Emergency Relief Fund

Help us provide lifesaving support where it is needed most.

Our Emergency Relief Fund is providing immediate financial support to the nonprofits working on the frontlines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

With our city’s students and families in mind, we have launched the A Better Chicago Emergency Relief Fund. 

The ripple effects of COVID-19 through our country and our city will hit low-income families and communities of color hardest. More than 350,000 Chicago Public School students are currently out of school, putting both safety and long-term learning at risk. Of these students, 76 percent depend on free or subsidized meals and 16,400 are homeless. This rapidly evolving crisis is not only affecting our students, it impacts their entire family. This new reality is devastating for families that were barely making ends meet even before the pandemic.

With your help, we can ensure that our grantees and the communities they serve have the support they need over these coming weeks and months. 100% of your donation will go directly to addressing the urgent needs of our young people, and we remain committed to transparently sharing the way these funds are used. 

Together, we can act to provide essential, lifesaving support where it is needed most. Together, we will overcome these unprecedented challenges and make sure our most vulnerable communities have the resources necessary to weather this storm.

Emergency Response Grants

Through our Emergency Relief Fund, we have already granted more than $1 million to local nonprofits. The organizations below are working diligently to bring direct financial support, essential goods and innovative educational programming to communities hardest hit by COVID-19.

Grants distributed as of 5/7/2020
BARR The BARR Center equips middle and high schools to build deep relationships among teachers, staff and students and to harness the power of data to increase academic, social and emotional outcomes for all students. Funds will support BARR's transition to virtual programming. Chicago, IL
Bottom Line Chicago Bottom Line Chicago is a college access program for low-income and first-generation high-school and college students. Funds will go directly to supporting the unmet financial needs of students and to pivoting student recruitment to a fully-digital strategy Chicago, IL
Braven Braven partners with undergraduate institutions to provide first-generation and low-income college students with career education and coaching. Funds will support the development and launch of a virtual, two-week career preparation intensive program for graduating college seniors and recent graduates. Chicago, IL
Chicago Scholars Chicago Scholars selects, trains and mentors academically ambitious students from under-resourced communities to enroll, persist and graduate from college. Funds will go towards providing direct financial assistance to low-income college students as well as adapting Chicago Scholars' programming to serve students virtually. Chicago, IL
Children's Home & Aid Children's Home & Aid serves youth and families throughout the Chicago metropolitan area, including through an early childhood center and behavioral health and youth violence prevention programs in Greater Englewood. Chicago, IL
College Possible Chicago College Possible Chicago helps students prepare for and navigate the college application process and supports them through college graduation. Funds will go to direct financial support for lost wages and tuition expenses and add capacity for student support. Chicago, IL
Communities in Schools of Chicago Communities in Schools provides dropout prevention programs and services. Funds will go to direct financial support of youth and families to meet their basic needs and to support tele-support systems. Chicago, IL
Cradles to Crayons Chicago Cradles to Crayons provides children from birth through age 12, living in homeless or low-income situations, with the essential items they need to thrive. Funds will go to providing high-demand, essential products to children and families. Chicago, IL
El Hogar del Niño El Hogar del Niño offers a variety of services to children and families, including family case management, early childhood education and school-age programming. Funds will go to direct financial support of families to meet their basic needs. Chicago, IL
Embrac Embarc works to provide low-income high school students with community-driven experience-based learning through their three-year program. Funds will go to providing emergency financial assistance to high-need students and alumni during the crisis and virtual programming focused on social-emotional learning. Chicago, IL
Enlace Chicago Enlace Chicago convenes, organizes, and builds the capacity of Little Village stakeholders to confront systemic inequities and barriers to economic and social access. Funds will go directly to providing financial assistance to Little Village residents. Chicago, IL
Family Focused Family Focused has reached over 2,000 families in need by leveraging its strong relationships in the community. Funds go directly to expand Family Focused efforts to provide food and financial assistance to families impacted by COVID-19. Chicago, IL
Horizons for Youth Horizons for Youth is a youth development organization providing need-based scholarships, comprehensive support programs and educational resources for students of all academic ability levels from kindergarten through the start of their career. Funds will go towards direct financial support for low-income families in Chicago's south and west sides experiencing lost wages and food insecurity. Chicago, IL
iMentor Chicago iMentor provides programming and mentorship for students to be successful in college. Funds will support students in covering urgent and basic needs, including tuition expenses. Chicago, IL
Intrinsic Schools Intrinsic Schools operates on a school model that pairs personalized learning and 1:1 technology. Intrinsic is providing Chromebooks to its graduating senior class, ensuring students have access to the supports, information, and tools they need to enroll in and transition to college or other post-secondary paths in the fall. Chicago, IL
KIPP Chicago KIPP Chicago operates a network of eight charter schools serving kindergarten through eighth-grade students, as well as KIPP Through College, a program that provides services to help KIPP charter school alumni succeed in high school and college. Funds will go to purchasing devices, software and tech support so all KIPP Chicago students can access virtual learning. Chicago, IL
Lawrence Hall Lawrence Hall delivers care and treatment to abused and neglected youth and their families. Funds will go to provide basic needs for youth and families in foster homes, residential treatment facilities, independent living programs and transitional living programs. Chicago, IL
Metropolitan Family Services Metropolitan Family Services provides a wide array of programs and services to strengthen families and help them reach their full potential, focusing on education, economic stability, emotional wellness, and legal assistance. Funds will go to direct financial support of clients and their families, provision of basic necessities, and virtual home visiting. Chicago, IL
My Block My Hood My City My Block My Hood My City (MBMHMC) is providing young people and their families with critical essentials, including food and access to technology, as well as an opportunity for meaningful and productive part-time summer employment. Chicago, IL
National Louis University National Louis University is one of the most diverse universities in the Midwest, helping students of all ages and backgrounds achieve their personal and professional goals. Funding will provide emergency financial assistance to students in need and support teaching and other critical services to transition to a fully virtual environment. Chicago, IL
New Life Centers New Life Centers is a community-embedded organization working to provide families experiencing extreme poverty food assistance through their seven distribution sites during the pandemic. Chicago, IL
New Moms New Moms works with young mothers to provide housing assistance, job training, and family support. Funds will go directly to provide financial assistance to over 750 high-need young moms and their children. Chicago, IL
Noble Network of Charter Schools Noble is a network of open-enrollment, college-preparatory high schools operating on the west and south sides of Chicago. Funds will go to providing direct financial assistance to students and families, particularly to ensure Noble seniors and alumni are not limited in their ability to enroll in or persist through college. Chicago, IL
North Chicago Community Partners North Chicago Community Partners bridges the low-income achievement gap in the North Chicago schools through direct services, including extended learning and family engagement, student and family care focused on the provision of basic necessities and district care. Funds will go to provide emergency food and essential supplies to low-income families in North Chicago. North Chicago, IL
Northwest Side Housing Center Northwest Side Housing Center identifies and responds to the needs of the community by leveraging resources to improve the economic well-being and quality of life in Belmont Cragin and the surrounding communities. Funds will provide direct financial support to low-income families and undocumented immigrant populations. Chicago, IL
OneGoal OneGoal Chicago trains educators on effective ways to teach underperforming high school students how to enroll in and succeed in college. Funds will go directly to provide financial assistance to current students and alumni. Chicago, IL
One Million Degrees One Million Degrees’ development and scholarship model for community college students provides three-year workshop programming to build professional and social skills, financial assistance through last-dollar scholarships and stipends and personalized coaching and academic assistance. Funds will go towards direct financial assistance to cover wage loss and basic needs for community college students as well as adapting programming to provide virtual mentoring and counseling. Chicago, IL
Ounce of Prevention Fund The Ounce of Prevention Fund supports high-quality early learning to give children in poverty the best chance for success in school and in life. Funds will go towards direct financial support to low-income families with infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who are facing risk factors such as poverty, homelessness, and exposure to violence. Chicago, IL
Pitch In Pitch In bridges the gap between middle and high school with a curriculum focused on social-emotional skills. Funds will support the development and launch of a virtual version of Pitch In’s curriculum as well as providing direct financial support to students’ families. Chicago, IL
Primo Center Primo Center is the largest provider of shelter for homeless women and children in Chicago. Funds will go to provide basic needs, including food, supplies, and equipment, to support remote student learning. Chicago, IL
Share Our Spare Share Our Spare (SOS) works to ensure every child in Chicago has the essentials they need to thrive in the first five years of life. Funds will go directly to providing basic needs, including diapers and hygiene products, to over 2,000 families. Chicago, IL
Skills for Chicagolands Future Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (Skills) is a public-private partnership working to match businesses that have current, unmet hiring needs with qualified, unemployed and underemployed job seekers. Funds will go to provide stipends to unemployed and low-income youth as well as to support Skills' Layoff Intake Center initiative. Chicago, IL
Sunshine Gospel Ministries Sunshine Gospel Ministries provides youth and family programs, including enrichment, tutoring, college and career preparation, and parent/caregiver skill development. Funds will go to direct financial support. Chicago, IL
VOCEL VOCEL provides Chicago's young children the early foundation they need to be successful in school and life. Funds will go to continue efforts that provide families with critical early childhood development supports as well as with essential supplies and emergency financial assistance. Chicago, IL

Thank You

Thank you to the many donors providing critical support to our neighbors in need. As always, because our board covers all administrative costs, 100% of every donation goes to support relief efforts. We are pleased to recognize those individuals, foundations and corporations who have contributed $5,000 or more to our Emergency Relief Fund.


Adtalem Global Education Foundation
Bernfield Family Foundation
Bon and Holly French
Karen and Liam Krehbiel
Khalil Mack


Jeff and Julie Akers
Balyasny Asset Management LP
Julie Christopher
Richard and Vanessa Copans
GEM Realty Capital
Ralph and Evelyn Davis Family Foundation
Jeremy and Tori Franklin
John and Kate Gilligan
Guggenheim Partners
Jared and Kyley Hade
Irene and Joe King
Madison Dearborn Partners
Margot Pritzker
Matt Raino and Sarah Blessing
Revantage Corporate Services
The Slark Family Foundation

Corporate Partners