Fed up with hearing about rude encounters between taxi drivers and the elderly, taxi dispatcher Dan Quiery decided to volunteer time in his retirement to righting these wrongs through Escorted Transportation Service Northwest (ETS/NW). Now the organization's 2011 Volunteer of the Year, according to the Daily Herald, Dan and a team of 70 volunteer drivers at ETS/NW offer both companionship and a vital service as they transport senior citizens to and from medical and dental appointments in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. The seniors often have limited transportation options and would not be able to get to their appointments without aid. Though $12 donations are requested for each ride, the drivers chip in their own money to cover the cost of the trip's gas. Still, this does not deter founder Kathy Kasprowicz and her dedicated volunteers—honored with the 2012 STAR Merit Award from The Beverly Foundation—who were proud to have provided 2,453 roundtrip rides throughout the region in 2011 alone.
With targeted, ongoing mailings, SuperSibs! recognizes shadow survivors’ feelings, helps them realize they are not alone, and comforts them with inspirational letters, activity books, wristbands, a SuperSib! courage trophy, and other support materials. These comfort and care packages inform and inspire shadow survivors with messages of strength and hope during their tough times. More than 25,000 children receive SuperSibs! support, and every year the organization expands its outreach by 25%. SuperSibs! materials and mailings reduce depression, anxiety, and grief and promote emotional healing and self-esteem, helping siblings function socially and share their feelings.
The faculty of Jane Addams School is proud of the environment it fosters. Focusing on instilling knowledge, skills, and independence, it educates elementary-age children for the 21st century. And that student population hints at the diversity the future will likely hold. From various neighborhoods and socio-economic backgrounds, the student body is roughly two-thirds hispanic and one quarter white with significant populations of black, asian, and Native American children. Together, they learn about the world and academics in a safe setting, participating in academics, a Lego robotics league, and sports teams.
The result of a variety of visits to Italy by two childhood friends sharing an intense love of coffee, Blanell Coffee was brewed on a hotplate of passion to deliver American audiences fine Italian coffees and accessories. The distributor dispenses coffees from brands such as Lucaffe, Pellini, Passalacqua, and New York Caffe. These brands cater to coffee connoisseurs that prefer espresso pods, pre-ground batches, grinding their own beans with their shaking teeth. To brighten drinks with flavors such as passion fruit, almond, and amaretto, Blanell Coffee also purveys syrups from Monin—a century-old French company.
The organizers of Double Denim Bar Crawl have two goals: raise awareness of autism and have fun doing it. Their yearly bar crawls through historic Wrigleyville, which take place during Austism Awareness Month, gather revelers suited up from head to toe in denim jeans, jackets, and shirts to let loose amid raffles, dance-offs, and debates on the cultural degradation caused by khaki. Contests including kiddie-cocktail races and a rock-paper-scissors tournament complement prizes for best and worst double denim, denim princess, and being a HugeParty. Celebrants can feel good about every sudsy libation they imbibe, too, since profits of the crawl go to Young Professional Chicagoland Chapter of Autism Speaks, an organization dedicated to funding autism research, spreading awareness, and advocating for the individuals and families affected by autism.
Staff Size: 11?25 people
Average Duration of Services: 4+ hours
Brands Used: Age-appropriate and quality equipment is provided.
Pro Tip: Be ready for your camper to come home and ask you to play hoops or do pushups together.
Parking: Parking lot
Recommended Age Group: Girls age 4-14
Apart from your business's main attraction, do you offer any "hidden" services or activities that visitors are always delighted to learn about?
Our incentive programs emphasize and reward effort, teamwork, heart, etc. We have special relationships with local, collegiate, and professional women's teams that offer our camps the opportunity for in-camp clinics and professional sports outings.
As the old adage says, "Stuff happens." What training do you and your staff have to stay ahead of the unexpected?
Our staff training is pretty intense, to the extent that we role play worst-case scenarios. We practice adjusting to different circumstances, including quick transitions from outside to inside, should we encounter extreme weather.
What is the one feature of your business that you're most proud of?
Our impact both on the fields and courts and off?our program emphasizes growth as an athlete as [much as] it does growth as a person.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
We are proud of the relationships we develop and maintain through the years with our camp families. Throughout these years, we have worked hard to create a customized teaching technique and unique understanding of how young girls best learn and thrive. The results are a program and environment that effectively foster their love for sports and fitness to last a lifetime. This is our passion. This is our mission.