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Thirty-Five Ways to Help

During HOW's 35th Anniversary Year

Keep in Touch
Keep in Touch
  • Follow us on Facebook 

Keep up to date on all the happenings at HOW, learn about upcoming events, and donation opportunities all by liking and following us on Facebook.  

  • Join the HOW mailing list 

Sign up to receive our monthly donor newsletter where you can learn about HOW news, upcoming events, and ways to get involved. By receiving either our print or our digital mailing you can stay up to date on events and other news from HOW. 


  • Introduce a friend to HOW 

How lives and breathes thanks to our generous donors, volunteers. The more people we can reach the more we can grow and thrive so by introducing a friend to HOW you can help all aspects of HOW's mission 

  • Receive our biannual print newsletter–update your address  

Sign up to receive our biannual print newsletter. Update your address today and receive information on your impact as a donor, organization news, and much more besides.


Make a Gift
  • Donate 


With ever more properties and clients to support, by giving even a small amount you are making a world of difference to HOW and the people we serve. Make a gift today!


  • Monthly giving 


One of the ways you can help HOW is by giving regular donations every month. For a small sum you can help a child receive academic support, cover a family's utility bill, and much more besides. Click here to learn more!​

  • Ask for donations in lieu of gifts for an occasion 


Looking for a way to donate? Consider donating a life event like a birthday by asking for donations in lieu of gifts. 


  • Gift in honor/memory 


Make a donation in memory or in honor of a loved one.

  • Make a planned gift

By remembering HOW in your will, you can leave a lasting legacy and change the lives of families recovering from homelessness. Contact us to learn more.  

Attend or Host an Event
  • Events 

Coming to events is a great way to support HOW while having fun. Whether it's as a volunteer or as an attendee, being involved makes these events a success and allows us to have more in the future.


  • Host a benefit event at your school or home 


Any special event can be turned into a charitable one! Things like garage sales, bake sales, or car washes can be a great way to support HOW and engage with your local community. 

Make a Gift
Attend an Event
Donate Crucial Items
Donate Crucial Items
  • School supply drive 

In August, HOW collects backpacks and school supplies to help HOW kids start out their school year on the right track.  Needed supplies include pencils, notebooks, art supplies, binders, paper, etc. Visit our wishlist in July or August to learn more and help a kid have a great school year!


  • Personal care drive 

From now through February 28th HOW is accepting personal-hygiene items such as sanitary napkins/tampons, toothbrushes/toothpaste, and body soaps. Click here for more information. 


  • In-Kind Giving 

It takes more than just four walls and a roof to make our home. We are always looking for clothes and household items to help support our clients in their day to day needs. Check out the Wish List.

Engage Your Workplace

  • Holiday Wish 

When recovering from homelessness, families are often unable to afford adequate clothing or gifts for the holiday. Donating warm winter clothing and holiday gifts goes a long way to easing the burden of homelessness and making the holiday season bright! Check back in November to make a holiday wish come true in 2018.

  • Grocery store or Ventra cards 

Giving a gift card to a grocery store or a Ventra card is a way to help someone feed themselves or their family or help them get where they need to go. Such donations help to ease our client's financial burdens so they can better support themselves and their families. 

Engage your Workplace
  • Employer matching giving 

Double your impact! Check with your employer about gift matching opportunities today! 

  • Organize workplace drive/event 

The workplace can also be a great place for helping out HOW. By organizing a workplace event like something like a Wear Your Jeans to Work Day or simply leaving out a collection box you can make a difference. 

  • Give back through your small business 

There are many ways to help out through your small business. You can host an event, have a donation box, or a drop box for in-kind donations. ​​​

  • Ask workplace to sponsor a HOW event 

Looking to network your business while helping out a local cause? Why not sponsor a HOW event. Whether it's a one-time sponsorship or a recurring one, your generosity is always appreciated. 

  • Ask workplace to donate an auction/raffle item 

A good way for your work to connect with the local community is to donate items that could be used as a raffle prize or as something that a resident could make good use of. 

Become an Advocate
  • Follow local politics 


From allocation of funds to building permissions, local politics have a lot of influence on affordable housing. By making an impact with your vote, you can make an impact on helping those currently experiencing homelessness.


  • Become more aware of your language 


Words have an impact, so the ones we choose when talking about individuals dealing with homelessness are important. If we are to change how people think about the issue of homelessness we must change the way we talk about it. 


  • Teach your kids


There are many ways to help in the here and now, but we can help the future by informing the next generation about issues that lead to homelessness. By teaching this social responsibility they can be given the tools to act with compassion needed to help. 


  • Acknowledge and engage with people on the street 


Being homeless can leave people feeling invisible. But by giving food, money, or even just your time you can make a world of difference on an individual level​​.



  • I am HOW 


Through our story-sharing program, you can help give a face to the work we do. And by sharing your story or the story of others you can encourage others to join the mission as well. Click here to share your story!

  • Host a crowdfunding campaign 


The internet can be a powerful tool for good, and it can also be a way to help HOW by functioning as a fundraising tool. Get in touch with us to work on setting up your own campaign!

  • Advocate for affordable housing and services that help the homeless​

As rent costs rise without employee pay keeping pace, affordable housing is needed more than ever. For many families, one run of bad luck - a health emergency, an accident, or being laid off from work, means the difference between a comfortable home and facing homelessness. You can become an advocate for affordable housing and the social safety net. Visit Housing Action IL to learn more.

  • Learn/educate yourself


Knowing is half the battle, by knowing more about the issue of homelessness, and the issues those individuals face you will be better able to help. To get started, visit Understand Homelessness.

Become an Advocate
Volunteer Your Time
Volunteer Your Time
  • Become a HOW volunteer 


Many hands make light work, so every volunteer helps HOW to serve more individuals and families. Single-day and long-term opportunities are available for individuals and groups. Click here to learn more.

  • Join the Associate Board 


If you want to have a more direct impact on the lives of our clients consider joining the associate board. Work with other board members to spread the word about HOW’s life-changing approach to ending homelessness and help us reach new audiences of potential supporters and clients. Visit the Associate Board page to learn more.


  • Organize a group volunteer event 


If you're looking to get involved with HOW on a larger scale consider organizing a group volunteer event. For instance, if you already participate in bike-a-thons or marathons you can collect pledges to benefit HOW for any of these events. 


  • Volunteer at Greater Chicago Food Depository 


By helping our neighbors you can help us as well! By volunteering at the Greater Chicago Food Depository you can help HOW feed more families than ever before.


  • Host a house party 


A house party is an event takes place in your home with people you know. The goal of the event is to raise both money and awareness about HOW - and to have fun! Contact us to receive a planning kit.


  • Volunteer using special skills 


Do you have special expertise that could help HOW clients? Tutoring a child, teaching a resume writing workshop, assisting with the FAFSA or tax filing – your help is needed! Contact us to learn more about sharing your expertise to help families in need. 

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