Operation Warm Selected as 2018 “Acting Up” Grant Award Recipient


Operation Warm has been selected as a recipient of a $5,000 award on behalf of The Chicago Community Trust Acting Up awards to pilot a new program concept: Operation Warm & Healthy.

Operation Warm is partnering with Aunt Martha’s Health and Wellness on this project. We will gift new Operation Warm winter coats to low-income families at an Open House at one of Aunt Martha’s neighborhood health clinics. The pilot program will occur in October in Joliet IL.

“Our experience shows that disadvantaged families will go to great lengths to get a new winter coat for their children. In the past, we have used this energy to attract families to libraries Acting Up 2018 Badgeand resource fairs. Now, we will do this for neighborhood health and wellness centers,” said Rich Lalley, Development Director for Operation Warm.

“We find that when a family connects with one of our centers, health and wellness outcomes for the family improve. And not only for their physical health, but mental health too,” said James Caporusso, Director of Corporate Relations and Development with Aunt Martha’s.

On May 8, Chicagoland residents gathered across the city and suburbs for The Chicago Community Trust’s fifth annual On the Table – coming together in small groups for mealtime conversations to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing their communities and to share ideas on what they can do to make a difference. To encourage On the Table participants to move their ideas from discussion to action and support tangible activities that benefit neighborhoods, the Trust created the Acting Up awards.

“On the Table provides a forum for residents to come together, make connections and come up with ideas to make our communities better,” said Daniel Ash, chief marketing officer, The Chicago Community Trust. “The Acting Up awards will help make some of these ideas a reality – we can’t wait to hear about the impact that these projects will have across the region.”

Working in partnership with Goodcity, the Trust gave away more than $150,000 to 37 projects this year – in an effort to help people to work together and take action for the public good. Over the past three years, Acting Up awards totaling more than $350,000 have been given to 167 diverse projects discussed during On the Table. View all the winning entries here.

About Aunt Martha’s Heath & Wellness

Aunt Martha’s is a private, not-for-profit agency providing coordinated health care and social services for family members of all ages in underserved communities across Illinois. The agency serves more than 60,000 children and adults annually. It is state-licensed to provide child welfare, substance abuse treatment and childcare services, and has been continuously accredited by The Joint Commission since 1997.

About The Chicago Community Trust

The Chicago Community Trust, our region’s community foundation, partners with donors to leverage their philanthropy in ways that transform lives and communities. For the past century, we have connected the generosity of donors with community needs by making grants to nonprofit organizations working to improve metropolitan Chicago. Since our founding in 1915, the Trust has awarded over $2 billion in grant funding to more than 11,000 local nonprofit organizations – including more than $300 million in 2017. Our region is home to people passionate about their neighborhoods. People committed to making a difference. People divided by a legacy of segregation, separated by lines of class and races and opportunity – but there is much more that unites us than divides us. We pledge to bridge these divisions and to champion the common good, creating a place where no one is left behind.

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