written before about the Off the Street Club, the century-old Chicago institution that has taken thousands of kids off the mean streets of West Garfield Park, where eight out of ten kids have seen gunshots fired at a loved one, and given them refuge, a sense of belonging in "a safe, supporting, Loving environment." It's a path out of despair, to a place where kids can discover possibilities for their future they might previously had never dare imagine.
As always, the OTSC needs our support to continue to be able to create these miracles, but this Holiday season, they've made it painless to be kind.
First, you can vote for the Club on its page on the Chase Community Giving's Facebook site. Chase is giving away $5,000,000 to multiple charities. Voting closes on December 11, so start now and - as we used to say in Chicago elections - run your pluses: urge others to vote for the Club, as well. On December 15, Chase will announce 100 charities that will receive $25,000. If we make it into that round, we'll be eligible for the second round of voting in January, which results in five charities receiving $100,000, and one, a cool million.
Second, for little more than the cost of a trip to Starbucks, or a few hours honorarium to Chicago Parking Meters LLC, you can go to the Off the Street Club website, click on Donate $10 Today at the top middle of the screen, and in a Chicago minute donate $10.00 (snacks for five kids for an entire summer), $25.00 (six new books to the library) or, if you've got it, $500.00, which sponsors a kid for an entire school year.
There are many deserving charities, but few can match the Off the Street Club's century long history of achievement. Express your appreciation in less than five, easy minutes. Give the Off the Street Club your vote, throw in a little cash, and enjoy your own small measure of the "casual joy" the OTSC has been providing countless disadvantaged kids for 109 years.