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Chicago HOPES for Kids will be the 2025 Dance Marathon primary beneficiary

Nonprofit provides educational and holistic support to Chicago students experiencing homelessness

 EVANSTON, IL. –– June 5, 2024  Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM) is partnering with Chicago HOPES for Kids when the popular student run philanthropy effort returns in spring quarter of 2025. Chicago HOPES is a nonprofit that provides educational and holistic support to Chicago students experiencing homelessness.  

“We are really excited about the potential of this partnership and seeing how students engage with the beneficiary,” said Irene Martinez, NUDM 2025’s managing and engagement director. 

Chicago HOPES focuses on literacy development to help its students achieve long-term educational success. The organization reaches over 730 families in the Chicago area each year. HOPES volunteers work with students for a minimum of two hours each day. They help students complete their homework and provide one-on-one literacy support.  

“Since we work primarily with students experiencing housing insecurity, we want to provide a consistent, learning environment that will benefit them holistically long-term,” said Kimberly King, HOPES’s volunteer coordinator. “We have seen how our efforts are providing resources to our families that support them throughout the journey to housing stability." 

“Everyone is really excited about this cause,” said Sammie Hesekiel, NUDM 2025’s managing and student director. “It’s something really unique because it helps the cause of homelessness while focusing specifically on education.”  

NUDM’s financial donations will help Chicago HOPES for Kids reach more than 250 additional children and families in Chicago. The grant from NUDM will be used to expand STEAM programming, provide students with more field trip opportunities, and host more family fun nights. HOPES also plans to hire more site coordinators for their nine partner shelters and community-based sites and expand their programming to new sites. 

The Evanston Community Foundation (ECF) will serve as NUDM’s long-term beneficiary for its 28th consecutive year. ECF ensures that Evanston thrives by funding local grants to deserving individuals, families and organizations. 

About Northwestern University Dance Marathon: 

Northwestern University Dance Marathon is one of the largest independent student-run philanthropies in the country. NUDM sustains yearlong fundraising and service campaigns culminating in a 15-hour marathon, in which over 800 dancers round out their efforts. Since 1975, NUDM has raised over $23 million for more than 30 different charities.