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Our Commitment

Chicago Tribune Charities, a fund of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, is committed to ensuring that at-risk kids and families across Chicagoland have access to programs that will allow them to realize their full potential.

Grants are provided through Chicago Tribune Charities to nonprofit organizations with programs focused on:

The complete grant guidelines, application procedures and additional information for Chicago Tribune Charities are available online.

The Workforce Development - Letter of Inquiry (LOI) process is currently closed for the 2015 grant cycle.

The Child Abuse Prevention and Trauma Treatment -Letter of Inquiry (LOI) process is currently closed for the 2014 grant cycle.

The Child and Youth Education- Letter of Inquiry (LOI) process is currently closed for the 2014 grant cycle.

The Adult Literacy - Letter of Inquiry (LOI) process is currently closed for the 2014 grant cycle.

100 Million Reasons to Celebrate are just a few.

Workforce Development: Michael Barlow Center of St. Leonard’s Ministries

Finding employment in today’s economy is difficult for anyone; those exiting prison, however, have an even bigger challenge to face. Through support from the Chicago Tribune Charities, the Michael Barlow Center, a program of St. Leonard’s Ministries, has been able to assist 300 formerly incarcerated men and women each year as they rebuild their lives after time spent in prison. While recidivism rates for the state of Illinois are above 50%, rates for St. Leonard’s Ministries program are closer to 20% - a huge step forward in the effort to help incarcerated men and women.

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment: The Women’s Treatment Center

To raise a child in a non-abusive and non-neglectful manner, parents must both stop using drugs and have the basic knowledge and skills to parent their children. The Women’s Treatment Center programs are unique in that they allow women to come into treatment with their children. Both mother and child receive education, counseling, and support. Parenting groups, parent-child interaction groups, and journaling help parents identify their problems and reduce harsh and ineffective discipline. In FY11, TWTC served 1,195 women and close to 50 children. The parenting program has an 83% success rate, with 96% of women showing improvement in at least one of the five areas tested.

Literacy: World Relief DuPage/Aurora

Ma is part of the Karen tribe from Burma. Her entire tribe has faced persecution at the hands of the military junta there. When she was 13, Ma’s family was forced to flee their village. They hid in the jungle, and moved from village to village to escape the Burmese militia men, who would have raped women and killed families. After nine years, the family met a contact who led them across the border into Thailand, where they lived in a refugee camp for 21 years. Ma worked as a nurse, though she had never had any formal education. At the camp, Ma met Ti, whom she married, and together they had six children. On August 23, 2007, Ma, Ti, and their children were resettled to Wheaton, where they were met by World Relief staff and volunteers who helped them settle into an apartment and enrolled the kids in schools and Ma and Ti into ESL classes. When she started, Ma was placed in the lowest level class. She could barely read or write, but began learning very quickly. After five years of diligent study, Ma is now in the highest level ESL class. Her test scores place her English speaking at Advanced level, and her reading and writing at Intermediate. She is now taking citizenship classes as well as ESL. Ti works full time, and their six children are all attending local schools.

Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment: One Hope United

One Hope United provides increased support for families struggling with significant obstacles that have strong potential to lead to child abuse and neglect. OHU works with families to prevent this through multiple interventions including parental education. Jacqueline, a mother who will soon graduate from one of OHU’s programs, has completed five years of home visiting services. She and her children’s father married last year and now have adequate housing, stable finances, and access to a telephone and transportation. Jacqueline has developed healthy social outlets and is not involved in alcohol or drug usage. Most importantly, Jacqueline and her baby have a wonderful bond with one another.

Workforce Development: The Cara Program

Nine months a widow and 53 years old, Joyce was facing an uncertain future. At just the age that many look toward the end of their careers, Joyce was facing the beginning of hers. Her husband had passed away in December 2009, and with his passing Joyce had lost her partner, her support system, and her source of income. She knew creating a bright future for herself would be an uphill battle. “I was a quitter, I was a runner. Every time I got close to something, I would just quit. I never even finished high school,” Joyce said. “I was scared.” Despite her fear, Joyce was motivated to change. After five months of job-readiness training at The Cara Program’s downtown office, Joyce was thrilled to be placed in January 2011 into a permanent, quality job as a janitorial associate at River North Gym. Joyce loves her job and comes to work an hour early so she can hit the ground running as soon as it is her time to punch in. Her boss, Bernie, couldn’t be happier with her performance. Joyce’s name and title now hang proudly on a plaque on the wall celebrating her one-year employment anniversary. Today, she has confidence, stable employment, and a future she can count on. “Today I finish everything I do,” said Joyce. “The Cara Program instilled that in me.”

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About Chicago Tribune Charities

In 1990, the Chicago Tribune expanded its longtime commitment to Chicagoland and established Chicago Tribune Charities as a fund of the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, positively impacting the lives of thousands of disadvantaged children, families and adults every year.

Through Chicago Tribune Charities, grants are made to local nonprofit agencies that ensure that the disadvantaged in our community have access to vital programs that focus on:

  • Teaching children and adults to read
  • Offering job training for the unemployed
  • Providing safe havens and counseling for children and families suffering from domestic violence
  • Giving youths in low-income communities a well-rounded education

With the generous support of donors and the match provided by the McCormick Foundation, more than $98 million has been granted through Chicago Tribune Charities, providing the means for those less fortunate to improve their lives and realize their full potential.

Robert R. McCormick Foundation
205 N. Michigan Ave.
Suite 4300
Chicago, IL 60601

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Communities Program

McCormick Foundation
205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 4300
Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 312 445 5000
Fax: 312 445 5001