Charity of the Month: By the Hand
While we usually donate to a different charity every month, we felt it was important to support By the Hand again this month. They were our Charity of the Month last March. I have a personal connection to this amazing organization because before starting MegMade, I worked for By the Hand.
“By The Hand is an after-school program with an emphasis on academics and a commitment to nurturing the whole child — mind, body and soul. Founded in Cabrini-Green, By The Hand is located in strategically throughout some of Chicago’s most impoverished inner-city communities, where overcrowded and underfunded schools abound.”
While I was working there, I met two twin boys in our program. They were a part of the after-school program for years, and recently, these 17 year olds were shot and killed in a drive by shooting in Old Town on October 29th.
It is a heartbreaking reality in our city that in a recent school year, 83 school-aged children were murdered. The most dangerous times are the hours immediately after school and so By the Hand is working to keep kids out of the streets during that window and providing not only a safe space, but programming to support each child- mind, body, and soul.
Nearly 40% of Chicago Public School students drop out. By the Hand’s website says:
“If a high school dropout moves into a life of crime and drugs, it costs taxpayers $1.7 to $2.3 million. Seventy percent of prison inmates cannot read above a fourth grade level, making reading levels predictive of future incarceration rates, according to the US Department of Justice.”
So, we are choosing to support By the Hand during their year-end fundraising campaign by donating 10% of our profits this month. We hope that you will read more about the work they are doing and consider volunteering or donating to help. This is a great way to connect to your neighbors in this city who experience a very different version of Chicago than you do.
Photos from By the Hand Website