A Season of Thankfulness

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Thanksgiving is approaching and the team over here at Zealous Good is getting ready for the holiday by practicing an attitude of gratitude. One of the things we’re most thankful for is the opportunity to work with charities doing awesome things in the Chicago area. We’re hoping to pass along our grateful outlook by sharing what some of our member organizations are doing, so today we’re spotlighting charities that work with children and families and letting them share in their own words why they are grateful for the opportunities they have to help their communities.

The Black Star Project is a nonprofit focused on improving life outcomes for African-American children through tutoring, mentoring, parent engagement, job training, and job placement. Since the organization started twelve years ago, they’ve connected with nearly 300,000 individuals! With impact like that, its not surprising that director of national initiatives Nathan Becka says, “We all take great pride in knowing that we are doing some of the most important work for the future.” Their Chicago chapter continues to have great success!

Tuesday’s Child helps families address behavioral issues through specialized training for both parents and children. This is a tough challenge, but seeing the potential for transformation makes it all worth it! Kim Heather, development director at Tuesday’s Child, tells us that her favorite part of her job is “hearing from parents about how our program has helped their children and family. Part of our parent training curriculum is a weekly group session where families share stories and advice with other program participants. These parents have amazing stories of challenges and successes and have become great advocates for their kids!”

It seems like it would be hard not to be grateful when surrounded by puppies at SitStayRead, an organization that combines one-on-one tutoring and reading assistance dogs to instill a love for learning for at-risk kids. However, SitStayRead’s Alicia Boemi assures us that while the puppies are great, SitStayRead is most thankful for the improvement they see in children’s reading ability! She shared with us that although at the beginning of the year, Most of our students could hardly read or write but by the end of the year they are crafting full stories!”

This November, it’s easy to be grateful for the hard and important work charities are doing all around us! To support these charities, you can visit their websites directly or donate unused items using the Zealous Good site.

Lauren Anderson is a 2013 fall project management intern at Zealous Good, an in-kind donations marketplace in Chicago. You can find Lauren on Google+ or Zealous Good on Facebook and Zealous Good on Twitter at @ZealousGood.

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