Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield
Makes Annual Grants to Local Agencies
The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield continues its 90 year tradition of supporting the good works of organizations locally and throughout the world with its annual presentation of community grants at its March 13th meeting.  Patti Van Cleave, President of the Winnetka-Northfield Rotary Charitable Foundation, and Eric Birlkenstein, Club President, will preside over the presentations at the club’s weekly lunch meeting at the Winnetka Community House.
“Rotary is all about “Service Above Self”, said Ms. Van Cleave.  “With these grants we are helping to provide physical and spiritual wellness, shelter and educational assistance to those in need, on the North Shore, in Chicago and in faraway places.”
“These annual grants, made possible through the various fund raising activities by our club, are but one way in which the Rotarians in our club serve.”, said Mr. Birkenstein.  This past year, the club:
  • Partnered with Operation Warm to provide over 780 new winter coats to children from low-income families in Chicago, Highwood, Antioch and the North Shore;
  • Contributed to a project organized by Rotary District 6440 to provide new digital X-Ray machines to health clinics throughout Guatemala;
  • Contributed to a Rotary Global Grant project organized by the Rotary Club of Gurnee that will provide a deep water well and equip a kitchen for an orphanage in Kenya;  
  • Contributed to Rotary International’s End Polio Now campaign working to complete the job of eradicating polio from the world; 
  • The club is currently preparing to partner with Kids Against Hunger and the Volunteer Center to pack 100,000 highly nutritious meals for hungry children in Nicaragua and local food pantries.  Interested volunteers may join us on March 22nd at the Winnetka Community House. Registration information is available on the club’s website (
Grants totaling more than $28,000 will be made to the following 13 organizations, all of which were sponsored by one or members of our club:
Allowance for Good (, an Evanston based organization that educates and engages youth in philanthropy to cultivate global citizenship and improve education internationally.
Erika's Lighthouse ( is a grassroots, educational organization dedicated to raising awareness of adolescent depression and mental health for young people. They strive to break stigma and educate our community about mental health issues through various programs directed toward schools, teachers, parents, physicians and other healthcare professionals, and teens themselves.
Good News Partners (, a Rogers Park faith based organization seeking to create safe, affordable and reliable housing while building individual confidence and community simultaneously.  They provide affordable housing for otherwise homeless families with a step-by-step transition from interim housing to independent living.
Hadley School for the Blind (, founded in 1920, is the largest educator of people who are blind or visually impaired around the world, serving more than 10,000 students annually in all 50 states and 100 countries. Hadley is also the largest educator of braille.
Holy Family Ministries ( works in partnership with Chicago's low-income communities to provide safe havens where children and adults learn, grow spiritually, find hope, and broaden life skills.
Lawrence Hall Youth Services (, established in 1865, is a not-for-profit child welfare agency established to assist at-risk youth and their families through a seamless delivery of services designed to develop the self-worth, knowledge, and skills needed to lead independent and productive lives.
Meals at Home ( is a Wilmette based organization that fosters health and contributes to individual well-being and independence by delivering nutritious meals, medically prescribed diets, and providing other supportive services to the homebound, elderly, disabled and others temporarily unable to care for their nutritional needs.
Midwest Palliative & Hospice CareCenter (, one of the first 50 hospices in the U.S., Midwest.  They provide hospice and palliative care services to patients and their families in 150 communities. Each year, thousands of Chicago area individuals and their families receive compassionate and high-quality care. Their care is provided where patients reside, or in their world-class Hospice Pavilion in Glenview or Hospice Suite at Northwest Community Hospital.
Rebuilding Together (, a national organization providing extensive home rehabilitation and modification services to homeowners in-need through local volunteer labor.  For every $1 donated to Rebuilding Together, $4 of value is delivered to their projects.  Last year, the local chapter repaired or restored 57 single family homes and 3 non-profits, utilizing over 700 volunteers and 27 volunteer organizations.
RightStart4Kids (, a Chicago based charity fund focused on supporting children in the UA and third world countries get a good start in life, and Northeastern Illinois University (, for the establishment of a scholarship endowment fund supporting undergraduate students studying Human Resource management.
Samaritan Counseling Center ( offers hope, healing & growth to the Chicago and North Shore communities through education and counseling. They offer a safe place for discovery, healing and growth.
Volunteer Center (, a Winnetka based organization that helps residents and service groups of all ages in the New Trier Township, North Shore and greater NE Metro Chicago area volunteer or engage in days of service and service learning with 501C3 nonprofit organizations.
Winnetka Community House ( enriches the lives of North Shore residents, their families and friends by providing educational, cultural, social and recreational opportunities for people of all ages.  It has been the home of the Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield since its founding in 1924.
The Rotary Club of Winnetka-Northfield meets Thursdays from 12:15 to 1:30 at the Winnetka Community House for lunch and  a speaker.  Membership is open to service oriented residents and workers of the area.  Guests are welcome to attend.  To learn more about the club, its schedule of lunch programs and its charitable and service programs, visit  Tax deductible donations to the club’s charitable foundation may also be made through the website.