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What is Giving Tuesday?

Giving Tuesday, according to their Giving Tuesday website, “is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world”. It started in 2012 and has grown to something that happens worldwide. Hundreds of millions of people yearly give back to their communities.

When is it?

It happens the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, so this year that day falls on December 1st.

How can I give back?

You can give back through; donations, volunteering, or using your voice.

There are many different ways you can give back to your communities. I will include a list of organizations I have come across. Of course, with being in a pandemic, it can be harder for individuals to donate money or volunteer in person. So instead you can use your voice on social media on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram.



Border Angels

This is a non-profit organization that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice. You can follow them on Instagram (@Borderangelsoffical) to see their water drops for refugees crossing the US-Mexico border and to prevent fatalities due to dehydration from extreme heat. They also post the stories of the immigrants in detention centers and you can donate towards their bail. 

Brace Space Alliance

Brave Space Alliance is the first Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ Center, located on the South Side of Chicago. Their goal is to provide resources for the LGBTQ individuals in the City who often face discrimination and harassment. Their priorities are; health and wellness, visibility and expansion, and bravery and soldarity. 

Social Works Chi

Founded by Chance the Rapper, this organization aims to empower the youth through arts, education, and civic engagements. Their programs are focused on education, mental health, homelessness, and performing and literary arts that affect the youth yearly. You can get involved through donating or by volunteering at their many events held throughout Chicago.  

Black Girls Break Bread

A Chicago based, non-profit organization with a mission to empower, uplift, and inspire Black women and girls, through the creation of safe spaces. They do this through mobilizing investments in Black women and girls. You can check out their Instagram (@blackgirlsbreakbread) to see their health and wellness advocacy throughout the city. 

Chicago Coalition for the Homeless

With the mission, “We organize to prevent and end homelessness because we believe housing is a human right in a just society”. They are the only non-profit in Illinois that is dedicated to advocating for policies to curb and end homelessness. Additionally to helping with homelessness, they also advocate for access to public schools, support services (including healthcare), and job opportunities. They work in these key areas: community organizing, advocacy, and public policy, and The Law Project. 

Food Recovery Network

We have our own chapter here at UIC and I have volunteered here, once before. They work with shelters across Chicago to donate perfectly good food that, without them, would have been thrown away. I am in their GroupMe and after every food pick-up, they message us the number of pounds and it is wild the amount of food they are able to get from the Hospital and the UIC Dining Hall. To give you an example, they recently texted 100, 142, 101, and 178 pounds since November 13th! According to their 2019 Annual Report, 881,063 total pounds of food have been recovered and all together 3,852,778 pounds have been recovered since 2011

Chicago Help Initiative

This team helps put a stop to hunger by providing meals and access to social services for the homeless, underprivileged, and unemployed Chicagoans. They do this by providing food, health services, shelter, and employment. They work with both individuals and local businesses on how they can help those out of work and improve their well-being, self-esteem, and productivity. 

South Side Community Art Center

Located on South Michigan Avenue, it opened in 1940 and became a historical landmark in June 1994. Their mission statement is to conserve, preserve, and promote the legacy and future of African American art and artists while educating the community. Dr. Margaret Burroughs and other African American artists banded together to find a venue to showcase their art. South Side Community Art Center (SSCAC) is the only African American Art Center opened under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) initiative that President Roosevelt created to help put Americans to work during the Great Depression. WPA sponsored projects in the arts and employed actors, musicians, writers, and other arisits.

Taste for The Homeless

Started by Michael Airhart, who has been helping those around him since he was a little kid, living in the South of Chicago. He spends the majority of his time providing for the homeless around him. It is noted on the About Us section that by 7 a.m he is out dispensing hot meals from his van, six days a week. Some days he provides clothing and he will soon unveil Chicago’s first food truck for the homeless with a shower in the back. He also works with North Side Housing and Supportive Services Shelter where their mission statement is to also help with the homeless. His passion is to help the homeless and he has devoted his life to it. 

Juvenile Diabetes

JDRF is the leading global organization for the research of type 1 diabetes. Their mission statement is “Improving lives today and tomorrow by accelerating life-changing breakthroughs to cure, prevent and treat T1D and its complications“. Children and adults can both be diagnosed suddenly with type 1 diabetes and there is no way to prevent it and there is no cure. Insulin is a hormone that is produced in your body to get energy, when you have diabetes it is harder for your body to produce it. This organization is personal to me because my friend lost her battle to diabetes in February. Having diabetes is a constant battle by monitoring your blood-sugar level, administering insulin, and carefully balancing these insulin doses with your eating and activity, just to stay alive. According to diabetis.org, in 2017, diabetes was the 7th leading cause of death. I hope to find a cure soon, so we can prevent deaths like my friend and thousands of others. 

Maya is currently a Senior at University of Illinois at Chicago. She is majoring in Integrated Health Studies with the goal of becoming a genetic counselor. She joined HER and is excited for all the article she will create. She enjoys staying connected with pop culture and all the new restaurants.
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