GIVEback Spotlight: Chicago

Words by Wayward

Today is a chance for all of us to press pause on our busy lives and wrap our arms around our local communities, and the planet. In light of this — and as a thank you for welcoming us into the community as we enter our second year in business — we wanted to take the time to highlight some local organizations in Chicago we admire, who are doing noteworthy things in support of the community.

Looking to volunteer or make a donation? Here are some of our favorite Chicago-based organizations making a difference to help overcome obstacles and provide new opportunities:

Chicago Coalition For The Homeless

Since 1980, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has had a clear mission: to organize and advocate to prevent and end homelessness. As the only non-profit in Illinois dedicated to advocating for public policies to end homelessness, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless leads strategic campaigns, community outreach, and public policy initiatives that target the lack of affordable housing in metropolitan Chicago and across Illinois.

In addition, CCH presses for access to jobs, training, and public schools. Their network of community organizers, policy specialists, and public interest attorneys advocate with people hurt by homelessness, including mothers with children, students, unaccompanied youth, ex-offenders, prostitution survivors, and low-wage workers. Today, on Giving Tuesday, all donations will be matched, up to $20,000. Learn more and donate online here.

Oil & Water Don’t Mix

In collaboration with multiple businesses, organizations, tribes and citizens, Oil & Water Don’t Mix is working hard to protect the Great Lakes, the world’s largest freshwater system and the communities that are dependent on it. Focused on the expired Line 5 pipeline, pumping 23 millions of gallons of oil from Canada under the Great Lakes everyday, they need help to take action.  From writing a letter to state lawmakers, to attending educational events, make your voice heard and find a full list here of things you can do today to help hold the government accountable in protecting this ecosystem!

With continuous safety concerns and failures, not ‘if’ but when Line 5 spills it will cause catastrophe impacting drinking water, commerce, jobs and recreation for future generations. In a true community effort they work through political, legal and regulatory pressures to shut down the pipeline and keep oil out of the Great Lakes. Learn more about making a donation or becoming a member here.

826 CHI

Strong writing skills are not only fundamental to future success but open up endless possibilities through the power of using your voice. 826CHI is dedicated to the youth of Chicago, and their teachers, to build strong writing skills, inspiring them to express themselves. 826CHI is committed to inclusion for all people and abilities and the transformative ability that writing provides.

From free field trips to one-on-one mentoring and workshops, 826CHI has served over 3,400 youth in 112 schools with 287 volunteers. To inspire our future generation, consider volunteering your time or making a donation to fund their free programing, learn more here.

Kuumba Lynx

An organization over 20 years old, Kuumba Lynx is a safe space for Chicago youth to practice dance and express themselves through art and a positive hip hop culture. Volunteers make Kuumba Lynx thrive, and are needed at a range of special events, weekly programming, service days, and shows. Kuumba Lynx strives to truly invest in each individual that walks through their Uptown doors — many of the kids who go through the program stick around for years. In their own words: “Kuumba Lynx is a collective effort! Everyone is welcome. Reciprocity is mandatory. Participation is optional.

We love on each other the best way we can, and we’re challenging each other to be our best. We support our inter-generational community by reimagining, practicing, getting it right and messing up. We’re moving through the challenges of life together.” To get involved, email


Time to adopt a new furry friend to help you combat the long Chicago winter? PAWS Chicago is an incredible organization dedicated to ending animal homelessness. Springing from a mission to build no-kill communities, initially with a no-kill Chicago, PAWS truly respects the life of every cat and dog. Founded in 1997, they strive to end the overpopulation of homeless animals through solution-oriented action and education, and seek to transform animal welfare by setting higher standards in the way animals are treated by developing a sustainable, solutions-based model.

The best way to help is by adopting an animal, of course — but additionally, you can choose to work with dogs, cats or humans at any of their three on-site PAWS volunteer locations throughout Chicago and the North Shore. Subsequently, if you choose to donate some cash, we love that your money will go directly to the animals — you can find more info online here.

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