The Historical Society of Oak Park and River Forest makes history accessible with a museum, family research materials, and walking tours. At the museum, visitors can explore a range of costumes, photographs, and artifacts that have been donated by local families. Permanent fixtures include an exhibit on local writer Edgar Rice Burroughs, the man behind Tarzan, featuring dozens of photographs, movie stills, and Tarzan toys. Those who want to see history come to life around them can check out one of the walking tours, which explore sights such as breath-taking stained glass and religious imagery around the neighborhood or the elegant estates of Oak Park, built in the Prairie School of Architecture style.
Aspire CoffeeWorks was born out of a partnership between Metropolis Coffee and Aspire, a nonprofit that helps children and adults with disabilities. Together, they create job training and employment opportunities at Metropolis's roasting facility on the North Side of Chicago for adults with developmental disabilities. Working side-by-side with the Metropolis staff, Aspire CoffeeWorks’ employees help weigh and grind the coffee; package, label, and date batches of beans; prepare orders for shipping; and deliver the coffee to retail stores. 100% of the proceeds from each bag of Aspire CoffeeWorks’ organic, fair-trade coffee benefits the organization's programs. One-pound bags of Aspire CoffeeWorks' beans come in roasts such as the sweet and velvety Aspire Bold ($12.95) or the big-bodied Dream Big Decaf ($13.95).
Dedicated to advancing the economic, professional, and cultural well-being of the northern suburb, Lincolnwood Chamber of Commerce & Industry fosters a sense of community and civic pride through a host of activities and programs. The annual home and garden show—replete with booths of goods and services set up by area businesses—provides guests with the resources and tools needed to landscape yards or renovate aging blanket forts, while the Lincolnwood Wine Expo includes tastings and seminars centered around all things wine related.
Matt Feeney and Joel Berman share a disability and a dream. Feeney broke his neck diving off a 100-foot cliff and Berman lost his ability to walk after a runaway flatcar hit him while he was laying rail tracks. Together they founded Adaptive Adventures to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities through participation in sports and recreation. The organization runs progressive outdoor sports programs year-round for children, adults, and service members who have been severely injured in conflicts abroad. They cater to people with a wide range of disabilities, including spinal-cord injuries, amputations, and cerebral palsy. Activities such as kayaking, cycling, or water skiing help build confidence, social skills, and healthy lifestyles in participants who could not otherwise afford equipment, training, and travel for recreational sports.
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.
Growing Power provides the means for communities to grow and distribute healthy food among their own residents through three important functions: growing demonstrations, education, and food production. Demonstrations come in the form of workshops designed to teach locals of the Midwest, the South, and New England how to grow fresh produce. On the education side, outreach programs for farmers, youth, and entire communities help spread awareness about the importance of community agriculture. Finally, the organization produces food in demonstration greenhouses and rural and urban farms in the Midwest. It distributes the produce and grass-fed meat it produces through 300 family farms as part of the Rainbow Farmers Cooperative, and to local families through the Farm-to-City Market Basket Program. This way, the people the organization benefits can have access to nutritious food regardless of location, income, or scarecrow phobias.