the clothing they so desperately need. Since its beginning in 2010 Caring For Kids has helped to outfit hundreds of children in much-needed winter clothing, including coats, boots, scarves, gloves, and more! We also provide school uniforms, gym shoes, socks, and undergarments.

Giving Tuesday Goal: Help raise money for the upcoming Giving Season to complete our organization’s mission.

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One Hope United

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Mission: Founded in 1895, One Hope United is a multistate nonprofit that helps children and families build the skills to live life without limits. We serve over 10,000 children and families each year through education centers, child and family services, counseling, and residential programs. With our evidence-based and trauma-informed practices, we empower children and families to see and create a future where, regardless of their past, they can reach their full potential.

Giving Tuesday Goal: $35,000 – donate here.

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GiGi’s Playhouse – Deerfield

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Mission: With over 48+ brick and mortar locations across the United States and Mexico, GiGi’s Playhouse is the ONLY network of Down Syndrome Achievement Centers. Every day, we provide FREE, life-changing therapeutic, educational, and career training programs for 30,000+ individuals of all ages.

Down syndrome is the largest chromosomal disability in our country and yet, it is the least funded. From a prenatal diagnosis to career skills, we make a lifetime commitment to remain by their side. Families are empowered with all the tools their child needs to succeed!

Giving Tuesday Goal: When COVID-19 hit earlier this year it changed the way we live our daily lives; for individuals who thrive on routine this impacted even harder. Many of our families rely on the playhouse for educational and therapeutic support along with socialization and peer mentorship. We quickly had to change the way we run our programs to ensure that our families continue to get the support they need while maintaining their safety and the safety of the volunteers we work with. Within a week of the national shut down, GiGi’s at Home was up and running. With a brand new website, a team of incredibly dedicated volunteers, and participants eager to find some normalcy. We now offer over 25 LIVE virtual programs a week and have hundreds of lesson plans and recordings of programs on-demand for families to watch at their convenience. In six months we have reached families in 22 different countries through our virtual programming. While our programming will always be free to families, it is not free to us. Covid-19 didn’t just shut down the in-person programming it prevented us from holding our biggest fundraisers of the year. We need your help more than ever to ensure that we are there for families however they need, for many years to come. As an organization that is 99% volunteer-run with less than 5% G&A costs, you know your donation is going directly to supporting the participants, their families, and our programs.

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Adler Arts Center – Libertyville

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Mission: With a commitment to community, the Adler Arts Center serves to educate, promote, and preserve the arts. The Adler Arts Center is dedicated to promoting music and the arts as an integral part of everyday life. Its year-round activities are designed to foster critical thinking and interpretation, participation, entertainment, and achievement in music and the arts for the people of Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.

The Adler Arts Center maintains and interprets the historic home of architect David Adler, which is the base of its activities, and a visual image of the harmony between music, the arts, and daily life.

Giving Tuesday Goal: As with so many non-profit organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic has left us with a serious funding gap. We are doing all we can to serve our community with arts and culture programming and in a time when we are facing a significant reduction in program and event revenues, continued financial support can make all the difference. Please consider supporting your local arts center with any size donation!

Give more, give local!

Give Local - Giving Tuesday Guide

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