Improving Chicagoland Through Giving Tuesday

Improving Chicagoland Through Giving Tuesday -

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.

little giraffe foundation

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

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.


Now go improve the world!
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  1. Nancy (@spiffykerms) says

    Okay that More Than Milk program is amazing! I hadn’t heard of it before, but it makes sense – and such a wonderful thing for everyone to be supportive of one another. What a wonderful cause, for growing little ones. Giving Tuesday should be a National-Wide day. I like all the reasons behind it, and I fully support it 🙂

    • Amanda says

      I believe Giving Tuesday is nationwide, just like Shop Small Saturday. Hope you can find a local charity to support all year long!

  2. Stacey says

    I love what you said about getting kids involved in doing good. I’ve been really trying to focus on including our children in any service we do but trying to find a way to balance being humble about it haha. I have never heard of The Little Giraffe program, it sounds wonderful. I’ve got a special
    place in my heart for NICU babies!


    • Amanda says

      The Little Giraffe program works with a ton of Chicagoland families and is such a great resource for those sweet NICU babies and their families.

  3. Felicita Moncada says

    What great organizations to support on Giving Tuesday (or any day really). Love that More than Milk encourages women to give back with their children. They will be familiar with giving back and will do it when they get older. Love this!

  4. Miles L. says

    It is refreshing to read about organizations that are making a positive difference in this world. Babies are really vulnerable. They need all the help they need to survive and grow up healthy. Thanks for sharing this post.

    • Amanda says

      I can’t imagine what those parents go through watching their sweet babies struggle…but I do love to hear their stories of triumph and love!

  5. Holly says

    Chicago is one of my favorite cities and it’s such a shame that it’s been in the news in such a negative light recently. I think it’s great of you to share some organizations that do good throughout Chicagoland. Both a great organizations, but especially More than Milk because it’s so important to instill the gift of giving back in children since they will be tomorrow’s leaders.

  6. Susan Quackenbush says

    I’ve never been to the Chicago area but I can definitely get on board with this campaign! I love the idea of Giving Tuesday and think it should be implemented everywhere! Thank you for showing your support! 🙂

  7. Sicorra@NotNowMomsBusy says

    I read this statement in your post “Once the kindness habit is established” and thought how wonderful. If more people were taught at a young age how important it is to be kind to others, and to help others out, we wouldn’t see so much crap in the newspapers everyday. Being a kind person takes so little effort, and yet it is so extremely important, all year round.

    • Amanda says

      Agreed! All I keep hearing about on the news is awful situation after awful situation…the world definitely needs to establish a kindness habit.

  8. Adrienne says

    Hi! I’m so glad to see another friend blogging about Giving Tuesday! It’s such a great day to give back to others and encourage philanthropy and volunteerism. You picked some great organizations to sponsor! I’d never heard of The Little Giraffe Foundation until today, but I checked out their website and I love the cause. Helping to support families who are already experiencing the difficulty of an ill or underdeveloped little one is a mission that I would love to stand by! Thanks for sharing. I hope you’re staying warm up north! (o:

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