Are you sick and tired of reading about all of the different sales going on and want to get back to what is important in life? Then “Giving Tuesday” is the holiday for you. Designed to be a day to get the public refocused on what truly matters in life, it is a great day to not only learn about the amazing groups making a difference in your community, but also a wonderful way to become part of the positive process. As we have all seen in the news recently, Chicago is having a tough time, and it is up to us to help our neighbor. Two of the best ways to do that? To become involved with the Little Giraffe Foundation and More Than Milk.
The Little Giraffe Foundation
This outstanding family oriented foundation is dedicated to funding neonatal research and supporting patients and parents in the NICU. Started by Mike and Amanda Santoro after losing their sweet Cheyenne, this family was determined to do great things in honor of their daughter. Since they started their nonprofit organization in 2011, they have pulled together a team of solely volunteers who have worked valiantly to improve the quality of life for preemies and their families across Chicagoland.
The Little Giraffe Foundation currently collaborates with 12 hospitals in the area to provide resources for families who are experiencing the stress and anxiety of extended hospital stays. Through their NICU grant support, the Little Giraffe Foundation has been able to provide gas cards, food pantries, parking vouchers, toys, and books to help not only ease the financial strain of lengthy hospital stays, but also help parent and child bond. One of the best ways that you can help extend their reach and help NICU families to have a happy holiday is to donate a book or toy from their Amazon wish list. You can even use your stockpiled Amazon points to help the Little Giraffe Foundation reach more families this holiday season.
In addition to working to support NICU families, the Little Giraffe Foundation also holds events and other fundraisers throughout the year in order to fund studies and neonatal research so that families like the Santoros can learn more about why their sweet babies are struggling and what their support team can do to help them to thrive. By the end of 2015 this amazing organization will have distributed nearly $100,000 in grants and helped over 6,000 NICU families. With your help it can grow before the end of the year.
More Than Milk
As suggested by this organization’s creative name, moms are so much more than the purveyors of milk. This nonprofit group provides opportunities for moms, as well as the rest of their families, to take their innate capacity to nurture and love to contribute to their communities in a positive way. One of the reasons why More Than Milk is so well known in Chicagoland is because it is focused on uniting and inspiring Chicagoland moms to engage in philanthropic opportunities, all with children in tow.
When chatting with Amy Cahill, founder of More Than Milk, she highlighted the importance of planting the seeds of philanthropy in your children from a very young age. Instead of thinking about a grand gesture for your children to take part in, start small and focus on ways to make others’ days brighter. Once the kindness habit is established, activities can become more unique and complex, including some of the many events that More Than Milk schedules to contribute to the local community.
Two of the best ways to get involved with More Than Milk are to sign up for an event that is the best fit for you and your family, share the news about this great organization, as well as contribute financially to their cause. More Than Milk continuously spotlights other great philanthropic organizations in Chicagoland and collaborates with them in order to help families in the area, so that all of us moms can come together to do good.
I hope that these two amazing organizations inspire you to give back and make our Chicagoland community even stronger this holiday season. Looking for other great philanthropic groups to support? Check out this Giving Tuesday post from last year.