Chanatown Gives 2012

2012 is here, and the giving continues. I'm pleased to announce that I've dispersed the next round of donations through my semiannual giving campaign. The most recent amount went to the Garfield Park Conservatory. On June 30th, a severe hail storm hit Chicago (one of the loudest I've heard in my three decades of living here). Unfortunately, one of the victims of this massive storm was the Garfield Park Conservatory. That evening, the roofs of the beautiful Fern Room, Show House, Desert House and nine propagation houses were severely damaged. For more information about the storm damage or to donate directly, please visit the website.

As always, thank you for reading my posts and not sending hate mail about the inclusion of ads, affiliated posts, and/or referral links. They are a small, but steady source of revenue that allows me to continue helping those that could use it. In addition to a donation to Garfield Park Conservatory and Eden Place (the other 2011 beneficiary), Chanatown has issued eight loans to Kiva, and after repayment, has now sponsored twenty now in total. With all of that in mind, I'd like to announce the plan for 2012.

January-June 2012 Beneficiary: Rainier Scholars

For one summer, I worked with Rainier Scholars, an outstanding program based in Seattle, Washington that works with promising students of color in securing a solid pathway to a college education. Instead of just giving one-time assistance to students, Rainier Scholars groups students into cohorts and works with getting them placed into selective schools and mentoring them all throughout and beyond the college selection, admission and enrollment process. I had the good fortune to teach Chemistry to the second cohort of students and have kept in touch with several of the administrators. For more information or to donate directly, please visit their website.

In addition, I have chosen to explore a financial micro-lending site called There, I invested a portion of my own funds and plan to use the interest (touted as being higher than other more traditional investments) towards future donations. Think of it as an endowment of sorts, though nothing close to the billions that many universities possess. Still, every penny counts, and here's to more of them in 2012.

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