Best of 2023: Charitable Partners

This is a personal BEST OF for me. I started WE EVENTS as a way to give back. While WE are a for profit biz, I wanted to be able to use my creativity while being able to give back to my community. I do believe that giving back (when you are able) should be a given, BUT it also should feel good and not be stressful. I have worked with lots of charitable organizations for the last 5.5 years with WE EVENTS and have donated a portion of the proceeds of ALL OF OUR SERVICES since we were founded. That being said, giving back is personal to me. It’s my money and my time away from my family. See below for what stands out and makes these orgs so great to work with (and why they stay in our monthly rotation) as well as makes me feel good.

Full disclosure I have been burnt by some charitable organizations in the last couple years. I’d prefer to use that as a learning experience and focus on the positive so some of this blog may seem kind of blunt but I want to share why these are my favorite orgs to work with of 2023.

FYI- For charitable events that hire us for planning/coordination, instead of donating to our monthly charity we instead offer them a discount so the kick back goes directly to them.


Please note: this is not our entire list of amazing charities. This is just our 2023 list of orgs that went above and beyond or make me just feel warm and fuzzy. There are lots more orgs that I love to work with but these 5 are my top 5 from last year.

PAVING THE WAY PROJECT: Paving the Way is a community-based outreach program for violence prevention and intervention. As a former gang member, Antonio founded Paving the Way Project as a way of giving back to the community what he took. PTW also hosts multiple community events as a way to bring the community together.

PTW has been in our rotation for at least 2 years. Antonio once told me something and it has stuck with me and one of the main reasons I support his org. He said, (in regards to his community events like breakfast with Santa and his summer cool down event). He brings to the community what doesn’t come to the community. Let that sink in for a second. I live in Bucktown. Everything comes to Bucktown(or close by). We get the school carnivals, the street fests, the garden walks, kids fests etc… You know what comes to the west side? None of those. So that’s where Antonio and Paving the Way Project come in.

Also I have never met a more grateful organization. When I am setting up the backdrop for his holiday event, people come up and thank me and let me know how beautiful our decor is. His wife says hi and his son chats with me and asks to help. He shares my posts even thou they don’t make any sense to share. He’s very easy to work with and I feel like they treat me like a person vs a bank account. Also most of the donations go towards the programing (a big thing I like with the organizations I work with).

DESIGNS 4 DIGNITY: DESIGNS FOR DIGNITY transforms nonprofit environments through pro bono design services and in-kind donations — EMPOWERING LIVES THROUGH DESIGN.

D4D was one of my first clients 5 years ago. I had just started WE EVENTS and my friend Jordana was on the board and she hired me to do on site coordination for their annual big fundraiser. Here’s the thing when you are starting out-People either take a chance on you or tell you a big fat no. Well those people like Jordana (also I’m pretty sure her sons bday party was my first official event) and D4D who trust you from the beginning are the kind of people and organizations that I will stick with. This sounds bitter but those people who told me I was too small to work with (oh and came back 3 years late when the saw what I could do and wanted to be a charitable partner) can bleep right off.

D4D has hired me many years for many of their fundraisers. Oh and get this.. THEY ARE A BLAST TO WORK WITH! Like their events are so fun to work I should be paying them 😉 Jenn and Ed if you’re reading this, just kidding- please keep paying me!

Oddly they have never been one of my monthly charitable partners – but this year they are slotted in for this summer to be a monthly partner.

These two organizations tie for the reasons below. One has a personal connection and one is super supportive.

ONE TAIL AT A TIME: End pet homelessness by making pet ownership a joyful and accessible experience for all.

One Tail will always have a special spot in my heart as I adopted 3, yes 3, dogs from them. I’m not even a dog person. We adopted Mae because my husband needed a friend, then we adopted Barrel because Mae needed a friend. To which my human child asked why we never gave her a sibling. Then Halo came about because we were in the process of fostering humans and we backed out (story for another day) and I was sad so we thought, hey let’s foster dogs. Well that lasted 3 days and I felt bad that she already had 2 other homes(she also has some medical problems), so we kept the monster dog we call Halo.

I have never met the founder but there are several volunteers that I have loved (Anne and Lauren- I’m talking to you) Anne and I used to host a monthly kids program at OTAT where I did the crafts, Anne read the kids a book and they kids got to learn how to pet a dog and play with them. ) I have a personal connection to them, having found my three babies that mostly give me great joy 😉 I also really like their program and beliefs.

CHICAGO FRENCH BULLDOG RESCUE: Chicago French Bulldog Rescue (CFBR) was launched to protect French Bulldogs from neglect, abuse, loss of family and theft. We rescue them from animal shelters and puppy mills. We help families and individuals that can no longer care for their Frenchies. We are shepherds of the breed working to educate about French Bulldogs and most importantly, placing rescued Frenchies into loving homes.

Funny story here on how this org came to be a partner. Last year Chicago French BullDog Rescue reached out to see if I could donate a balloon install for their event. Honestly, I was booked but I also find Frenchie’s kind of goofy looking so I said no. Later that night I was telling my daughter and husband how I said no to a balloon install to a French bulldog rescue (they know my opinions on Frenchie’s) and you would have thought I told them I killed a dog. My daughter looked me in the eye and told me “mom you taught me not to discriminate on looks or race so I’m disappointed that you would discriminate against a dog just because that breed isn’t your favorite.” I’ve never been so proud and so embarrassed at the same time. I immediately called my contact at French bulldog rescue back and said I would do it. Turns out they have been a great partner: easy to work with, super supportive and very generous. They gave me a glowing review on google and shared IG posts about partnering. Also, Frenchie’s have grown on me and while I’m still partial to beagles (even thou they are obnoxious) I now think Frenchie’s are cute… especially when they are dressed in cute little outfits.

Mobile Care Chicago: Mobile Care provides no-cost ASTHMA & DENTAL care to kids in chicagoland thru their mobile clinics.

It was an honor and a pleasure to work with Mobile Care on their 2023 “Cheers for Childrens Health” Event on Thursday June 8. Not only did they hire me to fully plan and execute their event but WE also created the balloons, coloring wall, signage and created a new fun game called tooth brush pull which is a fun spin on the old school carnival duck game. This was not another stuffy fundraiser as their team put the FUN in FUNdraiser.

They were FUN and easy to work with and they are providing a MUCH needed resource in Chicago. They serve over 8000 kids and families each year which is amazing!!

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