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CARA Charity Partners Providing Increased Support To Those In Need

CARA works with over 50 local and national charity organizations to provide training for their charity runners. During this challenging time, some of our charity partners are providing increased support to those who need it the most. Thank you to all nonprofit organizations that are making an impact every day! Visit the CARA Charity Partners page to view the complete list of our charity partners.

PAWS Chicago During these challenging times, PAWS Chicago remains as dedicated as ever to supporting our community!

To lend a hand to those who are directly affected by COVID-19 and temporarily unable to care for their pets, PAWS has introduced their COVID-19 Crisis Care Foster Initiative. Individuals recovering from the virus, hospital workers working around the clock to provide care for COVID-19 patients, and those experiencing financial hardship can rely on PAWS Chicago to temporarily foster their animals as they work to get back on their feet. To learn more about their COVID-19 Crisis Care Foster Initiative, please visit pawschicago.org/our-work/crisis-support/rescuers-never-rest/.

PAWS has also compiled their COVID-19 Toolkit to provide a comprehensive guide on animal care and our PAWS Chicago support services. As we all know, information can evolve quickly, and they continue updating the toolkit as needed. You can read more at pawschicago.org/index.php?id=1128.

As the needs of their community change, they are actively looking for ways to best serve those who need our help. Whether they are mobilizing their Pet Food Pantry to provide pet food to Southside communities or finding new, safe ways to find loving families for homeless animals through virtual adoptions, you can find it all on their blog at pawschicago.org/news-resources/news-features/paws-chicago-today/.

American Cancer Society Cancer hasn’t stopped, and neither will the American Cancer Society’s mission of attacking this disease from every angle. In Illinois, staff and volunteers are going above and beyond in their stay-at-home lives to ensure patients, caregivers, and anyone touched by this disease knows that American Cancer Society is here for them 24/7. From the most unlikeliest of community members, such as the Yogi Divine Society, who have organized impromptu sewing circles to produce hundreds of homemade masks and face shields for hospitals in the ACS system to their #LaptopLipSync challenge, which is gaining momentum and asking supporters to create social videos and fundraise to keep their mission going, there is no shortage of creativity, hope, and determination throughout their state communities. In addition, American Cancer Society is recruiting ambassadors for their ResearcHERS program and launching a virtual kick-off event on May 1. 80% of calls to their National Cancer Information Center (1-800-227-2345) are related to COVID-19, and their Live Chat feature at cancer.org is assisting those in need too. American Cancer Society is grateful for those inspired to do more in their day (and evenings) to help bring awareness and raise funds for a mission that requires support especially during the most uncertain of times.

Ronald McDonald House Charities With volunteer meal programs temporarily suspended to protect the health of children and families staying there, Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMHC) partners have stepped up to provide fully prepared meals to Ronald McDonald House® programs in the Chicagoland area.

RMHC’s generous partners at Cargill, a McDonald’s supplier, set up satellite kitchens to transform McDonald’s products that might otherwise go to waste into delicious meals for RMHC families. The new dishes, such as orange chicken made with chicken nuggets and fish tacos made from Filet-O-Fish, are being delivered to RMHC of Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana locations. The culinary teams are even providing the Houses with chef-created recipe books to make the best use of all food donations. Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, is prepared to respond to the increased need for food due to the impacts of COVID-19. In collaboration with the City of Chicago, Chicago Public Schools and other local groups, the Food Depository is packing and distributing thousands of emergency food boxes of non-perishable items to community partners and programs within the Food Depository’s network in Chicago and throughout Cook County. By having these boxes for distribution, GCFD partners will be better equipped to promote social distancing in a grab-and-go setting to minimize health risks. At the same time, their benefits outreach team is helping eligible households apply for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Medicaid by phone, which eliminates the need for in-person visits to public aid offices. This is a valuable service to prevent hunger and provide peace of mind.

During this time of uncertainty, the Greater Chicago Food Depository is so inspired by the generosity of our community. People across greater Chicago want to help their neighbors through this. If you are able, please consider making a gift to support their response.

America Needs You The mission of America Needs You (ANY) is to fight for economic mobility for ambitious, low-income first-generation college students. They do this by providing transformative mentorship and intensive career development. ANY was founded on the belief that socioeconomic status should not be a barrier to college persistence and career success.

Today, nearly one-third of all U.S. students enrolled in higher education are first-generation college students, yet this population has a college drop-out rate five times that of their peers, under usual circumstances. The resulting health and economic implications of the COVID-19 pandemic has meant the students they serve are now at an even higher risk of dropping out of college and delaying or halting their career aspirations. As a result, they have mobilized ANY staff and volunteers to focus their time and capacity to holistically support their Fellows, ensuring they have all of the resources they need to weather this crisis, including emergency grants and academic and professional support.

In addition, ANY has pivoted entirely to virtual engagement. The power of the ANY community is unique and incredible. Their bi-weekly Saturday workshops gather large groups of Fellows and volunteers to learn with and from one another. The COVID-19 pandemic means that they have canceled their in-person workshops and pivoted swiftly into virtual engagement opportunities, including virtual workshop content, weekly staff and volunteer check-ins with Fellows, and online community building opportunities to ensure Fellows are maintaining their ANY community network.

The consequences of this pandemic are far-reaching and will have long-term implications, especially for those families most vulnerable. ANY is working hard to ensure our students not only get through this immediate crisis but are also positioned to compete in what will be an ever more competitive economic landscape.

Respiratory Health Association Respiratory Health Association’s (RHA) programs help those living with lung diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, pulmonary fibrosis and lung cancer. As you may know, people with these conditions are at a greater risk of serious illness if they get COVID-19. RHA's staff is working – remotely and following all local public health guidance – and continues to be a trusted source of information and support to everyone in this difficult time.

RHA has created a number of general resources that they are sharing on their website, through email and on social media, including guidance on what to do if someone in your home has COVID-19. To help serve those of you with chronic lung disease, RHA developed guides about COVID-19 and COPD and asthma. And they have created updated information about smoking as a risk factor for severe effects from the coronavirus and updated tips to help you quit smoking or vaping. RHA is also working to assess and meet the needs of pulmonary rehabilitation leaders and provide at-home resources for patients who are unable to attend in-person rehabilitation sessions. If you’d like to support RHA’s work toward healthy lungs and clean air for all, you can donate here.

Salute Inc. Faced with a fearsome pandemic and nearly national shelter-in-place orders, SALUTE, INC. continues to marshal resources to assist injured veterans and their families facing obstacles to care. Most recently, they have partnered with Quilting for Others (Q4O) to make masks to be used by SALUTE clients requiring in-home care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Many of the families we serve require in-home healthcare visits for physical therapy, nursing or other types of therapy," says Executive Director, Mary Beth Beiersdorf. "Because of the intense demand for, and shortage of, protective masks across the country, these families, and the injured veteran who is often already medically compromised, are at greater risk for exposure." Other Charity Partners: March of Dimes is providing food and snacks to hospital staff and NICU families. March of Dimes is taking their care at the NICU bedside virtual (via Zoom) and continuing to support families even when they cannot be there in-person. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) joined the COVID-19 Mental Health Resource Hub, a collaborative effort of the nation’s leading mental health advocacy groups, largest insurance companies, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to offer a free collection of videos and other digital assets developed to help individuals and providers address their mental health needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Chicago Coalition for the Homeless has been “fighting for the human right to housing” since 1980. They have compiled a list of COVID-10 resources for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.


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