Patch Picks: Five Great Nonprofits Making a Difference

Groups help those in need throughout the Naperville community.

Patch is a big supporter of community volunteerism. Employees are encouraged to Give 5, spending time five days out of the year volunteering at local organizations.

Today is a Give 5 day at Patch. In honor of the day, we are highlighting some of the great nonprofits in the area that are making a difference. 

DuPage PADS    

DuPage PADS has taken on the important and difficult task of ending homelessness in DuPage County. As the economy took a hit, more people became homeless in DuPage County and Naperville. Among the growing number of homeless were an increasing number of children. DuPage PADS provides temporary housing and resources for those in need.

The organization was founded in 1971 and continues to be a vital resource for families and children who are at risk. The organization plays an important role in youth development services at the state and local level, according to its website. The nonprofit provides counseling services along with transitional and group housing.

This organization is a vital resource for those in need. Loaves & Fishes' goal is to make sure nobody in need goes hungry.  The nonprofit began serving the Naperville area in 1984. And, according to its website, more than 3,650 families comprised of more than 15,000 individuals, half of them children, are enrolled for services at the food bank. This past January the organization distributed food to 4,523 people.

Founded in 1965, Little Friends helps more than 800 people in DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Will, McHenry and western Cook counties, according to the organization. It is a vital resource for children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities.  According to its website the organization operates 11 dynamic programs including three alternative schools, family support and consultation services, vocational training programs, community-based residential services and the Little Friends Center for Autism. The nonprofit raises funds through its Serendipity shop in downtown Naperville and delights locals with the annual Electric Parade


At KidsMatter the goal is to help young people grow up to live happy, healthy lives. To do that the organization helps children build developmental assets that will empower them and help them to choose positive life paths.

Asset building is about relationships and according to its website, its mission is to educate youth and encourage people in the community to build developmental assets in youth, such as empowerment, positive identity, commitment to learning, positive values, social competencies, boundaries and expectations.

Jeremy Majeski February 17, 2011 at 11:53 PM
I'd like to give a shout out to Youth Outlook, a non-profit organization that service LGBT youth in Chicago's western suburbs. Youth Outlook is the only agency in the DuPage Kane, and DeKalb counties of Illinois dedicated solely to serving LGBTQ youth. In order to accomplish their mission, they provide wellness education on a variety of topics, leadership development, and social space. They also conduct community education programs in order to change the social atmosphere that imperils LGBTQ youth in the first place. Please consider donating your time or money to this amazing organization. More info can be found at www.youth-outlook.org..


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