CONNECTING COMMUNITIES & CHARITIES



James Beard Foundation

A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. Get food news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation’s blog, or subscribe to the free digital newsletter, Beard Bites. Follow @beardfoundation on FacebookTwitterInstagramPinterest, and Snapchat. Watch the James Beard House Kitchen Cam, the James Beard Awards, and more on the Foundation’s Livestream channel. 

The James Beard Foundation is a national not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in New York City.


Kitchen Possible

Our mission is to empower kids to make amazing things happen in their lives by teaching them how to make amazing things happen in the kitchen. Research shows, kids in lower income communities are less likely to grow up believing they are in control of what happens in their lives. This world view is correlated to negative life outcomes in health, career, income, and happiness. By teaching kids to set goals, follow a plan, push through when things get tough, and ultimately succeed, we can help shape the way they approach their world.


Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Amid tension and division about changes in Pilsen, The Parish Peace Project, Vida en Arte and Saint Procopius-Providence of God Parish officially launched Won’t You Be My Neighbor, a public art exhibition that focuses on promoting peace and dialogue centered around Chicago’s changing neighborhoods. Nine local artists have painted on a series of tables and benches that have been placed in nine locations along 18th street, throughout the summer.


Section 8 Chicago Soccer Club

Section 8 Chicago is the Independent Supporters’ Association (ISA) for the Chicago Fire Soccer Club. The ISA is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization run by volunteers through an elected board of directors. The ISA represents all Fire supporters, organizing in-stadium support, road trips, tailgates, watch parties and social events. Chicago Fire supporters’ groups mostly occupy an area in Toyota Parkknown as “Section 8” or “The Harlem End”. “Section 8” stems from its original location at Soldier Field when Barn Burners and Fire Ultras 98 united together in one section. The name has stuck, despite changing stadiums and section numbers.


Open Books Pilsen

Open Books is a nonprofit social venture that provides literacy experiences for tens of thousands of readers each year through inspiring programs and the creative capitalization of books.

Through our Literacy Programs, we transform students’ reading and writing skills through experienced educators who deliver innovative instruction, passionate volunteers who serve as positive role models and provide enthusiastic support, safe learning environments for practice, exploration, and social-emotional growth, and access to high-quality books and tailored curricula.

Through our Book Grants, we provide readers of all ages with engaging, appropriate, and high-quality books. Each week, we deliver thousands of books to schools and nonprofits across Chicagoland.

Funding for our work comes in large part from the sale of donated books at our award-winning Pilsen and West Loop stores, as well as online and at special events.


Esperanza Health Centers

In 2004, residents of the neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village on Chicago’s southwest side joined administrators from nearby Saint Anthony Hospital to address the critical lack of accessible health services in the area. They opened a community health center on South California Avenue called Esperanza, the Spanish word for “hope.” 

Today, Esperanza provides bilingual, high quality primary care, behavioral health and wellness services to the community, regardless of immigration status, insurance status, or ability to pay. Esperanza’s three sites in Little Village (South Lawndale) and Marquette Park (Chicago Lawn) deliver care to over 20,000 patients each year from communities across the Southwest side.

In 2019, we will open a fourth site in Brighton Park to serve an additional 20,000 patients each year with high quality healthcare. Our commitment to offering care of the highest quality is made clear by our designation as a National Quality Leader by HRSA in both 2016 and 2017, which ranks Esperanza among the top 3% of health centers in the nation and the top two in Illinois for our quality of care.


Full Spectrum Features

Full Spectrum Features was founded with a simple but bold mission – to completely upend the status quo in the film industry. Since 2015, we’ve produced fourteen original works, ranging from award-winning features like Signature Move to groundbreaking (and also award-winning!) web series like the T. We’ve screened at nearly 400 film festivals around the world, as well as dozens of colleges and universities, museums, libraries, and alternative screening spaces. Most importantly, we produce our films without compromise, championing the voices of filmmakers who’ve traditionally been excluded by Hollywood.


STREETS International

STREETS International provides the opportunity for orphaned, disadvantaged and trafficked youth to transition from poverty and life on the streets to successful careers in the hospitality industry. The program offers a comprehensive 18-month curriculum and apprenticing in Culinary & Hospitality, Life Skills & English, including supervised housing, nutritious meals, clothing and basic medical care.

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Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry

Oak Park River Forest Food Pantry provide hunger-relief programing and services to 13 zip codes across Cook County, including portions of Chicago and its near-west Suburbs.  Their service offerings seek to provide the food, resources, knowledge, and skills people need to live healthy, active lives. Services range from helping people connect to benefits like SNAP (“food stamps”) and Medicare Savings, to nutrition education and cooking classes lead by registered dietitians, and summer meals for kids who lack them when school is out.  Organization-wide they focus on health and nutrition – providing food that nourishes and sustains, food that is rich in nutrients, lean protein, and whole grains.