On The Table: Conference on Combating Poverty in Chicago

This past Tuesday, over a dozen representatives from various organizations met in Chicago for the On The Table discussion on how to improve the lives of those in the greater Chicago area, as well as how to aid those in poverty-stricken areas.

Nothing brings together a community like the mutual concern for those in need. Representatives from organizations from both the city area and from across the country came together to discuss how they might improve the situations of those living in urban poverty. It is estimated that nearly 1.3 million people currently live in poverty in the Chicago area alone, and the need for new programs and donation methods has never been greater.

Over the course of the meetings many ideas for tackling poverty came into play. When the issue of leveraging qualities for a better community for disadvantaged children, it was agreed upon that encouraging corporations to tell the stories of the kids they had donated to would be a great way to get people engaged. Others thought that creating a “Volunteer Café” might help create a more centralized hub for people to get involved.

Solution arose for developing city-wide programs dedicated to helping to deliver coats and other supplies to schools and other locations where children need them most. The collaboration between Operation Warm and the other representatives present at the meeting would make the development of such programs much more capable to come to fruition.

All in all, the On The Table meetings not only resulted in a lot of great solutions to combating child poverty, but new alliances and collaborations were formed between the participating organizations in the process. Among those who took part in the meetings were representatives from The American Red Cross, Cradles to Crayons, the Chicago Charity Challenge, DePaul University, Operation North Pole, the Omaha Community Foundation, Harmony Health and Wellcare, the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Roseland Community Hospital, Communities Creating Opportunity (Kansas City)/Greater Gilgal Baptist Church, Primary Resources Inc., Chicago Housing Authority, Precious Little Ones Learning Center, Market Research, Heartland Alliance, Adler University, the East Biloxi Community Collaborative, the FZZZ Corporation, Holsten Human Capital Development, Willow Creek Community Church, and the gracious hosts and volunteers at Wells Fargo.

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