WGN Neediest Kids Fund Grantee Features
Childhood Hunger: Common Threads

Through its unique model to combat childhood and family obesity, Common Threads’ Cooking Skills and World Cuisine Program and Family Class teach children and families skills and knowledge of healthy eating, building confidence in the kitchen and beyond while empowering families to cook and eat together for a healthier lifestyle. With many students coming from high poverty communities with limited access to nutritional food, the support provided through the WGN Radio Neediest Kids Fund allows Common Threads to continue its mission to educate children on the importance of nutrition and physical well-being and to foster an appreciation of cultural diversity through cooking by serving a total of 200 children in 2012.

Childhood Hunger: Fraternite Notre Dame

The children served by the Kids Cafe After School Program live in poverty and come from very destitute families. Most are the children of single-mothers, living in foster care, or raised by extended family members due to parental neglect stemming from drug abuse. Some of these families live in basements, sharing unsanitary apartments with little available food. Through the support of the WGN Radio Neediest Kids Fund, the sisters of Fraternite Notre Dame were able to provide nutritious meals and nutritional education to promote healthy eating habits, as well as encourage balanced behavior. Many of these children consider the sisters and staff at Fraternite Notre Dame their second family.

Youth Education: Umoja Student Development Corporation

Thanks to support through the WGN Radio Neediest Kids Fund, Umoja Student Development Corporation was able to provide intensive programming to over 800 students at Manley Career Academy High School in North Lawndale, as well as seven additional Umoja Student Development Corporation partner schools in Chicago, impacting more than 8,000 students in total. Umoja was able to help schools develop the essential conditions and culture required so that students graduate from high school with the knowledge, skills and perspective needed to make successful transitions to college. Nearly 100% of Manley’s 2012 seniors applied for college, 90% received college acceptance letters, and 65% enrolled in college the following year.

Youth Education: Mercy Home for Boys & Girls

More than 75% of the children that enter Mercy Home for Boys & Girls Academy Program have experienced some form of abuse or neglect. Nearly 80% of these children live below the poverty line, and the majority are academically disadvantaged or underperforming. Mercy Home for Boys & Girls serves at-risk children in the community by providing a safe, nurturing home and the opportunity for an excellent education. Even further, Mercy Home works with families to break the cycles of poverty, addiction and abuse. Support through the WGN Radio Neediest Kids Fund is critical to support these programs that change the lives of disadvantaged children in Chicago.

Youth Education: Erie Neighborhood House

Support through the WGN Radio Neediest Kids Fund helped sustain Erie's Youth Options Unlimited Programs, enabling the organization to serve 100 students in grades 7-12 in the 2011-12 academic year. All 20 high school seniors enrolled in the program graduated from high school on time, and 100% of these students were accepted into competitive college programs, including the University of Illinois and DePaul University.

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I love the long term commitment WGN has had to helping kids...You can feel the care of the radio personalities for this cause.
Patrice – Wheaton, IL

The Neediest Kids Fund is simply outstanding! Every donation is matched at 50%...How could you not love that?
Philly - Ingleside, IL

The WGN Neediest Kids Fund is one of the best ways to support our community!


19% of Chicagoland children are "food insecure" and often go hungry

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

Phone: 312 445 5000
Fax: 312 445 5001
Email: info@mccormickfoundation.org