The employees at LCI Brands are proud supporters of the AIM High program by Center for Companies That Care. The organization seeks to educate and inspire employers to practice employee engagement, create work environments that enable individuals to thrive, and develop partnerships to strengthen future generations of people.
Staff members mentor low-income students in Chicago at risk of not graduating from high school by building one-on-one relationships with them. Through activities such as attending plays, visiting museums, and participating in job fairs, volunteers aim to expose these youth to the arts as well as support and encourage them in their own academic and career interests. Once a year the students also job shadow at the LCI Brands offices.
The Center for Companies That Care channels the power of Chicagoland businesses to address tenacious social issues facing the community today to improve the lives of individuals, families and communities and ensure social sustainability. Programs focus on education, workforce development, and literacy.
To participate in AIM High or to support other Center for Companies That Care programs, please visit their website.
One of the top 20 organizations in the US dedicated solely to HIV/AIDs, the American Foundation for Children with AIDs (AFCA) has helped thousands of African children affected by this disease since 2005.
Focusing primarily in Kenya, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, the organization seeks to promote self-reliance through training initiatives, provide comprehensive services for children and their families/caregivers, and support communities that are underserved and marginalized.
One of AFCA’s programs includes “Vacation with a Purpose,” which provides participants with a way to give back while on break. Projects range from repairing homes to gardening to teaching English. The participants interact with the community by attending events, playing games, and more.
In addition, AFCA leads several climbs, including one to Mt. Kilimanjaro. Individuals and teams fundraise throughout the year to raise money for their trips and must reach a minimum of $8,000 to attend, which includes a $5,500 donation to AFCA. LCI Brands will donate items to be used as gifts and incentives for these fundraisers.
As a company focused on travel and outdoor products, LCI Brands is proud to support this organization by illustrating that travel can be rewarding as well as fun.
The American Foundation for Children with AIDs is a well-renowned organization with dedicated staff, expansive programs, and the resources to give children affected by HIV/AIDs a second chance. Please consider donating to them today.
Common Ground Outdoor Adventures’ mission is to provide life-enhancing outdoor recreational opportunities for youth and adults with special needs. These experiences reduce stereotypes, raise awareness, and empower people to realize their full potential. Some of the organization’s activities include canoeing, cycling, snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, climbing, and rafting.
Their annual benefit auction and dinner, called Reach for the Stars, raises nearly $20,000 each year using products contributed by individuals and businesses.These funds go to purchase adapted outdoor equipment, which allow individuals with disabilities to participate in activities and trips, and to provide these opportunities at low to no cost.
In an effort to support programs that encourage children and adults to get outside, LCI Brands donates outdoor gear to Common Ground Outdoor Adventures’ Reach for the Stars event. To participate in the auction or get involved with their trips and outdoor activities, please contact them directly.
Giant Steps is a school dedicated to serving individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Using community-based instruction, their instructional process is based on goals, family needs, and student interests.
In addition to traditional educational studies, students participate in community opportunities as appropriate for their needs. They work on skills ranging from accepting limits and understanding expectations in the community to navigating new environments physically (i.e. riding in elevators, being near bodies of water, looking for library books), tolerating new/non-preferred environments (i.e. loud or crowded locations), paying cashiers the correct amount of money, greeting community members appropriately, understanding community safety (i.e. staying in crosswalks, looking at walk/don’t walk signs, staying buckled in cars), appropriately waiting (i.e. in line, at a restaurant, for a doctor or dentist), and problem solving.
The students go on outings once a week and use skills they’ve learned in school to manage new activities and environments, practice social skills, learn vocational tasks, and navigate transitions outside of an academic setting.
Some of the recreational opportunities include going to waterparks, zoos, the beach, picnic areas, forest preserves, animal sanctuaries, and more. They also have weekly vocational volunteer opportunities with community partners, and practice shopping, going out to eat, and accessing other community resources.
During the summer and warmer months, all outings involve some level of exposure to the outdoors, whether during transport or as the full outing. For a lot of individuals with autism, regulating body temperature is often a struggle and can interfere with their ability to interact with the community. Utilizing the cooling effects of Lewis N. Clark® Iceman® Ice Scarves and Icemate® Cool Towels, Giant Steps students discovered that they could still enjoy outdoor activities despite the hot weather.
Giant Steps is located in Lisle, Illinois and strives to help children and adults with autism lead safe and meaningful lives. To support these and other programs, individuals can donate directly to the organization.
The National Forest Foundation’s work spans the entire country, and includes hundreds of projects aimed at protecting forests and grasslands. One of these projects is the restoration of 2,000 acres at the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie, about an hour southwest of Chicago.
Some of the work being done includes removing ammunition bunkers, drain tiles, roads, and railroad structures, as well as engaging the public in planting native plants and improving recreational opportunities for the greater Chicago area. In 2015, the NFF spearheaded an effort to bring a herd of 27 bison to Midewin. In addition to the newly arrived bison, tallgrass prairies provide a home for 27 species of mammals, 149 species of birds, 40 aquatic species, and a number of reptiles and amphibians, in addition to countless forbs, flowers, and trees.
For those who are interested in preserving nature, there are plenty of opportunities. Some of these include getting involved with volunteer groups that participate in stewardship activities on public lands, such as habitat restoration, trail and campground maintenance, and citizen science projects.
Individuals can also take friends and family to public lands to connect them with nature and support organizations like the NFF through donations or volunteering. Additionally, following “Leave No Trace” and “Tread Lightly” protocols, picking up trash, and respecting plant and wildlife by staying on the established trails also support the NFF’s mission.
For more information and to get involved, please visit The National Forest Foundation.
The Outsiders Ball, presented by the Outdoor Foundation, provides funding to projects across the country that inspire a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts. With support from the outdoor industry, these grassroots projects connect nearly 15,000 people with outdoor activities, including programs such as Learning the Ropes of Life, A Week in the Wild, and Kids and Kayaks.
The Outdoor Foundation is a not-for-profit 501(c)3 established by Outdoor Industry Association (OIA). The Outdoor Foundation focuses on inspiring future generations of outdoor enthusiasts and encouraging a healthier, more active lifestyle. Its vision is to be a driving force behind a massive increase in active outdoor recreation in the US.
As a Bronze Sponsor of the Outsiders Ball, LCI Brands supports these community, campus, and national park projects. Team members also attend the Outsiders Ball at the Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, which has raised over $700,000 to support 200 community projects across the country. To learn more about the Ball or to donate directly, please visit the Outdoor Foundation.