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INSIDE

non-profits • Features on amazing local and volunteers doing good • Directory of organizations work in our community A PUBLICATION OF est. 1851

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1825 1825Lincoln LincolnHwy, Hwy,St. St.Charles, Charles,ILIL60174 60174

All AllUnder UnderOne OneRoof! Roof!

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E D I S N I s ' t Wha 4 Editor’s Note 5 Fox Valley United Way 6 CASA Kane County 8 LivingWell Cancer Resource Center 10 ComicBooks For Kids 12 Christ Community Church 14 The Salvation Army 16 Northern Illinois Foodbank 18 Tri-City Services 20 Horsepower Therapeutic Riding 22 Geneva Community Chest 24 Anderson Animal Shelter 26 Lazarus House 28 Organizations doing good in the community 30 Valley Sheltered Workshop 31 Cal’s Angels

Thank you to our Generous sponsors: Christ Community Church Geneva Cabinet Gallery Hogan Design Mendel Plumbing and Heating McNally’s Heating and Cooling My Advisor and Planner, LLC Northern Illinois Foodbank Premier Living Properties Solutions Networking Corp. State Street Jewelers Sterling Bank The Pride Stores Vertex Resource Group Thursday, December 31, 2020 | GIVING BACK | 3

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editor’s note

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”

2020 has impacted life in so many unprecedented ways. While it has proven to be a struggle for many families, businesses and individuals, one blessing has been to watch the support and deeply generous acts of kindness unfold from so many people within this great community. In the spirit of this, we are once again proud to shine a spotlight on non-profit organizations and the great people who sustain them. It’s important to us and it’s vital to our community. It has been an honor to connect with so many non-profit organizations over the last few weeks and help each of them tell their story. Several years ago, while my husband underwent treatment for brain cancer, my family was forever changed by the overwhelming generosity and compassion of our beloved community. I cannot express how deeply touched we were to hear well wishes of hope, prayers and love from complete strangers as well as those who were closest to us. Words of kindness heal and grant hope to those in the midst of their worst imaginable crisis. Monetary donations gifted to those in need (no matter how small) can help lift a financial burden one blessing at a time. Volunteering or dropping off donations to an organization in any supportive capacity

-Mahatma Gandhi helps that organization function. My husband has often fondly remembered an elderly woman who when she read our story sent the most thoughtful note with a small monetary gift expressing how she wished she could afford to give more. The unselfishness she displayed was a gift beyond measure; it meant the most to him because she gave everything she had to give. I hope the missions outlined in the following pages will help ignite a passion for those individuals who feel called to give of themselves through time, donations or monetary gifts. I’m humbled and thankful for the businesses who offered their support to this publication so the community could learn more about each of them. There is truly no better time than now to give back to others by recognizing and Giving Back to these and so many other non-profits who need our help more than ever this year.

PUBLISHER Laura Shaw (630) 709-4497 lshaw@shawmedia.com EDITOR Jaclyn Cornell (630) 677-7750 jcornell@shawmedia.com ADVERTISING SALES Tricia Walter (630) 845-5272 twalter@shawmedia.com DESIGNER Julie Barichello (815) 431-4072 jbarichello@shawmedia.com CORRESPONDENT K.A. White

Thank you for reading, 216 Riverside Ave. St. Charles, IL 60174 www.stcharleschamber.com

Jaclyn Cornell, Editor Published by Shaw Media 7717 S. Route 31 Crystal Lake, IL 60014

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BECAUSE EVERY CHILD DESERVES TO SUCCEED LIVE UNITED

Fox Valley United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of all individuals in our communities, providing children a strong foundation to achieve success in school and life.

Donate at foxvalleyunitedway.org 44 East Galena Blvd. Aurora, IL 60505

Sponsored by:

630.896.4636 info@foxvalleyunitedway.org foxvalleyunitedway.org @FoxValleyUnitedWay

Communities We Serve

Aurora Big Rock Bristol Campton Hills Elburn Geneva

Hinckley Kaneville La Fox Little Rock Maple Park Millbrook

Montgomery Mooseheart North Aurora Oswego Plano Plattville

St. Charles Sandwich Sugar Grove Wasco Yorkville

Thursday, Thursday,December December31, 31 2020 | GIVING BACK | 5 SPONSORED BY: MY ADVISOR & PLANNER, LLC

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Change a

TEXT “CASA” TO 630-448-8135 TO DONATE TO FOSTER YOUTH!

Child's Story

Volunteer

Be there and advocate for the best interest of a child.

Donate

To ensure 100% of children receive a CASA/GAL volunteer.

Connect

Invite us to speak at your business, church, social group or attend our events.

CASA Kane County is a Guardian ad Litem, nonprofit volunteer organization that advocates for the best interests of children in abuse, neglect and private guardianship cases within the Juvenile Court system.

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C ASA K A N ECO U N T Y.O R G

s r e e t n u l o v y t n u o c e casa kan

100 S. THIRD ST. | SUITE 460 | GENEVA, IL

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ASA Kane County is a Guardian ad Litem, nonprofit volunteer organization that advocates for the best interests of children in abuse, neglect, and probate court within the Juvenile Court system. CASA’s goal is to ensure that each foster child is placed in a safe, permanent home. Abused and neglected children need more than the system can provide. • A six-year old girl rescued from an abusive father only to be bounced around to eight foster homes and six different schools over the course of two years. • Four children separated from one another and placed in different locations after their mother was jailed.

• A young boy prescribed 12 different psychotropic medicines by healthcare professionals who have no access to his medical records or ability to follow-up on his care. • A teenage girl kicked out of her house, and focused to sleep on a cot in the hallway of a group home until she turned 18 – when all her possessions were handed to her in a garbage bag as she was officially “aged out” of the system. These are not isolated stories. They are everyday realities of children in the foster care and child welfare system. A system full of devoted and deeply caring people that is simply too overburdened and under resourced to protect the

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rights of vulnerable children. The reality is child abuse and neglect affects children of every age, race and income level. The long lasting impact of abuse on a child can be profound, increasing the risk of other issues or problems, such as; substance abuse, developmental disabilities and learning problems, anti-social tendencies, teen pregnancy, low self-esteem and even criminal activity. Every child deserves to be given the opportunity to thrive CASA has seen a dramatic rise in child abuse cases since the start of the pandemic and is seeking additional volunteers to be able to handle the sheer quantity of cases coming in. To obtain information about volunteering, please email sandiec@casakanecounty.org. Help us Change a Child’s Story today!

Sponsored by: Geneva Cabinet Gallery 6 | GIVING BACK | Thursday, December 31, 2020

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We can create any of your remodeling ideas, from design to installation We Do It All.

FINE CUSTOM CABINETRY AWARD-WINNING DESIGNERS AND ARTISAN TRADESMEN

To see this kitchen visit Havlicek Builder’s, Cooper Woods model in Geneva.

321 Stevens Street, Geneva • 630.232.9500 • www.genevacabinetgallery.com HOURS: Monday-Friday 9am-5pm orThursday, by appointment December 31, 2020 | GIVING BACK | KCC_GivingBack.indd 7

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r e c n a C l l e LivingW r e t n e C e c r Resou “We’re Here to Help”

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part of Northwestern Medicine, LivingWell Cancer Resource Center is a 501(3)C non-profit organization located in Geneva that truly demonstrates, “we’re here to help.” LivingWell Cancer Resource Center is there for people who are newly diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones who are also affected by the diagnosis. The Center offers assistance for everyone including the patient, their caregivers, and other family members. The mission statement is simple and all-encompassing: “LivingWell exists to provide compassionate care that empowers, encourages, supports and offers hope to patients with cancer and their families.”

CONTACT INFORMATION LivingWell Cancer Resource Center is located at: 442 Williamsburg Ave. | Geneva, IL 60134 (Southwest corner of State Street/Route 38 and Williamsburg Avenue) Phone: (630) 262-1111 | Fax: (630) 262-1110 livingwellcrc.org | facebook.com/livingwellcrc

LivingWell Cancer Resource Center depends exclusively on donations to support what has grown to over 100 programs and services in seven counties of the western suburbs—and all offerings are free of charge. LivingWell’s diverse range of programs and services include counseling and social work; support groups; fitness, yoga, art and nutrition classes; medical presentations; and a wig boutique. This year, LivingWell has acclimated to the restrictions of a pandemic and launched LivingWell

Online—a telehealth support network. Here, those impacted by cancer can receive counseling, watch live medical discussions, participate in a fitness class or even join a virtual support group. There are plenty of options to suit a variety of needs taking place online Monday through Thursday, and starting in January, nutrition and art classes, and an added yoga instruction on Fridays. In order to provide so many programs and services and get the word out about them, LivingWell Cancer Resource Center relies on community volunteers. Many have been with the organization for more than 10 years! Become an ambassador and manage informational booths at wellness events or volunteer at LivingWell’s front desk. If you are a certified yoga instructor, bring your expertise to LivingWell by conducting yoga classes for those living with cancer. Volunteering is essential for an organization that depends on community resources. For more information about volunteer opportunities at LivingWell, visit https://livingwellcrc.org/getinvolved/volunteer.

Sponsored by: Mendel plumbing and heating 8 | GIVING BACK | Thursday, December 31, 2020

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Thank You

to all those who serve our Community . . .

Being of SERVICE to others is what brings happiness!

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ComicBooks For Kids! C

Turning the page for hospitalized children

omicBooks For Kids is a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring smiles and page turning adventures to kids and teens in hospitals and cancer centers across the United States and parts of Canada. They gift coloring books, pop culture items and of course, comic books. In 2017 they had a simple desire to provide comics to children who could really use a hero. They achieved their goal by sending 1,000 items to 20 hospitals and by 2018 had significantly grown their donations to 10,000 items in 110 hospitals. CB4K can now proudly say they support 165 hospitals across the US and have been able to ship over 65,000 comic books within the past two and a half years to every state in the country. Beyond helping those in hospitals, CB4K is most concerned with reaching anyone who could use a hero in their life. “When it comes to kids, we don’t draw a line. We just help.” If you have a need for their services, reach out and inquire more about their comic books and other donation items. A remarkable six-year-old named Gabe, born with a congenital heart defect, is one of the many children who are an inspiration to ComicBooks for Kids and their mission to generate happiness with comics. Children like Gabe, who are faced with a tough situation, get the chance to escape their reality for a while and just be a kid, holding an adventure in their hands and wonderment in their eyes. Now, thousands of kids have been blessed with this opportunity. This past fall, CB4K received palettes of donations of comic books, Funko Pops and graphic novels and immediately started sending them across the country, ensuring no child would be without friendly and colorful reading materials. ComicBooks For Kids is a 501(3)C organization and takes zero compensation for their efforts. They work closely with retailers, distributors, publishers and consumers of the comic book industry to procure inventory and income. This makes it possible for them to provide their numerous donations to the hospitals and medical centers in need of them. Additionally, comic books that are received and thought to be above a child’s reading level or where the content is too mature are provided to the military through their sister non-profit organization ComicBooks For Troops (CBFT.ORG). With this approach, all donated materials are utilized.

CONTACT INFORMATION Mark Weiss (630) 659- 6087 www.cb4k.org | www.cb4k.com www.facebook.com/comicbooksforkids Mark@comicbooksforkids.org

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is simply to contribute requested items or monetary donations. Even a $25.00 contribution means CB4K can ship books to 1-2 hospitals. A variety of sponsorship opportunities are available for consideration; please visit their website for more information to learn more. Be a part of something invaluable and help provide a wondrous escape to kids and teens who need a little bit of light in their lives. In the words of ComicBooks For Kids, “Maybe we can’t change the world, but your support is absolutely helping change that child’s world.”

Sponsored by: Hogan Design & Construction 10 | GIVING BACK | Thursday, December 31, 2020

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TRANSFORM YOUR HOME

Celebrating our 20th anniversary award winning year, Hogan Design & Construction has built a reputation for always going Beyond Building. Call us to schedule your v

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NEW CONSTRUCTION BATHS KITCHENS BASEMENTS ADDITIONS

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hdcbuild.com

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christ community church

look for the helpers.

be the helper.

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he Coronavirus has touched all of us in one way, shape, or form. As this crisis began, Christ Community Church leadership challenged our congregation to see these circumstances as an opportunity to help others within our church as well as our community. The result has been nothing short of amazing to see how the congregation of our campuses stepped in to meet the needs of so many in our communities, from the under-resourced to single moms to immigrant communities to at-risk youth. Some of these efforts were church-wide initiatives. Some were just families seeing a need and meeting a need. But, we did not do this alone. Fred Rogers has a famous quote about dark times. Mr. Rogers would say, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’” That’s what Christ Community Church did. We sought out community organizations with whom we could partner during this season.

FOOD PANTRIES Food insecurity has been a significant problem in our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Food pantries have been a huge blessing; they have provided food security for many under-resourced families. We have been blessed to be able to partner with many of them: • Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry • Food for Greater Elgin • Elgin Wayside Center • Northern IL Food Bank • Hesed House • Salvation Army DeKalb • St. Charles (Tri-City) Salvation Army • Hanover Township Food Pantry

BLOOD DONATION CENTERS The need for blood donations never goes away. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the need has been even greater. That is why Christ Community partnered with Versiti Blood Center of Illinois, based out of Aurora. They serve 63 hospitals in a 12-county area in Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, and collect more than 155,000 units of blood annually.

MULTICULTURAL ASSISTANCE International students, Nepalese and Bhutanese refugees, and other immigrant groups in our communities have experienced greater food insecurity issues than other demographics due to increased levels of job loss. Christ Community has been able to assist a Nepalese church leader as well as an organization

at Northern Illinois University (NIU) that serves international students called Network of Nations. This Nepalese church leader told us of a growing number of COVID-19 positivity in their faith community. Our goal is to help 60 of these families in Aurora, Batavia, and St Charles. Meanwhile, NIU’s Network of Nations has told us there are approximately 300 students staying in their dorms because they don’t have a place to return home to or they are International students. There are so many students who need encouragement and know that there are people in the area who care about them. This is where Network of Nations is making a huge difference. These are just some of the examples of the “people who are helping.” And we as a church body are glad to get to stand by them, support them, and roll up our sleeves next to them.

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1840852 Christ Community Church

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Y M R A N O I T A V L A THE S W

hen you think of the Salvation Army, you might envision bellringers on street corners during the holiday season. But the Salvation Army does so much more to provide customized services in the communities it serves. “While the Tri-City area is a well-to-do area, residents of St. Charles, Batavia and Geneva can face disaster at any time, such as losing a job due to company downsizing, repairing a house after a tornado or paying for costly medical treatment. This year we are seeing a huge increase in need because of COVID,” explains Lt. Scott Smith of the Salvation Army Tri-City Corps. “And it’s not just the lowerincome families being hit.”

In a normal year, over 34,000 people in Kane County over the age of 16 live in poverty with an unemployment rate of 11 percent. But this has not been a “normal” year. Unemployment is up. Rents, mortgages and utilities can’t be paid. Christmas presents are not a certainty. Even access to food is a struggle for many families in the area. Fortunately, the Salvation Army Tri-City Corps offers a food pantry three days a week and four days a week it offers fresh foods donated by local grocery stores along with rent and utility assistance and help with Christmas.

in a typical December the Salvation Army Tri-City Corps’ gym is transformed into a winter wonderland where parents can “shop” for books, puzzles, toys and stocking stuffers that have been donated by the community. This year, however, the presents will be distributed in a contactless manner for everyone’s safety. Parents also receive gift cards to Jewel to buy all the fixings for a holiday meal.

Also, in a normal year, another area of support is providing affordable childcare. The average annual cost of daycare is $4,714—about 27 percent of income for parents making minimum wage. To help these families, the Salvation Army Tri-City Corps offers an after-school program for $115 per month with scholarship available up to 100 percent. The after-school program provides youngsters with homework help, arts, crafts, snacks and a gym for kids to burn off energy. During the summer, kids can find a safe haven at the Salvation Army Tri-City Corps’ day or sleep-away camps, which everyone hopes will be back in 2021.

With the holiday season upon us, the Salvation Army Tri-City Corps seeks volunteers to ring bells and collect donations until December 24 (ringers get Sundays off). The agency’s goal is to collect $195,000 to support families in the Tri-City area. To put that into perspective, Lt. PLEASE VISIT: Smith says $20 buys a new coat for a child WWW.SATRICITY.ORG and $135 sponsors a for more information. dis for one week at day camp.

To ensure these youths receive gifts under the tree,

“This community has such heart. We have about five to six staff members, but it’s mostly our volunteers who run our programs,” Lt. Smith says.

“If you sign up to ring a bell in the Tri-Cities, the money raised will stay in this area. You really have a chance to support your neighbors,” Lt. Smith says.

Sponsored by: McNally’s Heating & Cooling 14 | GIVING BACK | Thursday, December 31, 2020

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Northern illinois Food bank

N o t g in d Respon Our neighbors’

needs

orthern Illinois Food Bank, Illinois’s largest food bank by distribution and the food bank for the suburbs of Chicago, is a non-profit organization that has engaged the community in creating access to nutritious groceries for neighbors in need since 1983. Through its Centers in Geneva, Park City, Rockford and Joliet, and through its network of more than 900 member food pantries and agency partners across 13 counties, the Food Bank exists to help provide every meal every day to every neighbor. Food insecurity impacts thousands of Illinois residents each year. When COVID-19 hit, difficult choices became all too common topics of conversation in Illinois households. Many of our neighbors faced tough decisions, such as choosing between putting food on the table or paying other bills and expenses. The groceries that neighbors receive through the Food Bank’s network can help alleviate those choices and lead to healthier communities in Northern Illinois. Last year, the Food Bank distributed more than 80 million meals—a 16 percent increase from the prior year, and the equivalent of nearly 220,000 meals daily across its service area. As the pandemic’s impact heightened, the Food Bank distributed an additional 30 million meals to meet the rising need through programs such as mobile pantries and pop-up markets held across the suburbs. Many of those visiting the Food Bank’s distributions were new to a food pantry or never received charitable food before. To date, we continue to provide 50 percent more meals every month and the Food Bank expects the increased need to continue into the coming year as our neighbors recover from the health and economic impacts of the pandemic. We know that it will be a long road back to pre-pandemic normalcy into 2021. We plan to continue being here for our neighbors every day until then. There a many ways to get involved in our mission and help support our neighbors during these unprecedented times—whether through volunteering, making a donation of any size to support our increased operations, or following us on social to help spread awareness about the issue of hunger here in our community—what you do matters and make a difference for our neighbors! Visit www.SolveHungerToday.org, or call (630) 443-6910 to learn how to get involved.

Sponsored by: Northern illinois food bank 16 | GIVING BACK | Thursday, December 31, 2020

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FOOD FOR THOUGHT

DOESN’T KNOW WHAT HE’LL EAT TONIGHT? He turns to Northern Illinois Food Bank. Through a vast network of food pantries and feeding programs, we fuel solutions to hunger – providing 80 million meals annually to our neighbors across suburban Chicagoland and Northern Illinois. Learn more about Northern Illinois Food Bank and be part of the solution at SolveHungerToday.org. Thursday, December 31, 2020 | GIVING BACK | 17

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TriCity Family Services ready to be there for your mental health

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riCity Family Services is a private not-for-profit community mental health center with an impressive longevity anchored in Central and Southern Kane County. For more than 50 years they have been committed to their mission of “providing quality mental health services that are accessible and affordable.” With central tenants of “strength, resilience and stability,” TriCity Family Services supports the mental health of their community with an unwavering determination and execution of services for all ages and walks of life. Within its service area, TriCity offers several programs: counseling, family-based treatment for eating disorders, emotional wellness workshops and support groups, an employee assistance program and a wilderness challenge program- a yearly week long camping trip designed for teens. While the pandemic has created limitations for us all, TriCity Family Services has not slowed down on their commitment and passion to providing support in their communities. They have had a constant social media presence, reassuring their clients with positivity and encouragement as often as possible. They also participated in the Geneva Chamber Challenge this past fall-a 24 hour online drive to raise funds and highlight local non-profits in the midst of the pandemic. TriCity Family Services believes “charity is the root of all good works,” and they encourage you to donate however you are able to, be that with your time or individual contributions. Volunteer as one of their “Helpers With Heart” and aid in planning their events and fundraisers throughout the year or even become a board member. They have opportunities for everyone to volunteer their skills and interests with any level of availability!

Start your journey on the path to healing with a simple phone call and you will find a welcoming presence to help guide you in the right direction. TriCity also provides an anonymous Online Mental Health Screening for those who are more comfortable with that approach. When you are ready, you can join the people who have already expressed their love for TriCity. One client assured they “always feel safe and comfortable” there and going to TriCity “is something I always look forward to.” Another said “The therapy I have received has allowed me a renewed look on how I react to life’s events. I only regret that I didn’t come in for therapy years ago.” Mental health is particularly poignant this year and TriCity Family Services is ready to be there, no matter the scale or singularity of the need. Visit their website to learn more about how you can start your healing process or how you can donate to help start someone else’s. CONTACT INFORMATION Website: www.tricityfamilyservices.org MAIN OFFICE 1120 Randall Court | Geneva, IL 60134 Hours: Monday – Thursday 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Fridays 9 a.m.-5 p.m. SATELLITE OFFICE: 2570 Foxfield Road, Suite 101 St. Charles, IL 60174 Anonymous Online Mental Health Screening url: www.tricityfamilyservices.org/ anonymous-online-mental-health-screening/

Sponsored by: Sterling bank 18 | GIVING BACK | Thursday, December 31, 2020

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Real Banking at

sterling bank Thomas Russe

Jennifer Guerri

Carrie Johnson

President

Vice President

Assistant Vice President

Diane DeWitte Assistant Vice President

Jack McNally Private Client Associate

Isabella Patton Customer Service Representative

real People, real Service, real Community Bank, real Close to Home.

St. Charles 10 Illinois Street | (630) 549-7065 | www.sterbank.com

Your Future Is with Us!

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e h t g n i s s e n r a H

r e w o p g n i l a e h

of the phowoerrse horse therapeutic riding

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here are few things in this world that compare to the connection human beings have with their animals. These unique relationships are often more rewarding than we can ever imagine. HorsePower Therapeutic Riding recognizes the benefits gained from the bond formed between a human being and a horse. This remarkable organization was founded eight years ago in the closeknit community of Elburn starting with only 4 riders. In the years since, HorsePower has relocated to Honey Bridge Ranch in St. Charles with 57 riders, over 14 horses in the program, around 100 volunteers, four PATH certified instructors and one EAGALA Certified instructor. The HorsePower Therapeutic Riding organization is in a season of growth and they have set a targeted fundraising goal totaling $500,000 in order to expand their reach, building with Anderson Humane Center. This would provide what has become a muchbeloved local program with east and west locations as well as a state-of-the-art equine center. Right now, that is absolutely crucial for a rapidly growing program such as this one. The driving force behind HorsePower Therapeutic Riding is a simple but remarkably altruistic motivation: “To provide creative, inspiring, and challenging therapeutic horseback riding lessons and equine assisted activities to children and adults.” With patience and unwavering positivity, HorsePower’s volunteers and instructors assist with riders from every niche of their community; from children with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges to adults coping with traumas and addiction. HorsePower is truly welcoming to all, yet

another reason they seek to expand their program and provide multiple locations-it is genuinely a labor of love. Volunteer and board member Sarah Ely’s daughter Evelyn is a nine-year-old little girl who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at two years old, the very same year she started to horseback ride. Even with a full plate that includes three different therapies and dance, riding with HorsePower is at the forefront for Evelyn. With HorsePower, Evelyn can take part in a wide range of unparalleled learning experiences and sometimes she even gets the chance to ride with her sister, Olivia. HorsePower needs your help and attention for an undeniably necessary cause. You can help in a variety of ways by donating, volunteering, perusing their ‘wish list’ or taking part in planned giving. Your donations and volunteerism are key in the continuum of programs within Horsepower such as: group experiences, field trips, vocational training and lessons. Visit their website to learn more about how you can be a part of this wonderful organization and make a difference in the lives of those who really need it. CONTACT INFORMATION Website: http://horsepowertr.com Location: Honey Bridge Ranch 6N917 Rt. 25 St. Charles, IL 60174 (Visits by appointment only.) ​Mail: P.O. Box 361, Elburn, IL 60119 Phone: (815) 508-0804 Email: Info@HorsePowerTR.com

Sponsored by: vertex resource group 20 | GIVING BACK | Thursday, December 31, 2020

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The Point Where Professionals Connect

As an industry leader in our 28th year, we work with a wide range of businesses – from small companies to Fortune 500 corporations – across a variety of professional sectors. Through our family of employment and consulting companies we provide career opportunities from entry level to senior positions in numerous fields. To meet the demands of a growing and changing business environment, Vertex Resource Group offers comprehensive services to fulfill your company’s human resource needs. As a trusted source for employment consulting, Vertex provides complete recruitment, screening, interviewing and referencing services.

Vertex Resource Group | 2570 Foxfield Rd., Ste 200 | St. Charles, IL | 630-485-4401 Thursday, December 31, 2020 | GIVING BACK | 21 vertexresourcegroup.com KCC_GivingBack.indd 21

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Geneva Community Chest

dedicated to making a difference C

ommunity is key with Geneva Community Chest, a local non-profit that has expanded exponentially since its inception in 1970. Charities are essential to helping those in need, but who helps charities? President of an impressive 31-person board of directors is Ryan Moen, an individual whose unmistakable passion for giving as much as he can back to our community is clearly evident in his passion for the Geneva Community Chest. His plea? “Please consider the Geneva Community Chest in your giving this year. The charities we fund are counting on us and your support means more now than ever.” Volunteers are the lifeblood of this organization that seeks to be a financial liaison and fundraising advocate for charities in the Geneva and the Greater Fox Valley area. When the going gets rough, Geneva Community Chest gets going, a purpose that seems to mean everything in a year of uncertainty such as 2020. Despite the limitations the pandemic has forced upon our communities, and through the diligence of these 31 individuals, Geneva Community Chest has continued to support the 29 local charities they assist. This year, these charities have suffered immensely and Geneva Community Chest continues to work tirelessly to ease their burdens in order to ensure the people who need help, get it.

CONTACT INFORMATION Address: P.O. Box 441 Geneva, IL 60134 Email: info@genevacommunitychest.org Phone/Fax: (630) 294-0062

Sponsored by: state street jewelers

From social services to literacy, helping children to end-of-life support, Geneva Community Chest answers the call to fundraise for charitable causes that support those in need in our community. If you can give just a little bit of your time, they are always looking for new people to join their diverse board of directors. Help them grow a cause that will stay rooted in the Geneva Community for years to come; anyone is welcome to inquire. Barring a worldwide pandemic, Geneva Community Chest facilitates numerous events and service projects that include three major events: The Wine Gala, Donut Dash 5k and the Geneva Community Chest Golf Outing. Visit their website to learn more about the charities they support and how you can help. Some examples of the charities they give aid to include: CASA, Cal’s Angels, Salvation Army, American Red Cross and the Northwestern Medicine-Think First for Kids Injury Prevention where GCC funds the purchase of bike helmets for every first grader in Geneva. Their mission truly exemplifies a strong dedication to helping others. To be a part of this crucial cause, visit their website, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter pages to learn more about how you can take the next step and give back to the community with Geneva Community Chest.

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Giving Back is the greatest gift!

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Anderson Animal Shelter

A

nderson Animal Shelter and Fox Valley Wildlife Center care for over 7,000 animals each year. Anderson’s mission is to create mutually beneficial connections between people and animals through programs that raise awareness and inspire kindness, empathy, and respect throughout the community. Anderson is a 501c3 charitable organization and does not receive any federal or state funding. The shelter supports the compassionate and humane treatment of animals through direct care, humane education, and community outreach programs. With locations in the western suburbs of Chicago that include South Elgin, Bloomingdale and North Aurora, they positively impact the community by supporting the human-animal bond. Our life-saving work is made possible by people who show compassion for animals in need. Because Anderson does not receive federal or state funding, we rely on the generosity of our donors and local businesses to help us continue saving lives and creating loving families throughout our community.

WANT TO HELP?

TE TO DONA erson www.and r.org/ e lt e animalsh donate

• There are many ways you can support Anderson Animal Shelter: • Adopt a pet! • Become a volunteer • Make a one-time or re-occuring donation • Become a foster pet parent • Attend one of our fundraising events • Host a fundraiser • Donate an item from our Wish List • Choose us as your Amazon Smile beneficiary while shopping online

To learn more or make a donation, please visit: www.andersonanimalshelter.org

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giving

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612 W. Main St., St. Charles, IL 60174 SM-CL1840856

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lazarus house a place of

hospitality, shelter & HOpe T

his past year has been a challenging one for us all. This is no different for Lazarus House, but we have all of YOU! We are grateful to all those who have assisted us in helping our neighbors in need, especially during this pandemic. So many changes have happened in the way we have to now serve the needs of our neighbors who are homeless or in crisis during this time. Not only is it the use of PPE, having our shelter guests in hotel rooms for a period of time, individually packaging each and every meal, and spacing out sleeping and eating areas, but also in how we can serve those still housed. Lazarus House has seen a tremendous increase for rental and utility assistance and so many more individuals and families are coming to our doors for food and utilizing our Blessing Box for basic needs. Yet the one thing we have noticed that seems to be prevalent throughout both those housed and the homeless, is the longing for connection. Most of us are isolated during this time, and for many, Lazarus House was their “home” for connection-to come in, share a meal, play cards, be around others, and these moments are no longer. Our staff is consciously trying to pause and “take a moment” and really reach out to all who are in need in whatever way we can, even if it is just a smile. Lazarus House offers emergency shelter, transitional living and homeless prevention programs to individuals from Batavia, Geneva, St. Charles and western rural Kane County. Our mission is to offer guests connected to these communities, who are homeless or in need, hope for the future by providing

hospitality, food, safe shelter, and education – tools for life. We are so fortunate to be the recipients of such a caring community of people willing to help their neighbors in crisis. As a recent guest said, “You are an angel, you’re just missing your wings.” If you know someone who needs shelter, encourage them to call Lazarus House at 630-587-2144. If you are in a position to help, please consider a monetary donation and/or urgent needs items such as paper towels, bottled water or others posted on the website: www.lazarushouse.net/urgentneeds If you are interested in volunteering, please watch our website for when we will once again have opportunities to come in house. Due to COVID-19, we are not utilizing volunteers other than overnighters, who sleep while at Lazarus House and only are awakened if there is an emergency. Thank you to each and every individual and family who has reached out during this difficult time to support our neighbors in crisis. YOU make a difference!

CONTACT INFORMATION Lazarus House 214 Walnut St. | St. Charles, IL 60174 (630) 587-2144 | www.LazarusHouse.net

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More charities to support in our community Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet 100 Flinn St. | Batavia, IL 60510 Food Pantry: (630) 879-3784 Clothes Closet: (630) 406-0036 bataviafoodpantry.org Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry and Clothes Closet is a 501(c)3 non- profit organization created by local churches with the simple goal of serving the needs of Batavia and Batavia Township. They serve a myriad of individuals in need of clothing, food, non-food and household related items as well as personal items. The Food Pantry has been open for more than 30 years and BIFP is also a member of the Northern Illinois Food Bank Cooperative. Note: The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced new implementations. For the Clothes Closet: “Starting in December, clients will need a scheduled appointment to shop. (A few “walk in” slots will be available each day.” For the Food Pantry: “The Food Pantry is OPEN for Monthly Shopping ONLINE or ON SITE with COVID PROTOCOL during regular hours (Tuesdays 1:00-3:00 p.m., Wednesdays 6:307:30 p.m., Thursdays 6:30-7:30 p.m. and Fridays 10am-12:00 p.m.).” Please refer to their website for further instructions involving Covid-19 protocols, how to drop off donations and to view the Clothes Closet wish list.

the Covid-19 pandemic. Otherwise, it is equally important to volunteer your time if you are able. Consider becoming a monthly equine sponsor to help contribute to the care of these beloved animals.

Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation 411 Stevens St. | Geneva, IL 60134 (630) 909-9411 changingchildrensworlds.org Changing Children’s World Foundation takes on the noble task of reducing “exposure to violence and aggression for every child and caregiver, allowing positive development and well-being.” For the success of this endeavor and to give the best chance of a positive outcome, CCWF provides adolescents, adults, caregivers, professional leaders and communities with vital information and support. CCWF strives to build a strong foundation of knowledge and the encouragement to move forward. Volunteer or donate to CCWF directly and don’t forget to check out their wish list located on the foundation’s website.

Embrace A Family Casey’s Safe Haven Physical Address: 8N005 IL Rte. 47 Maple Park, IL 60151 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 103 | Elburn, IL 60119 (815) 762-1983 www.caseyssafehaven.org Casey’s Safe Haven is a 501(c)3 non-profit that is focused on being a holistic rescue for equines. This sanctuary provides healing for any mules, horses, donkeys or ponies sent to their way. Casey’s Safe Haven accepts any retiring horses from police forces, racetracks, lesson programs or pony-ride and animal control facilities. The best way to support Casey’s Safe Haven is to donate directly to the cause, as they have had to cancel three separate fundraising events this year due to

1005 Prairie St. | St Charles, IL 60174 (630) 377-7328 www.embraceafamily.com Being a single mother is an extremely trying circumstance that can be made all the easier with help from a community. Embrace A Family, a volunteer-based organization out of St. Charles, focuses on what makes a mother’s burden lighter. Volunteer to do gardening, planting, yardwork and housework. Help a single mother organize her extensive calendar of events or help her plan the kids’ birthday parties. Clip coupons and cook meals or even offer professional advice and counseling. When it comes to a single mother in need of a support system, the list of things to accomplish never ends. Contact Embrace A Family via phone or website to learn how you can be of service to the single mothers in your community.

The Exchange Club of the Tri-Cities www.tcexchangeclub.com The Tri-Cities Exchange Club is a group of men and women who have worked for more than 30 years in a tireless effort to improve their communities, prevent child abuse and exalt patriotism. On average, The Tri-City Exchange Club donates $20,000 per year to a multitude of local charities including: TriCity Family Services, Fox Valley Pregnancy Center, CASA and Lazarus House- all focused on families and community outreach. Help the Exchange Club of the Tri-Cities by becoming a member and assist in event planning and fundraising, an essential part of this club.

Fox Valley Food For Health Box 532 | Geneva, Il 60134 info@foxvalleyfoodforhealth.org (630) 377-0789 The goal of Fox Valley Food For Health is to prepare nutritious and fulfilling meals for individuals who are in the midst of a health crisis or on their path to recovery. Adult volunteers are trained to help guide teen volunteers in creating delicious and organic meals they then bundle and deliver to clients’ homes via their Delivery Angels and Client Liaisons. The philosophy of Fox Valley Food For Health is rooted in preparing healthy, nutritious meals for those who need to focus on health recovery while simultaneously raising awareness, gaining support and highlighting community compassion. Volunteer or donate to Fox Valley Food For Health by: making individual contributions, purchasing a cookbook or becoming a Healthy Hero.

Hesed House 659 South River St. | Aurora, IL 60506 (630) 897-2156 www.hesedhouse.org Hesed House is the second-largest homeless shelter outside of Chicago. They serve men, women and families of any age and utilize more

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than 7,500 volunteers each year. Their mission is to “feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless and give people a chance to hope again.” Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have made the decision to temporarily pause on-site volunteering but they are still open as a shelter for those who need it. Make sure to check their website for a list of current needs and drop-off hours. They also accept food and financial donations.

Kane Senior Council P.O. Box 769 | Geneva, IL 60134 (630) 338-0999 www.kaneseniorcouncil.org Kane County Senior Council is a 501(c)3 non-profit charity self-described as a “Meals on Wheels” for seniors in need. They also provide other services to seniors to keep them active and social. Such services include: wellbeing checks, health and wellness education, and pet and food assistance. Additionally, they offer an “intergenerational activities” program where kids may socialize with seniors by putting on plays, concerts or even assembling gift bags and greeting cards. You can get involved Kane County Senior Council and be a meal delivery volunteer or donate directly to the organization.

Marklund MARKLUND HYDE CENTER 1S450 WYATT DR. | GENEVA, IL 60134 PHONE (630) 593-5500 | FAX (630) 593-5501 MARKLUND WASMOND CENTER 1435 SUMMIT ST. | ELGIN, IL 60120 PHONE (224) 523-7530 | FAX (847) 622-5523 MARKLUND PHILIP CENTER 164 S. PRAIRIE AVE. | BLOOMINGDALE, IL 60108 PHONE (630) 529-2871 | FAX (630) 529-3266 WWW.MARKLUND.ORG Marklund is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that provides residential, therapeutic and educational services for persons with developmental disabilities and specialized healthcare needs, from infancy through adulthood. Its mission — or promise — is to make everyday life possible for individuals with profound disabilities.” Marklund is home to 174 residents in three different locations: Marklund Hyde Center in Geneva, Marklund Wasmond Center in Elgin, and Marklund Philip Center in Bloomindale. The Marklund Hyde Center

is a licensed Intermediate Care Facility for adults 18 and up, while the Wasmond and Philip centers are licensed Medically Complex/Skilled nursing installations for both children and adults with developmental disabilities. Marklund Day School also operates in these three locations, providing a day program that works in tandem with local school districts to assist children on the autism spectrum and those with specialized needs. In 2020 alone, Marklund has provided services for 269 people and hosted several events to bolster fundraising. You can help support this wonderful organization in several ways such as donating, participating in the monthly giving program, or volunteering, to name a few. Check out Marklund’s website to learn more.

Mid-Valley Special Education Cooperative 1304 Ronzheimer Ave. | St. Charles, IL 60174 (331) 228-4873 mvse.org Mid-Valley Special Education Cooperative dedicates themselves to providing support to participating school districts by “empowering students to become independent, contributing members of their communities” while inspiring a longterm commitment to learning. Mid-Valley prides themselves on providing services to students with special needs, their families and the staff who lovingly serve them. Some of their programs include: several specialized services for students, administrative services, technical assistance, professional development and parent networks/ resources. Due to the Covid-19 crisis, Mid-Valley Special Education Cooperative has devoted themselves to making their students a priority by detailing and implementing a remote learning plan.

Mutual Ground 418 Oak Ave. | Aurora, IL, 60506 Domestic Violence Hotline: (630) 897-0080 Sexual Violence Hotline: (630) 897-8383 Main Office: (630) 897-0084 mutualground.org Mutual Ground is an organization dedicated to supporting victims of sexual and domestic violence. They provide services to families and individuals by bestowing education and awareness in order to abolish cycles of violence in their communities. Volunteer with Mutual Ground as a hotline worker or victim advocate upon completion

of a 60-hour certification. Donate to their GEM program or give individual gifts. Mutual Ground recognizes the importance of their mission and how the Covid-19 crisis has affected domestic violence situations. Get involved and visit their website to learn more about how you can help.

Not All Wounds Bleed PO Box #3671 | St. Charles IL 60174 (708) 738-1557 www.notallwoundsbleed.com/home.html Not All Wounds Bleed is non-profit agency that was founded in 2015 whose mission is to generate a central database of information and resources for individuals with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as well as raise awareness for the affliction. They work tirelessly to “break the stigma” surrounding PTSD and they dedicate themselves to PTSD victim advocacy. Each year, Not All Wounds Bleed holds different events to raise awareness and involve their communities. Not All Wounds Bleed encourages donations of any size, just refer to their website for all details as well as the link to their merchandise store in order help support a worthy cause.

Tri City Health Partnership Medical and Dental Clinic 318 Walnut St. | St. Charles, IL 60174 (630) 377-9277 Service Areas: St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia IL, & the Surrounding Areas, including Central Kane County tchpfreeclinic.org Since 2001, the mission of Tri City Health Partnership is to “provide quality healthcare in an environment of mutual respect, to members of the community without the ability to pay for services.” TCHP not only provides medical and dental services, they foster more positive choices related to preventative care and education “for the growth of the whole individual.” The best way to aid Tri City Health Partnership in their mission is to volunteer yourself if you are a medical or dental professional, or donate so Tri City Health Partnership can continue to serve the residents of Central Kane County.

FOR MORE HELPFUL INFORMATION

regarding connecting with local non-profit organizations in the area, please visit the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce website: stcharleschamber.com/community/non-profit-organizations

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p o h s k r o W d e r e t l e h Valley S V

alley Sheltered Workshop is one of Batavia’s hidden gems. Despite being established for 54 years, many people are not aware of this great community asset. Valley Sheltered Workshop was established by Rev. Gilbert Johnstone, who was the leader of the Batavia Baptist Church. He decided to create the organization because of his son Bobby who had a disability. With the help of six prominent Batavia businessmen, Valley Sheltered Workshop opened on May 6, 1966 in collaboration with Furnas Electric, later known as Siemens. The goal of VSW was to employ students with disabilities who were aging out of the Batavia school system.

provide work which requires hand assembly, VSW is able to match the right employee to each job according to their skill level. Examples of these jobs include collating, hand packaging, light assembly, mailers, labeling, heat sealing and more. Employees of VSW are able to work on small or large jobs and can even accommodate one-time jobs. Supervision by VSW staff ensures the company’s quality standards are maintained during production. Considering their employees are paid per piece they complete instead of an hourly rate, companies benefit from being able to reduce their overall expenses.

Starting with just four young men, they have since grown to employ at times as many as 22 people who range from 28 to 61 years of age. Since a variety of Fox Valley businesses

In order to support the services VSW provides to area businesses, they hold two major fundraisers each year. Their annual Pancake Breakfast is always held on the first Sunday

in May. In addition to the delicious breakfast, they also offer guests a cash drawing, a basket raffle, and a silent auction. Their second annual event is a Pig Roast held in October and hosted by Team FIB BBQ – wellknown local pitmasters. All proceeds from these two events go to support the operation and maintenance of VSW, so they may continue to provide a safe and supportive work environment for their employees and their unique needs. Valley Sheltered Workshop is located at 325 Main Street in Batavia and is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM. To see more of what they do, you can explore their website at WWW.VALLEYSHELTEREDWORKSHOP.ORG or stop by to see their employees in action – they do enjoy having visitors!

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Cal’s Angels

Granting WISHES. raising AWARENESS. funding RESEARCH. helping kids who are fighting cancer.

C

al’s Angels is a Chicagoland based 501(c)(3) pediatric cancer foundation established in 2007 in memory of Cal Sutter, a 13-year-old who lost his battle with leukemia. Cal’s kindness and generosity inspired the start of Cal’s Angels. For over 12 years we have been able to bring hope and support to thousands of kids fighting cancer and their families. Everything Cal’s Angels does is centered around our mission of granting wishes, raising awareness and funding research to help kids fighting cancer.

WISHES It all starts with a comfort kit provided to the family and filled with items to make their hospital stay more comfortable. This is just the beginning of a relationship built with the child fighting cancer and their family. Cal’s also: hosts monthly hospital parties at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital, grants $1,000 wishes, offers sibling assistance for extracurricular activities, delivers the holidays to families of a child fighting cancer, decorates their homes

with Holiday Lights, holds a year-round Toy Drive, and hosts a Fantasy Flight to the North Pole in partnership with United Airlines.

AWARENESS Pediatric cancer affects over 40,000 children each year with 46 newly diagnosed children every day. Help to raise awareness for the gold ribbon and help kids with cancer! Awareness Programs include: In September, Chicagoland schools, businesses and towns Go Gold with Cal’s Angels. Year-round Cal’s will host Head Shave Events, a Glow Walk, Chicago Marathon & Fox Valley Half Marathon teams, and Social Media Awareness Campaigns.

RESEARCH Cal’s Angels and Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital are committed to moving research forward as quickly as possible to save more children’s lives. Working collaboratively with researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Lurie Children’s we initiated the Cal’s Angels Drug Discovery Program with a commitment of one million dollars! “The partnership between Cal’s Angels and the community is imperative to close the gap between the current progress and the future advances in pediatric cancer, ultimately getting us closer to finding a cure. Cal’s Angels continues to make strides in creating awareness for pediatric cancer and the gold ribbon as well as the clinical trial arena,” said Stacey Sutter, President, and Co-

Founder. Please join Cal’s Angels in the WAR (Wishes, Awareness & Research) against Pediatric Cancer.

FUNDRAISING ACCOMPLISHMENTS IN 2020 • Robbie Gould, NFL kicker for the San Francisco 49ers and former Chicago Bears player, announced that he is “Going GOULD for Pediatric Cancer” through the first-ever RG9 Kicks for Kids Campaign in support of Cal’s Angels. For every field goal he kicks during the 2020 NFL season, Gould will donate $500 to the Chicago-based nonprofit. • Cal’s Angels ran a successful “Be Bold, Go Gold” September 2020 challenge and surpassed their fundraising goal of $100K.

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