Friends of the Chicago River: 27 Reasons for #GivingTuesday

Giving Tuesday is November 27, a global day of giving observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving. Coming just after the shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season.

At Friends of the Chicago River, we'd like you to consider making a donation or making a monthly gift to help continue our mission to improve and protect the Chicago River system for people, plants, and animals. With your gift, you automatically become a member and receive The River Reporterdiscounts on our events, and much more. 

The Chicago River system faces growing challenges from pollution, habitat loss, development, and climate change. Friends is working everyday to improve the water quality of the Chicago River and protect fish, turtles, and other wildlife habitats—but there is still more to be done. We rely on the generous donors like to you to help us reach our vision to make the Chicago River one of the world's greatest metropolitan rivers. 

How do we do that?

Throughout November, we're highlighting one of our many accomplishments each day leading up to #GivingTuesday on November 27.

Here are 27 reasons to consider Friends of the Chicago River when considering your charitable contributions for 2018.

1. Our Chicago River Schools Network reaches 18,000 students annually, using the river to teach about water, science, history and culture in the classroom. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

2. Our annual Chicago River Student Congress brings some 300 students together to learn and teach about the Chicago River. Help us help the Chicago River. #RiverbankOnUs on us this #GivingTuesday

3. Our McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum has had more than 200,000 visitors since it opened in 2006, helping people learn about the the history and importance of our great Chicago River. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

4. We led some 1,500 people out onto the Chicago River this year in canoes, showing them up close the majesty of the waterway and helping raise support for higher water quality standards. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

5. Collaborating with our partners, we’re helping to reduce phosphorous levels that that can fuel algae blooms and lower water quality. Help us help the Chicago River.  #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

6. This year, our annual Chicago River Summit brought  together experts and other leaders to focus on how trash harms waterways and how to reduce it. Help us help the Chicago River. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

7. We partner with government, private industry and the public to help reduce the use of salt for ice and snow melting to limit chlorides ending up in the river.  #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

8. Our Overflow Action Days effort aims to reduce the number of cases where an untreated mix of rainwater, sewage and industrial waste is released into the river during storms.  #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

9. Friends was among the recipients of a silver medal for Urban Excellence in Design from the Rudy Bruner Foundation for our role in the transformative Chicago Riverwalk. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

10. Friends cleared over 20 acres of new turtle habitat in the past year in the Forest Preserves of Cook County. In addition to providing nesting area for turtles, restoration also allows an additional 335,627 gallons of rainwater to filter back into the landscape, reducing erosion, runoff pollution, and flooding. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

11. Our Chicago River Schools Network curriculum was used in Chicago Park District summer camps, reaching 1,000 young people. Help us help the Chicago River. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

12. Some 2,000 volunteers participated in this year’s Chicago River Day, working to clean up the waterway by collecting trash and removing invasive plant species  at some 70 sites.  #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

13.  The Centennial Volunteers collaboration with the Forest Preserves of Cook County and Friends of the Cook County Forest Preserves mobilized 4,502 volunteers to contribute 14,000 hours of service over 312 workdays. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

14. Friends launched in April of 2018 as a one-stop website covering water quality, on the water safety, current water-related issues, and opportunities to recreate in and along the river. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

15. Our Litter Free North Shore Channel program saw nearly 200 volunteers removing trash. Participants included local schools, nonprofits, and corporate groups, as well as elected officials. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

16. Volunteers with Friends and the Shedd Aquarium installed 386 lizard’s tail plant plugs in Evanston in June 2018 to improve fish habitat, combat riverbank erosion, and beautify the waterway. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

17. This year, Friends launched the Tributary Committee, a young professionals group engaging the next generation of environmental philanthropists. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

18. Friends of the Chicago River worked with Lathrop Community Partners to get residents engaged in the Lathrop riverfront area and to foster neighborhood connections. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

19. Our decade-plus push at Horner Park helped make a restoration project there become a reality, with the completion of a $5.6 million project that added 128 trees, 282 shrubs, a trail and a canoe and kayak launch. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

20. Our River Action Day effort organizes Volunteer Days for corporate groups and clubs to help maintain the Chicago River system. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

21. We installed a bat nursery at Joe Orr Woods this year, our sixth such habitat designed to foster breeding of the mosquito-eating, seed-spreading flyers. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

22. Some 18 years after we began to press for the removal of the dam at River Park, demolition began in 2018, improving the waterway for fish, plants and people. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

23. We’ve installed five osprey nests in the Chicago area to improve the breeding chances for these magnificent birds. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

24. We are one of the key coalition partners lobbying for the North Branch Park & Nature Preserve at the Lincoln Yards redevelopment site aimning to add 24 acres of public space. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

25. Friends is removing limestone which blocks fish passage between the Cal-Sag Channel and Mill Creek, opening up 2.5 miles of high-quality stream habitat to benefit more than 17 species of fish and other widlife. #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

26. Our annual Big Jump leap into the Chicago River is part of the effort to press for water quality improvements to allow for swimming.  #RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.

27.  We started nearly 40 years ago with one journalist lamenting that the Chicago River had no friends. Today, we're a full-time professional environmental organization with 6,000 activists fighting to improve and protect one of the world's great urban waterways. ##RiverbankOnUs this #GivingTuesday.