Pros share tips, tricks at Social Media for Nonprofits workshops

rachel taylor of simply social chicago teaches social media for nonprofits

Rachel Taylor of Simply Social Chicago teaches a group of more than 20 nonprofit professionals during "Social Media 201: Sharpening My Skills" at Microsoft's Chicago office.

Nonprofit professionals learned tips and tricks for using social media to expand their missions April 9 at the Social Media for Nonprofits workshops presented by One Good Deed Chicago,  Eventbrite Chicago, Chicago Cares and Simply Social Chicago.

Melody Burton of Chicago Cares led the first workshop, “Social Media 101: Just Getting Started.” She shared an overview of the major platforms, strategy and etiquette. Sara Altier of Eventbrite Chicago discussed using Eventbrite’s social tools and LinkedIn.

Rachel Taylor of Simply Social Chicago led the more advanced workshop, “Social Media 201: Sharpening My Skills.” Rachel delved into topics like creating a content calendar, using Facebook ads and more.

Thanks to all of our partners who made these workshops a huge success! I hope the information can help Chicago’s nonprofits gain awareness and more volunteers.

We’ll be presenting two more workshops for nonprofits this spring: one on done-in-a-day service projects, and another on using skills-based volunteers. Click the links to register– they’re free!

Hope to see you at one of our events soon.



Register for the National Conference on Volunteering and Service June 18-20

Thousands of leaders will descend on Chicago for the 2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service in a little more than three months.

The annual event convened by the Points of Lights Institute is the world’s largest gathering of volunteer and service leaders from the nonprofit, corporate and government sectors. Featured speakers include Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Craig Newmark (yes, that Craig), former first lady Barbara Bush, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Co-Founder of Groupon Brad Keywell and many, many more.

One Good Deed Chicago’s fearless leader Jenné Myers serves as a Host Committee co-chair, so I’ve been able to see the planning of this event behind the scenes! I’m excited to take part in important conversations about service, learn from others’ expertise, and see Chicago showcased as a bright spot in the world of service and philanthropy.

To learn more about the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Chicago June 18-20, visit There are discounted registration fees available for students and National Service volunteers, such as AmeriCorps members.

See you then!


Volunteers make a difference at Bookamania

Volunteer Chicago Public School Bookamania

Volunteers work with Chicago Public School children at Bookamania 2011.

by Ruchi Ray, Intern, Leap Learning Systems 

I cannot wait to tell you about a successful volunteer event Leap Learning Systems has had in the past! Each year, Leap Learning Systems partners with After School Matters and Chicago Public Schools to implement a career and college readiness program in the Austin community.  Participating students volunteered at the Harold Washington Library’s Bookamania event on November 19, 2011. This event was a free celebration of children’s books for children ages 3 to 10 and their families. Our students had the opportunity to help and interact with the younger children and their parents. 

I can say that for some of these teens, this was their first trip to the main library.  Not only were the ASM teens thankful for the opportunity to work with the children, socialize with other teens from around the city, and give back to their community, they also felt very accomplished after the overall experience. Leap is always curious to know feedback on the turnout of volunteer events like these; here is one from Ms. Robin Willard from Harold Washington:

 “Last year our Events staff estimated that there were approximately 7,000 guests on Saturday – the largest crowd we have hosted in Bookamania history – and we know we could not have made it as successful as it was without the help of volunteers, such as those from Leap Learning Systems.  It was a pleasure to work with the many teens who came from Chicago’s Austin neighborhood to represent Leap with their mentors and program facilitators”. 

–      Robin Willard, Young Adult Specialist, Chicago Public Library 

This semester, the students in the Beverage Industry: Products and Profits After School Matters program will be involved with a service event for young children.  We focused this session of ASM on Dairy.  The teens will provide literacy support and activities based on their knowledge of the Dairy industry to students at Goldblatt Elementary School.  The students will also participate in a fundraiser on April 1 at the Oberweis Dairy Store in Oak Park.  They will be marketing, advertising and working the all day event.  Come out and support the students of ASM! 

Leap Learning Systems is committed to delivering cutting-edge language and literacy development programs to educators, students, and their families across Chicago and beyond, particularly those in underserved communities. We look forward to future endeavors in similar After School Matters programs.

Interested in helping further Leap Learning’s mission? Visit for more information and search volunteer opportunities.

Metro Achievement Center celebrates special bond between mothers, daughters

midtown metro valentine's lunch

A mother and daughter celebrate their special bond at a Metro Achievement lunch

by Helen Gerety, Service Initiatives Coordinator, One Good Deed Chicago

“A mother must be physically strong, emotionally stronger, and spiritually strongest.” This is the message that Pascale Burns, mother of four and Midtown Educational Foundation advocate, shared with more than 200 mothers on Saturday, Feb. 18.

The day marked Metro’s 12th annual Mother-Daughter Day Luncheon, where people from Chicago’s underserved communities gathered together to honor each other with the Valentine’s Day –themed lunch, “Mothers are Stronger Role Models than Pop Culture.” I was lucky enough to spend the day at this event. As One Good Deed Chicago’s Service Initiatives Coordinator, I often get the chance to attend the events of our Success Coaches partners and see their work firsthand.

midtown lunch zumba

Mothers at the event do a Zumba-style dance exercise.

The event began with a call to action. Local priest, Father John Waiss, reminded not just daughters to honor their mothers, but mothers to also honor their daughters.

“Mothers, honor your daughters by picturing what qualities you want your daughter to possess and then acquire them yourselves,” he said.

Mothers and daughters separated for part of the day; Daughters wrote love letters to their moms, while the parents had a chance to discuss what makes a strong and successful mom.

The day came to a close when daughters rejoined their mothers for lunch and presented them with hand-crafted love letters. When mothers were asked about how Metro has impacted their daughters, one was especially thankful. She remarked “Metro taught my daughter how to become a young lady.”

The event reminded me of the important relationship that I share with my own mother and the significant role that she played in my development as a self-confident and independent woman. I am thankful for the work that Metro is doing to build and support similar relationships between the mothers and daughters in Chicago.

In addition to hosting an inspiring event like this, Metro for girls, along with its brother site Midtown Center for Boys, is celebrating 12 consecutive years of 100 percent graduation and college enrollment. Midtown Educational Foundation helps close the achievement gap for Chicago’s urban youth by providing one-on-one tutoring, high school prep, and college counseling.

If you are interested in contributing to Midtown and Metro’s success, become a tutor! Visit the profile of Midtown Educational Foundation, the sponsoring nonprofit organization for Midtown and Metro, on to learn how.

Three ways to see can’t-miss doc ‘The Interrupters’ for free

 “The Interrupters” is a can’t-miss documentary about the struggle to stop the cycle of violence and poverty in America. The One Good Deed Chicago team was lucky enough to attend a screening at DePaul University earlier this month, and we can’t help but be moved to spread the word.

This incredible documentary from Kartemquin Films tells the moving and surprising stories of three violence interrupters, working with Cease Fire, who try to protect their Chicago communities from the violence they once employed. This film is an unusually intimate journey into the stubborn persistence of violence in our city. Filmed over the course of a year, it captures a period in Chicago when the city became a national symbol for youth violence. During that period, the city was besieged by high-profile incidents, most notably the brutal beating of Derrion Albert, a Chicago high school student, whose death was caught on videotape.

This documentary is a must-see for anyone living in Chicago or working in public service. You can see the film by attending a free screening or catching it on PBS.

– Tuesday, Feb 7 at 7 p.m. – Screening at Francis Parker School

– Thursday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. – Screening at UIC, followed by a panel discussion with interrupters from the film

– Tuesday, February 14 on PBS’ Frontline (check local listings)

To see screenings in other locations, click here.

Instituto Honors Martin Luther King Jr. with Clothing Drive

By Gabriela Alvarez, AmeriCorps LENS Member

In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the AmeriCorps LENS (Latinos Empowered through National Service) Program at Instituto del Progreso Latino came together to give back to their community on Jan. 16. We hosted a clothing drive for the families of Instituto and those in our community.

This event took place at the new Instituto site, which houses the Instituto Health Sciences Career Academy, located at 2520 S. Western in Chicago. The drive took place in the community room, which ran from 12PM-4PM. Families that participated in the clothes drive were allowed to take five items per person in that family. Each family that came through the doors for the drive was given a complimentary Walmart and Chase Bank reusable tote bag.

In order for this event to take place, the AmeriCorps Members had to take action. Fliers had to be made to get the word out and drop boxes were to be placed at three Instituto sites for donations. Donations of clothes, coats, shoes, purses, and winter accessories were all accepted. All types of clothes were donated, including women’s, men’s, children’s (boys and girls), and baby clothes. When we finished gathering and sorting, we had tons and tons of clothes, shoes, coats, etc.

One Warm Coat, One Good Deed Chicago, Our Lady Tepeyac Parish, and San Jose Obrero Mission were recognized as the official partners with us for this event. So many clothes were left and our partners were more than happy to accept the donations that were not taken by participants. We were very excited and pleased to provide this service because we knew this would put smiles on people’s faces.

As soon as 12 o’clock hit, people started entering. When they asked for help, we did not hesitate in assisting them. A man came in believing he would leave empty handed, but he ended up leaving with a pair of shoes and a few shirts, and a smile on his face. It was a great feeling seeing so many people walking into the room. Many people left satisfied.

The clothing drive turned out great! By the end of the night, 58 families -a total of 190 individuals- left with more than they thought they would have. Families were more than pleased with what they left with. I asked an individual what her take was on this event and she replied, “I believe what AmeriCorps is doing is something great!” She had a big smile on her face which put one on mine. Not only did I feel great at the end of the day, but the other AmeriCorps Members felt great as well. We helped out so many families and we still want to continue doing so.

Instituto del Progreso Latino is a 34-year-old community-based organization driven by the belief that education is power. This core belief fuels Instituto’s mission to contribute to the fullest development of Latino families in Chicago through the creation of leading programs in workforce development, education, and citizenship.  Instituto is also a One Good Deed Chicago Success Coaches partner.Visit Instituto online at and on Facebook.

Three great ways to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Everybody can be great, because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is Monday, Jan. 16. Instead of taking a day off, “make it a day on” and commit to a service project or special activity in honor of his astounding legacy. Here are a few great ideas to get started:

1. Hear Geoffrey Canada Speak at the University of Chicago Celebration

On Thursday, Jan. 12, Geoffrey Canada will be the keynote speaker at U of C’s celebration. Canada is the founder of the Harlem Children’s Zone in New York and a passionate advocate for education reform. The celebration kicks off Black Heritage Month at the University. The event is at 6 p.m. and is free. For information, visit

2. Attend an African Dance class at the Joffrey Academy

Fun for all ages, the prestigious Joffrey Academy of Dance will present an African Dance workshop on Monday, Jan. 16 in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for his influence on human rights. The class will be held from 12:30-1:30p.m. in the third floor of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph Street; the cost is $10. To register, email reception[at] or call 312-784-4600 with your name and the number of guests in your party by 5 p.m. Jan. 13.

3. Serve!

– Calling all crafters! On Monday, Jan. 16, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority will engage in an in-depth conversation over breakfast on the legacy of MLK and the continuing challenges. Then, the group will put their words into action and engage in a service project, Operation Lap Wrap. The group will create comfort quilts for wounded service members, new mothers whose husbands are overseas in the military, and service members’ families and children for their hospital visits. The event will be held at the AKArama Community Service Center- 6220 S. Ingleside Ave in Chicago from 8:45 a.m. – 1 p.m., and brunch will be served. To RSVP, email mbell0415[at] or call Martha Bell at 773-374-2932.

– Start your spring cleaning early! One Good Deed Chicago partner Instituto del Progreso Latino will host a clothing drive for its client families on MLK Day. In preparation, Instituto is accepting donations at its 2520 S. Western Ave. location from 9 a.m. to noon every weekday through Jan. 13. For more information, call Yvonne Nieves at 773-890-8020 or email y.nieves[at]

Just added: Alternatives, Inc. is also hosting a clothing and supplies drive. For more info, click here.

For more, visit this great post from the Case Foundation.

Do you have any great ideas to share? Post them in the comments section, or Tweet us @OGDChicago.

One Good Deed Chicago will be taking part in Chicago Cares’ Celebration of Service on Jan. 14 and City Year’s day of service on Jan. 16. Keep an eye out for photos and updates!