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Summer often means dry spell for nonprofits


Last updated 7/26/2019 at 3:37pm | View PDF

Hunger never takes a vacation, the website of the Northern Illinois Food Bank reminds us as we head into the final days of July.

Many of us spend the summer months traveling to distant shores or enjoying the lazy, hazy days relaxing at home. We might not be as focused on the needs of area agencies as we are during the school year, when our schedules are more regimented.

But many experience no vacation from the needs they face year-round. For some — such as the children who are entitled to free lunch during the school year — the summer months make things worse. When there’s no school, there’s no mid-day meal.

To help, the Northern Illinois Food Bank serves 265,000 summer meals to children in need through its Summer Meals Program. Someone has to pay for all those extra meals. If you can help, visit and make a donation.

Even those agencies that don’t offer special programming can suffer during June, July and August.

Blood shortages typically occur during the summer, and 2019 is no different. In addition to a drop in the number of scheduled blood drives, demand often increases due to a higher number of car crashes on the road and more violence on the streets.

The American Red Cross of Chicago and Northern Illinois reported a critical blood supply shortage earlier this month, indicating donations are down 17,000.

According to Red Cross data, only 10 percent of people who are eligible to donate blood actually do so.

And yet a single donation has the potential to save up to three lives.

To make an appointment, visit

There are ways to help closer to home as well.

HCS Family Services received a boost after collecting food and cash during Hinsdale’s Fourth of July parade, but shelves at the agency’s two food pantries won’t be sustained by those donations forever. And the Willowbrook school pantry stays open all summer long to help families who spened on school breakfasts and lunches during the year.

The Hinsdale Historical Society, Robert Crown Center for Health Education, The Community House and Wellness House could benefit from any support residents might want to offer in these final weeks summer as well. See our Facebook page for a link to these organizations to make online donations.

Churches struggle at this time of year, too. Fewer people in the pews translates to fewer dollars in the collection plate.

Summer is always difficult on nonprofit organizations. We still have several weeks before schedules return to normal and things are in full swing again. Let’s all do our part to help these agencies not just survive the summer months, but flourish.


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