Blackhawks Foundation commits $250,000 to West Side organizations

Credit: West Side United

Two West Side organizations are the recipients of a $250,000 donation from the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation. The gift is part of the foundation's "One West Side" commitment to invest in communities on the West Side in a multi-year, multimillion-dollar partnership with venture philanthropy fund A Better Chicago. The nonprofit West Side United, which works to address inequities in areas such as health care, education and physical environment, will receive $50,000 to support its community grocer initiative. The initiative, in partnership with the Garfield Park Park Community Council, which will run from Nov. 5 to Dec. 30, will give residents access to food while collecting information on the types of products they prefer.

West Side United will also receive $50,000 to support its small business accelerator grants and $25,000 for daily operations such as staff and supply costs. The remaining $125,000 will go to the West Garfield Park-based organization MAAFARedemption Project, which provides residential support, workforce training and social services for men of color. The money will go toward an after-school youth performing arts programming thorough the organization at low or no-cost. The One West Side initiative also consists of other West Side-based organizations including The Bloc, Firehouse Community Arts Center and Austin Childcare ProvidersNetwork. The initiative, launched in 2020 dedicates $2 million over three years to the grantee organizations.

West Side United and the MAAFA Project are members of the Garfield Park Rite toWellness Collaborative, the group behind the development of the Sankofa Village Wellness Center, an initiative to bring wellness, art, business and other services to theMadison and Pulaski commercial corridor.