A Just Harvest (Formerly Good News Community Kitchen)
Their mission is to fight poverty and hunger in the Rogers Park and greater Chicago community by providing nutritious meals daily while cultivating community and economic development and organizing across racial, cultural and socio-economic lines in order to create a more just society. Twelve times per year NCC purchases, prepares, and delivers the entrée served to hundreds of people. Also, many NCC members and friends volunteer to help in serving dinner.
Eden Theological Seminary - Special Projects Fund
Eden, a closely related seminary of the United Church of Christ, prepares clergy for ministry in the local church and in church-related institutions. NCC's directed gift each year supports the work of Prof. Christopher Grundy who teaches liturgy and homiletics. www.eden.edu
EdPowerment – Kilimahewa School Project
EdPowerment, now an international organization, began with volunteers teaching English and other basic subjects for short periods of time at the newly formed Kilimahewa School District in Tanzania, Africa. In 2010, a small group of the U.S. teaching team formalized an effort to support the educational needs of the village on a larger scale. Knowing education does not exist in a vacuum, the group tackled a grassroots, hands-on program of economic and education support with the goal to elevate this community and move toward a productive future. One project made possible in part with NCC funds was the drilling of a first water well resulting in 500 people gaining access to safe, fresh water. More recently, funds raised are directed to the operation of the Kilimahewa Educational Center making possible certified teachers, supplies, and a newly started food program. Also, support is provided for advanced students to attend a private boarding school and special needs students receive private training with their families about disabilities.
Feed the Dream – Guatemala
This organization supports food programs delivered to the back-country villages of Guatemala, an area with the highest percentage of chronically malnourished children in Latin America. The program reduces preventable child deaths and implements selective health care and nutrition programs that give the children better hope for a positive future. This year Feed the Dream is transforming the village Xesajcap 2, a mountain village at 6600 elevation with 55 families and 89% malnutrition. One village mother summed up the impact of this program saying, “You are waking up our minds.”
Dental Access Days (Volunteer Dental Clinic)
Local area dentists volunteer time and free professional dental care for adults who do not have insurance or access to dental health services. The Foundation transports equipment to a temporary site for Friday/Saturday clinics. Funds donated pay for supplies, site expenses, lodging for visiting dentists, etc. When held, clinics provide the equivalent of $100,000 worth of dental services for 120 patients for approximately $8000. Volunteers from NCC organize and recruit the professionals and other groups needed to set-up and staff the clinics.
Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter
Serving communities in north/northwest Chicago and the north Cook County suburbs plus Lake County, the CareCenter’s mission is to care for patients and families through exceptional and individualized palliative care, hospice and grief support services for family members as well as special grief support services for children. Each year, more than 3,000 individuals receive comprehensive medical care, and hundreds of others take advantage of support services through counseling, crisis intervention and workshops. The CareCenter’s vision is to achieve fully integrated palliative healthcare for people of all ages, cultural backgrounds and economic status through innovation, collaboration, education and advocacy.
The Ministry Fund
Pastor Meyer administers NCC’s assistance fund on a case-by-case basis, and needs often arise numerous times per week. Individuals and families benefit, some for only one time, but others may need help more often. Area residents or often individuals/families just passing through may come to NCC. Some of the ways help is provided are with $20 or $25 Jewel grocery or Shell gas gift cards; direct financial aid where a gift card wouldn’t suffice, even emergency lodging at a motel. The funds are exhausted, or nearly so, every year with the recent years having increased demand. Some years extra funds from members quietly replenish the program, or even special appeals to the congregation are needed. Good judgment and compassion prevails, but sometimes the response must be a gentle “No.” Providing phone numbers or referrals to other agencies are sometimes a good solution. Rarely must anyone be turned away hungry. Nearly always it’s possible for a lunch to be served, or a person may be taken to lunch or even provided with a bag of groceries.
New Foundation Center (Formerly WilPower)
The New Foundation Center
The New Foundation Center in Northfield is dedicated to improving the quality and services for people with serious mental illness. Some of the core programs of the Foundation include: psychiatric rehabilitation, permanent supportive housing, supported employment and health and wellness; and the infrastructure needed to provide safe, sound, effective and efficient services. People with mental illness have high rates of co-morbid illness like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Following the guideline, “Getting Healthy – Staying Well”, the center provides nutritious food; access to the education and tools that can lead to well being, strategies for stress management; and opportunities to exercise, rest, enjoy fun activities and good friends – all adding up to a healthier life.
North Shore Senior Center - House of Welcome (HOW)
Persons with memory loss and their families can benefit from NSSC’s “HOW Adult Day Services”. Specialized programs for persons with memory loss from Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias include structured, therapeutic, small-group activities in a comfortable home-like setting. Participants with early, as well as more advanced memory loss, enjoy meaningful activities and friendships, while caregivers benefit from time on their own. Families of participants can benefit from other programs, e.g., support groups and case management services. Residents of the Townships of New Trier, Niles, and Northfield are served by the NSSC.
Community Renewal Society
Community Renewal Society is a progressive, faith-based organization that works to eliminate race and class barriers. Founded in 1882, Community Renewal informs, organizes and trains both communities and individuals to advocate for social and economic justice.
Working in the Schools
Working in the Schools provides reading and tutoring for elementary school students in under-served neighborhoods of Chicago.
Literature for All of Us
Literature for All of Us is an award-winning, nationally recognized organization that uses an innovative book group model to build communities of readers, writers and critical thinkers in underserved communities in Chicago and Evanston, Ill., and beyond.
Samaritan Counseling Center (North Shore)
The Samaritan Counseling Center is an inter-faith center that is fully accredited by two organizations that set national standards for pastoral counseling. The Samaritan Ministry’s growth has been in direct response to the needs of congregations and communities. The center offers a safe place for discovery, healing and growth. Services include: Brief and long-term psychotherapy with individuals: adults, adolescents, youth and children; marriage counseling and enrichment; premarital counseling; divorce counseling; family counseling; group counseling; education presentations and support groups. Also provided are educational programs and consultation services to clergy, congregations, corporations, physicians, and community groups.
Elyssa’s Mission is a community based organization that provides resources to prevent teen suicide. This organization funds and implements Suicide Prevention Programs (SOS) in 80 middle and high schools in Illinois. Utilizing DVD, discussion guide and screening tools, they provide suicide prevention education.