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).
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.
Every year, Feeding America supplies nutritious food to more than 37 million Americans, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors. The organization distributes the 3 billion pounds of food through an expansive network of more than 200 food banks and 61,000 agencies across the country. Grocery stores, government agencies, and individuals contribute funds and food, which Feeding America then transports to communities in need through member food banks, ensuring everyone in the area has access to meals. Feeding America also takes a leadership role on the local and national stage, advocating for efficient government programs that address the issue of food insecurity in communities nationwide.
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Whether in the sun of the lakefront or in a family home, the staff of KbFitness Solutions, Inc helps people fit a fitness regimen into their busy lives. Instructors travel to sunny public spots, office buildings, and living rooms throughout the area to lead exercise and yoga routines that tone muscles and get bodies on a path toward wellness. Beyond exercise, the company's dieticians draft meal plans that strive for optimal health while still keeping the client’s schedule and dietary restrictions in mind. Licensed massage therapists can come to homes to do away with knots and discomfort through focused, customized strokes. While private sessions play a part of their day, instructors also foster community by hosting a number of classes at publicly accessible locations, from sandy beaches during the day to the craters of the moon at night.
As advocates for clean, active travel, Active Transportation Alliance strives to make bicycling, walking, and using public transit convenient and safe. Staff members and volunteers organize fun events, such as Bike the Drive, designed to promote the active-transportation movement. Additionally, Safe Routes to School and other programs encourage physical activity—such as walking or bicycling to school—and work to make sure such activities are safe for children. Ultimately, Active Transportation Alliance envisions a Chicagoland where half of all trips are made by biking, walking, and public transit, a dramatic shift from environmentally harmful and sedentary forms of travel.