Holiday Charitable Giving Guide: Urban Initiatives


Welcome to the third installment in my holiday charitable giving guide.

Today, I’m proud to present Urban Initiatives, an organization doing some amazing work using soccer to help children reach their full potential in Chicago.

urbaninitiativesUrban Initiatives is an organization that runs health, education, and character development programming for kids in the Chicago Public Schools (CPS).

Urban Initiatives’ mission is to empower Chicago’s underserved children to adopt healthy lifestyles, improve their academic performance, and build strong character through sports-based youth development programs. They maximize their programmatic impact by collaborating with parents, schools, and community stakeholders.

In all of its programs, Urban Initiatives takes a collaborative, whole child approach to development in order to provide children with the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Need some inspiration? Read this from Cris Martinez, Communications & Program Coordinator:

This year, Urban Initiatives is celebrating its 10th Anniversary. These past 10 years have seen thousands of Chicago’s underserved youth benefit directly form Urban Initiatives’ sports-based youth development programing. What started with 12 boys and girls in the rough and tough Cabrini Green housing projects has transformed into an organization providing for over 11,500 boys and girls in 29 Chicago Public Schools across 23 different Chicago communities.

Through Urban Initiatives comprehensive sports-based youth development programs, kids across Chicago are learning the importance of eating and living healthy lives. The Work to Play program uses soccer as a tool to motivate kids as they learn their weekly lessons of Respect, Responsibility, Teamwork and Physical Fitness. The Take the Lead program allows graduates of the Work to Play program continue to be a part of their team by mentoring the younger players as they develop leadership skills that they can use throughout their communities.  The Play with Potential program is a structured recess program that uses Urban Initiatives’ lessons of health, character and physical fitness during 20 minutes of the school day everyday.

Each year Urban Initiatives expands its programming and reach by adding new schools and low-income communities where kids need a little support so they can lead healthy and active lives. You can learn more about Urban Initiatives at

Make a tax-deductible donation to Urban Initiatives.

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