Every Thursday, we'll run our new Patch Picks feature, highlighting editor and reader picks of great local businesses, destinations, services, organizations, ways to spend a day off and more.
You’ll find useful lists to help you, your family, friends and significant others find the best places for everything from Sunday brunch to New Year’s Eve celebrations, pumpkin patches, date night destinations, florists, girlfriend nights out, kids’ party places, parks and more.
Today’s list is a rundown of five great non-profits making a difference.
Patch Picks: Five great non-profits making a difference
- Heart Haven Outreach (H2O): This non-profit focuses on high school teens who are facing hard times. H2O offers programs and activities year round to help teens cope with feelings, make positive choices, receive mentoring and even provide them with opportunities to give back by volunteering in the community. The majority of H2O’s programs are offered free of cost. To support H2O in its efforts, join members in the first annual “Heart Haven Hustle 5K” at 8 a.m. Sunday, April 17, at the . For more information or to register,visit www.hearthavenoutreach.org.
- Ready Set Ride: Ready Set Ride Therapeutic Recreation Facility in Plainfield has provided horseback riding services to children with special terminal illness since 2001. Through the use of the horses, children as young as age 3 learn individual activities like following commands, grooming and leadership. The facility offers therapy sessions, serving children who are autistic, have cerebral palsy, Down ’s syndrome or a wide spectrum of disabilities.
- Creekside Cares: The backpack program began two years ago when Creekside Elementary School P.E./health teacher Jeff Peterson wanted to create a way for his students to have the necessary items to stay clean and healthy when they are not in school. ow, each Friday, Peterson packs and distributes 93 backpacks filled with nutritional food and personal care items for students across five District 202 schools. As Creekside Cares continues to grow, Peterson is starting the 501(c)3 process. He's also looking for space to store all of the food donations and is launching a website. He hopes one day the effort will become a self-supporting food pantry called “Branches of Change,” with a backpack program, clothes, school supplies, coats and even a delivery service.
- St. Baldrick’s Foundation: The St. Baldrick’s Foundation is a charity that works to find a cure for children’s cancer. The foundation hosts shave-a-thon events across the United States, usually close to St. Patrick’s Day, to raise money to fund research. At the shave-a-thons, children and adults agree to shave their heads in exchange for pledges in solidarity for children fighting cancer. The St. Baldrick’s Foundation will host a shave-a-thon event on Friday, March 11, at the . The event begins at 6 p.m. and will include bagpipers, raffles, auctions, Irish dancers and food. The 206 shavees have set a goal to raise $100,000 for St. Baldrick’s.
- Help Save Pets: Help Save Pets, a humane society in Plainfield, rescues healthy adult dogs and cats, puppies or kittens under three months old, adult animals with curable health problems and pregnant or nursing moms and their babies from pounds and shelters. The organization works with local agencies like the Will County and Joliet Township Animal Control to reduce the kill rate of animals locally. Help Save Pets treats and cares for the animals and offers them for adoption. The second Sunday of each month, representatives from Help Save Pets visit the in Romeoville to show animals and talk about adoption.