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Charity & Grassroots in Chicago, IL

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  • Pick Me Up Cafe
    It’s not hard to find a hot dog or pepperoni pizza after midnight, but how about a vegan tofu scramble? Not a problem at Pick Me Up Cafe. Open 24 hours Friday and Saturday and listed on Time’s piece on 10 Things to Do in Chicago, Pick Me Up serves several vegetarian dishes, including cinnamon-and-nutmeg spiced vegan french toast.
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    3408 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL US
  • Frontera Farmer Foundation
    Since the Great Depression, the face of American farming has changed. Small family farms have been increasingly replaced by larger enterprises that are able to produce and export more due to the scale at which they operate. Unfortunately, the Frontera Farmer Foundation reports, today's conventional agricultural methods—the use of pesticides and fertilizers—contribute to the destruction and loss of nearly 4 million acres of irrigated land every year. Rick and Deann Bayless founded Frontera Farmer Foundation in 2003 to attract renewed support for the small-scale farmer. Since they're more likely to use organic farming methods and introduce biodiversity to the land, these farms actually strengthen the soil instead of exhausting it. To help them survive amid larger enterprises, the Frontera Foundation provides capital-development grants. Through these and the equipment they purchase, Bayless hopes to establish a year-round link between small-scale farmers, farmers-market patrons, and chefs, keeping a steady flow of seasonal agriculture pouring into Chicago. *No donation is necessary to enter or win, and a donation will not increase your chances of winning. To enter without donation, you must handwrite on a 3x5 card labeled "Rick Bayless Sweepstakes Entry," your full name, complete address, home and daytime telephone number (including area code), e-mail address and date of birth (all of which must be legible) and mail it with proper postage to: “Rick Bayless Sweepstakes Entry,” Groupon, Inc., 600 West Chicago Avenue, Ste. 400, Chicago, IL 60654. See Official Rules for additional requirements. Odds of winning depend on the total number of entries received. Void where prohibited by law. Sweepstakes only open to legal residents of the 50 U.S. or D.C., 18+. Entry period ends: 11:59 p.m. CDT on 7/15/2014. ARV of prize: $4,863.00. Sponsor: Groupon, Inc., 600 West Chicago Avenue, Ste. 400, Chicago, IL 60654.
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    445 North Clark Street
    Chicago, IL US
  • Demoiselle 2 Femme
    In a vacant lot in Roseland, 10 teenagers are hammering, drilling, and sawing two-by-fours. Their goal: to build a playground for their neighbors. As explained in an article in the Chicago Tribune, these young women are participants in Demoiselle 2 Femme’s STEM projects. As part of the program, they designed and built a playground squished between two storefronts to help provide a safe place for kids in the community to play, while putting the engineering principles they had learned through the program into action. These design projects are representative of Demoiselle 2 Femme’s larger goal for its participants, reflected in its French name–to turn “young ladies to women.” Though Demoiselle 2 Femme’s founders started only with a few volunteer mentors in a local church, Sherida Morrison and Romanetha Looper envisioned a comprehensive program that would lead girls along the path from childhood to adulthood. Today, the founders and their group of coordinators work with numerous adolescent girls to help them think systematically and make productive life decisions. Their programs focus on the problems and challenges that girls can face in society, ranging from the prevalence of drugs and STDs to nutrition and family connectedness. An after school program provides weekly workshops on life skills and interpersonal relationships, project hopeful trains participants in financial literacy, and the Femme 2 STEM program empowers girls to pursue science, technology, engineering, and math through community transformation workshops. See how Groupon helps you discover local causes and lend a helping hand at the Groupon Grassroots blog.
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    9415 S Western Ave
    Chicago, IL US
  • Friends of Swift
    George B. Swift Specialty School, located in Chicago's Edgewater Community, is no ordinary elementary. Every classroom is as likely to be filled with kids expressing themselves through paint as kids working on complex equations. That's because this pre-K through 8th-grade institution has integrated a Fine and Performing Arts Magnet program into its curriculum, helping its students tap into their creative energy, whether that involves theatre, music, art, or dance. To further help these students achieve their full potential, a small group of parents and neighbors joined together in July of 2013 to create Friends of Swift. Since then, this grassroots movement has grown to include Local School Council members and staff, all of whom band together to bolster the school. And the ways they help are as varied as they are inventive, organizing fundraising events, rewarding teachers with small gifts and cards, cheering students on at sporting events, and hosting a monthly movie night for students. Explore Edgewater Groupon has partnered with the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce to offer this special collection from Edgewater merchants. The North Side neighborhood is home to one-of-a-kind shops such as Edgewater Workbench, where customers create custom gifts with 3D printing and laser cutting, and pioneering restaurants such as Uncommon Ground, home of the country’s first certified organic rooftop garden. Shop the full collection.
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    5900 North Winthrop Avenue
    Chicago, IL US
  • Susan G Komen Breast Cancer
    Although the symbol of Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a small pink ribbon, it represents a powerhouse of breast-cancer research and education. The rallying cry of "I am the cure" represents the foundation's multifaceted approach to fighting the disease, which focuses on community outreach, public perception of the disease, and funding for scientific research. Susan G. Komen for the Cure's work has helped increase early detection, survival rates, and federal funding of groundbreaking breast-cancer research. Beyond its signature pink ribbon–bedecked merchandise, the Race for the Cure is the centerpiece of the foundation's fundraising and outreach efforts. Originally an 800-person charity race in Dallas, Race for the Cure has blossomed into a series of more than 150 races worldwide, which collectively host more than 1.7 million participants annually. Marathoners, runners, and walkers alike collect sponsorship donations from friends and family as they tackle races of varying lengths, wearing personalized signs on their backs to honor the breast-cancer victims and survivors in their lives. To date, Race for the Cure has raised more than $1.9 billion to support Komen initiatives. The Chicago affiliate serves five counties—Cook, Kane, DuPage, McHenry, and Lake—and 75% of its net funds earned stay within the Chicagoland area, while the remaining 25% go to global research. The affiliate was established in 1997, making this the 15th anniversary race.
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    8765 West Higgins Road
    Chicago, IL US
  • Metropolitan Planning Council
    If Chicagoland were a machine, the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) would be the engineer ensuring its smooth operation. Through partnerships with businesses, communities, and governments, the MPC has worked to make Chicago a more prosperous place to live since 1934. Adhering to a philosophy of interconnectedness, the planners and developers behind the MPC understand that everything from transportation networks to public housing to the workforce fueling the economy must work together to keep the city healthy. This summer, MPC is embarking on a quest to motivate Chicago-based individuals and community groups to activate and transform public spaces through the 2014 Placemaking Challenge. After equipping people with the necessary information and inspiration to transform underused neighborhood spots, the Placemaking challenge empowers them to make an impact. With the assistance of the community, participants will design and implement their Placemaking intervention of choice—whether transforming a trash-covered lot into a garden or adding allure to a dull retail strip—during the weekend of August 15–17. Participants also have an opportunity to win one of four $1,000 prizes—including a Groupon Love Local Award sponsored by Groupon Grassroots—to fuel their efforts. By simply sharing and promoting their work in the neighborhood and Placemaking stories through the MPC website, participants are eligible for a prize. After a public vote and determination from MPC’s judges, winners will be selected, and all participants will celebrate at a September event.
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    140 S Dearborn St Ste 1400
    Chicago, IL US

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