A helping hand: How you can assist fellow suburbanites this holiday season

This article has been updated from its original version to correct the description of the Chicago Dental Society Foundation.

While today marks the official start of the Daily Herald's annual Neighbors in Need campaign to assist charitable organizations in the suburbs, readers already have contributed by recommending worthy recipients for 2023. The Chicago Dental Society Foundation, District 214 Cares and Lazarus House will be among five organizations receiving grants from the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. The Northern Illinois Food Bank and WINGS also will benefit from the Neighbors in Need campaign.

"Hunger, homelessness and health care inequity exist right in our backyard," said Eileen Brown, Daily Herald vice-president of sales and marketing in a prepared statement. "In partnering with the McCormick Foundation, we can help shine a spotlight on a few of the nonprofits that are helping to combat these issues, as well as offering them financial support through the generosity of our readers."

"This year, we asked readers for recommendations and we received so many responses from groups doing great work," Brown said. "While we couldn't pick them all, we are gratified to know so many of our friends and neighbors are diligently working to help others."

Now in its third year, the McCormick Foundation/Daily Herald partnership is a way to "jointly co-invest in and support some of the organizations that help improve our community," said Sonia Mathew, the McCormick Foundation director of partnerships. Established in 1955 by Chicago Tribune publisher Robert R. McCormick, the foundation provides grants to organizations working to improve city and suburban communities.

Most grants go to Chicago organizations, but the foundation - which operates Wheaton's Cantigny Park - has a special affinity for the suburbs and is eager to help serve organizations there, Mathew said.

For each dollar readers donate, the McCormick Foundation contributes 50 cents, meaning charities receive $1.50 for every $1 donated.

Since the Daily Herald and the McCormick Foundation initiated the fundraiser in 2021, Neighbors in Need has raised a total of $75,000 - $50,000 from readers and $25,000 in matching funds, Mathew said. In 2021, five organizations received individual grants of $10,000. Last year, organizations received $5,000 grants used to offset general operating costs, including staffing, utilities "or anything the organization needs to achieve their mission," Mathew said.

Organizations receiving donations from this year's Neighbors in Need fundraising campaign include:

• Chicago Dental Society Foundation: The Chicago Dental Society Foundation promotes oral health literacy and helps provide no-cost dental care to low income residents in Cook, DuPage and Lake counties at its Wheaton clinic.

• District 214 Cares: The District 214 Cares program provides students and families of students attending Northwest Suburban High School District 214 schools living in poverty with food, housing, transportation and academic assistance.

• Lazarus House, St. Charles: Lazarus House is a Kane County organization that assists homeless people - including veterans, domestic violence survivors and people with mental health issues - find safe housing, emergency shelter and food. The organization also provides people support services or "tools for life."

• Northern Illinois Food Bank: Operating in 13 counties, the food bank partners with more than 900 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, youth and senior centers, and other distribution centers to provide food to Illinois' hungry.

• WINGS: An organization that assists survivors of domestic violence, WINGS operates two emergency shelters and provides counseling and mentoring services to survivors.

To donate to Neighbors in Need, see

  The Northern Illinois Food Bank is one of five nonprofit organizations set to receive grants courtesy of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation and The Daily Herald, as part of the third annual Neighbors in Need fundraising campaign. Paul Valade/
The Northern Illinois Food Bank, seen here during a food distribution drive at Elgin Community College, is among five nonprofit organizations benefiting from The Daily Herald's Neighbors in Need fundraising campaign. Courtesy of Northern Illinois Food Bank
  WINGS, an organization that assists domestic violence survivors, is one of five charities that will receive donations from Neighbors in Need, a joint fundraising partnership between the Daily Herald and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation. Barbara Vitello/
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