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Holiday Giving Challenge: Chicago

Every year, DRW employees across the globe compete in our Holiday Giving Challenge, which benefits nonprofit organizations in all of our cities. Our first city, Chicago, will be raising money for eight organizations across the Chicagoland area – learn about what they do here, and how you can get involved.

Open Books

What is the mission of your organization?

Open Books’ mission is to transform lives through reading, writing, and the giving power of used books.

What populations do you serve?

We serve young readers from all over the Chicagoland area.

What will the money DRW raises go towards?

This year, the money from the DRW Giving Challenge will contribute to our Storytime program for readers ages 0-3, which includes storytelling, read-aloud books, singing (with live guitar accompaniment), crafts, special guests, and more.

How else can you get involved in your organization?

We are always looking for reading coaches, writing coaches, or volunteers for our bookstore. If you’re interested in lending a hand, check out our volunteer page here.

Right Angle (Summer of a Lifetime)

What is the mission of your organization?

Summer of a Lifetime's mission is to provide students with life changing experiences forever influencing their educational and career trajectories, solidifying their desire for and belief in their ability to be successful in college and beyond.

What populations do you serve?

After working with high school students across Chicago, we learned that many were first generation and never exposed to a college campus. Summer of a Lifetime enables some of our Noble Network students (like students from DRW College Prep) to attend summer programs at universities across the country.

What will the money DRW raises go towards?

The money DRW raises this year will go to scholarships and travel expenses for our participants. Since the beginning of the program, 6,500 students have participated, including students from DRW College Prep, our charter school.

Code Platoon

What is the mission of your organization?

Code Platoon transforms veterans into software developers through an immersive, hands-on, educational process. Every year, DRW offers internships to select Code Platoon students, many who are given full time positions. Read about Deja, a Code Platoon alum here.

What populations do you serve?

All of our students are veterans or military spouses.

What will the money DRW raises go towards?

The money raised from this year’s challenge will go towards the Women in Technology scholarship program. This scholarship is awarded to a female veteran in honor of Rear Admiral Grace Hopper, and is aimed at dealing with the gender bias found in IT roles and the industry as a whole.

How else can you get involved in your organization?

Code Platoon is almost entirely comprised of volunteers from the ground-up. Experience of our team members ranges from years to decades. Individuals can apply to become a CP Ambassador, Assistant Instructor, Mentor, or Grant Writer here.

Bottom Line

What is the mission of your organization?

At Bottom Line, we help first-generation students from low-income backgrounds get into college, graduate, and go far in life. 

What populations do you serve?

We serve first generation college students in Chicago, but also have presence in New York and Massachusetts. Since our Chicago launch in 2014, we have served over 1,600 students from over 70 zip codes!

What will the money DRW raises go towards?

This year, the money DRW raises will support a cohort of Bottom Line students to receive one-on-one counseling for college persistence at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

How else can you get involved in your organization?

There are a lot of ways to get involved with our mission in Chicago, including being a “Go Far Volunteer”, professionals who help our college students prepare for their careers, or hiring one of our Bottom Line students over the summer or for part-time positions during the year. Check out more details on all of our roles here.

Metro Squash

What is the mission of your organization?

Our mission is to engage underserved Chicago youth through academic support, squash and wellness, mentoring, enrichment, and community service to develop high school ready middle schoolers, college ready high schoolers, and career ready adults.

What populations do you serve?

Our kids range from 5###sup/sup### grade to senior year of high school.

How else can you get involved in your organization?

We are always looking for dedicated volunteers to help support day to day programming operations on the court and in the classroom. Volunteers can also participate by chaperoning weekend activities and by volunteering at events. For more information on specific opportunities, check out our volunteering page here.

Inspiration Kitchen

What is the mission of your organization?

In an atmosphere of dignity and respect, Inspiration Corporation helps people who are affected by homelessness and poverty to improve their lives and increase self-sufficiency through the provision of social services, employment training and placement, and housing.

What populations do you serve?

We train low-income and homeless Chicagoans for careers in the food service industry in our kitchen. Our graduates go on to work at some of the city’s hottest restaurants and catering companies, giving them the opportunity to exit poverty for good.

What will the money DRW raises go towards?

The money raised from the Holiday Giving Challenge will go directly toward operational expenses at Inspiration Cafe, Inspiration Kitchens, and Inspiration Corporation’s Housing Services program.

How else can you get involved in your organization?

Volunteers cook and serve meals at Inspiration Cafe, tutor job seekers, conduct mock job interviews, maintain the garden at Inspiration Kitchens, and much more. If you are interested in volunteering, fill out an application form here.

Reading in Motion

What is the mission of your organization?

Reading in Motion’s goal is to get every student reading at grade level or above during their early years, especially students whose environment or other circumstances put them in greater need of support.

What populations do you serve?

We serve underserved Chicago youth both in and out of school, specifically kindergarten and 1st grade students. We partner with schools and teachers to deliver an engaging and innovative reading curriculum, in both English and Spanish, together with our on-site specialized coaches to inspire students to learn and teachers to grow.

What will the money DRW raises go towards?

Every $35 raised gives the gift of literacy to one child. Every $100 provides drama materials for one classroom, and $250 affords books for kindergarten and 1st grade classrooms. A generous donation of $1,000 supplies all materials for one classroom for one year.

How else can you get involved in your organization?

We are always looking for volunteers to help us with our efforts. If you’re interested in volunteering, shoot us an email at info@readinginmotion.org.

Year Up

What is the mission of your organization?

Our mission is to close the opportunity divide by providing urban young adults with the skills, experience, and support that will empower them to reach their potential through professional careers and higher education.

What populations do you serve?

Year Up professionals are between the ages of 18-24, of low to moderate income, and do not have a bachelor’s degree. We look for students who are highly motivated to learn new technical and professional skills.  

How else can you get involved in your organization?

We have opportunities for mentors, tutors, and guest speakers at our Chicago location. We’re always open to ideas – if you’re interested in helping out with any event or initiative, visit our volunteering page here.