Charity and fundraising are not specific or isolated events or activities in the Chicago Region; they are integral to all of our events. At the start of each year, a charity for the year is selected from not-for-profit organizations nominated by members. Each nominating member and their charity has an opportunity to present to the Board details of their organization, the impact that a relationship with the Region will provide, and how they will work with the Region to ensure the success of the fund raising efforts. After each organization has had an opportunity to present, the Board selects the charity that it feels is the best fit for the Region.
Factors that are considered for selection are:
- Is the nominee’s focus on serving those in the Chicago Region area, and is the nominee a “local” organization?
- Does the nominee’s mission emphasize children or youth?
- Will our contribution be a “meaningful amount” to the charity? There are many excellent charities whose noble work is undeniable, but the Club prefers that its contributions make a difference to the organization.
- Does the organization have the correct tax status, legal registration, documentation, etc.?
The Charity selected for 2023 is Mobile Makers.
Mobile Makers creates programming that encourages Chicago youth to become advocates and change-makers in their own communities through design-focused skill-building workshops. Its objectives are threefold:
- Engage and empower youth through making and skill-building
- Train and support future public interest architects, designers, and makers
- Advocate for social, economic, gender, and racial diversity in the architecture and broader design fields.
Founded in 2017, Mobile Makers is an arts and culture nonprofit that offers design and problem solving workshops to youth in Chicago, focusing on BIPOC students in the South and West Sides, to encourage underrepresented youth to become advocates and change-makers in their own communities. Mobile Makers’ mission is to engage and empower youth through the power of creation and skill-building, to train and support future public interest architects, designers, and makers, and to advocate for equity and social, economic, gender, and racial diversity in the architecture and broader design fields. Mobile Makers design and STEAM education accessible to children in Chicago’s most dis-invested neighborhoods. In 2019, Mobile Makers engaged with more than 670 youth by hosting 150 design workshops in 11 different neighborhoods, including Englewood, Little Village, East Garfield Park, and Albany Park. In 2020, Mobile Makers unveiled the Mobile Makerspace: what was formerly a USPS delivery truck is now a solar-powered mobile classroom containing power tools, building materials, and digital fabrication tools. Staff take this truck to community events and conduct pop-up events in different locations. In 2021, Mobile Makers opened a permanent space in Humboldt Park in the Kimball Arts Center that hosts classes and workshops in addition to the mobile workshops.
To make a donation directly to Mobile Makers, visit their website: https://mobilemakers.org/donate.
Previous year’s charities