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Dance Marathon 2018 will support Cradles to Crayons

Nonprofit provides homeless and impoverished kids with items they need to thrive

Cradles to Crayons, the nonprofit organization that provides children from birth through age 12 in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive, will be the primary beneficiary for Northwestern University’s Dance Marathon (NUDM) next year.

“Right now, poverty in Chicago is an issue that cannot go unaddressed,” said Jamie Newman, one of the NUDM 2018 executive co-chairs. “It is very difficult for children to focus on school and play without pencils to use in school, books to read at home and clothing that makes each child feel confident.”

For each of the last seven years, NUDM participants have collectively raised more than one million dollars, offering a truly transformative gift for its designated beneficiary.

One of the largest student-run philanthropy organizations in the country, NUDM, as usual, will culminate with a euphoric weekend in March, when more than 1,000 undergraduate students will dance for 30 hours straight to raise funds for the designated national charity.

To date, NUDM has raised more than $19 million for more than 30 different charities.

In addition, the Evanston Community Foundation, for the 21st consecutive year, will serve as NUDM’s second beneficiary, funding a variety of local grants to deserving individuals, families and organizations to help Evanston thrive as a vibrant, just and inclusive community.  

More on Cradles to Crayons

More than 180,000 children living in poverty throughout Chicago. Cradles to Crayons partners with social service organizations, such as school districts and homeless shelters, to connect communities with excess resources with those in need. The nonprofit strives to provide children with quality used and new items, emphasizing the idea that quality equals dignity. Each child receives the items they need to be safe, protected from the elements and ready to learn.

NUDM’s financial donations will help fund Cradles to Crayons’ Chicago-based programs, including initiatives such as Gear Up for Winter, a program that provides more than 6,000 Chicagoland children with coats, hats and other warm essentials before the temperatures drop each year.

In addition to funding, NUDM participants will engage in service work, both on campus and off, including at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory, which houses the organization’s local business and volunteer operations, as well as its primary receiving, inventory and distribution facility in the Chicagoland area. 


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