Hunger Doesn’t Have a Season: Help Food Pantries Like ‘Care for Real’ Get Year-Round Support
Better Magazine » Chicago
by Msmith
2M ago
Many small nonprofits like Care for Real — the 54-year-old north side food pantry where I work — receive most of their support during the holiday season. Nearly half of Care for Real’s revenue comes in November and December. Every year, I am overwhelmed by our community’s remarkable generosity that helps neighbors access food and services. Not only is there an influx of financial support, but more volunteer groups and families are eager to spread holiday cheer. Volunteers sort through mountains of in-kind donations that come in daily from local collection drives; families making closet space f ..read more
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‘Determined to Prove a Villain’: Paralympian Katy Sullivan Takes on ‘Richard III’ at Chicago Shakespeare Theater
Better Magazine » Chicago
by Msmith
2M ago
Actor Katy Sullivan got out her running legs to prepare to play Richard III. In Shakespeare’s tale of the manipulative, deceitful would-be king of England, Richard is portrayed as a hunchback, which integrates with Sullivan’s physicality: she has two prosthetic legs. “There is a line in the opening soliloquy where Richard said, ‘Sent into this world before my time, scarce half made up.’ We’re leaning into the fact that I was born without the lower halves of my legs, so I am sort of scarce half made up.” Under Chicago Shakespeare Theater director Edward Hall, Sullivan said she had the opportuni ..read more
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The Red Cross Is Facing a Critical Blood Shortage: How to Help Now by Donating, Volunteering and Spreading the Word
Better Magazine » Chicago
by Msmith
3M ago
In an alarming update issued Jan. 8, 2024, the American Red Cross has declared a nationwide emergency blood shortage, marking the most severe crisis of its kind in two decades. With a significant 40% decrease in blood donors, the organization is grappling with dwindling supplies that could potentially delay critical medical procedures across the United States. This dire situation is further exacerbated by recent disruptions, including a notable shortfall of nearly 7,000 blood units during the holiday season. The impact is particularly acute for type O blood, one of the most needed blood types ..read more
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You Said It: Failing Court Systems and the ‘Invisible’ Scars of Coercive Control — The Dirty Little Secret of (Non-Physical) Domestic Abuse
Better Magazine » Chicago
by Msmith
3M ago
As part of our “You Said It” Op-Ed series, we invite contributors to submit their opinion pieces, like the one that follows. Have a story? Here’s how to submit it. Survivors of abusive relationships know that you can be hurt without ever having been hit. You can be a survivor of domestic abuse without any physical trace left behind. “Where are the bruises?” they ask.             Real but invisible. “Where are the scars?” they insist.             Real but invisible. Even if you hav ..read more
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31 Best Things to Do in Chicago and The Suburbs This January 2024
Better Magazine » Chicago
by Msmith
3M ago
In this new year, let the possibilities of the city bring you out of your comfort zone and into something new! From exhibits to festivals, Chicago is brimming with opportunities to turn 2024 into a year of experiences. Don’t know where to start? Check out our list below of the best things to do in and around Chicago this January. Don’t forget to tag us in your posts on Instagram @betterchicago All Month Disney100: The Exhibition Celebrate a century of Disney magic as The Walt Disney Archives brings its vault to life at the Exhibition Hub Art Center in Chicago — now through the end of February ..read more
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Warming Hearts and Hands: How a Holiday Tradition Evolved from Seasonal Generosity to Lasting Impact
Better Magazine » Chicago
by Msmith
4M ago
“That felt really good!” tween-aged son James proclaimed after our spur-of-the-moment, late afternoon, Christmas Eve delivery to Good News Partners a few decades ago. Volunteers gleefully helped unload our unexpected carload of treats, sweets and presents that our family had received, but would never use. After a few minutes of silence, James continued, “Let’s please do that again next year — but make it even better!” I jumped on this request; it honored the true spirit of Christmas! The next Christmas Eve, the other five members of our nuclear family joined James and me in deliverin ..read more
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A Path to Renewal: How Ignatian Spirituality Project Offers Hope and Healing for Those Struggling with Addiction and Homelessness
Better Magazine » Chicago
by Msmith
4M ago
In 2015, Queen Brown, a 62-year-old Chicagoan in the West Loop, was struggling. Even though she’d been sober for several years, she had fallen ill, lost her job and was living in a transitional home when a volunteer suggested she join an Ignatian Spirituality Project retreat — and she agreed. A self-described “city girl,” Brown initially felt uncomfortable in the bucolic Frankford, Illinois setting, uncertain what to expect from a spiritual retreat. But when she heard a former attendee telling her recovery story, something stirred in Brown. “It was heartwarming to hear her just so openly tell ..read more
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By the Numbers: How Your $100, $500, and $1000 Donations Impact These Chicago Nonprofits
Better Magazine » Chicago
by Msmith
4M ago
‘Tis the season for generosity, and we have compiled a comprehensive guide to giving with more than 100 recommended nonprofits to support. Wondering about the impact of your contribution? We’ve reached out to some of Chicago’s foremost nonprofits to reveal the potential uses of donations across different amounts. For the complete listing of nonprofits to support this giving season, check out our 2023 Better Guide to Giving. The Joffrey Ballet The Joffrey Ballet has always believed that dance is for everyone. Our mission of “Joffrey For All” is only possible with the support of ..read more
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Joffrey Ballet’s Victoria Jaiani Reflects on 20 Transformative Years on Stage and the Journey that Brought Her There
Better Magazine » Chicago
by Msmith
4M ago
Victoria Jaiani, a company artist at The Joffrey Ballet, is the quintessential ballerina. If you see her walking down the street in the Loop on a rehearsal break, you see the slim figure, long dark hair, expressive eyes and immediately know she’s a dancer — and that she’s someone special. She captures your attention and immediately draws you in. Who is that? If she can do that on a random Monday afternoon, you can imagine what happens when she’s on stage. She’s a bird, a ghost, a mermaid, a lover. She magically transforms into every role she’s given. She’s someone dancers young and old look up ..read more
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31 Best Things to Do in Chicago and the Suburbs This December 2023
Better Magazine » Chicago
by Msmith
4M ago
The holiday season asks a lot of us. From shopping, to holiday events, to get-togethers — how do we squeeze the most out of this festive time before it passes us by? To help solve this seasonal problem, we’ve assembled a list of the 31 best things to do in Chicago and the suburbs this December. Whether you’re looking for family fun or grown-up holiday merriment, we’ve got you covered. Don’t forget to tag us in your posts on Instagram @betterchicago. All Month The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker Photo courtesy of The Joffrey Ballet The Joffrey Ballet’s critically acclaimed reimagined class ..read more
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