Community partner spotlight
Writers Theatre (WT) in Glencoe explores works in which the word on the page and the artists who bring that word to life hold primary importance. Central to this mission are three core values: honoring the text, both classic and contemporary, as the fundamental source of inspiration; crafting deliberately intimate performances where audiences engage with powerful stories; and respecting the skills and dedication of its artists with industry-leading compensation.
In 2005, WT expanded its programming to include education initiatives aimed at closing the arts education gap in Chicagoland schools. WT Education’s comprehensive in-school, on-site and community-based initiatives are designed to emphasize collaboration, cultivate self-expression, encourage imaginative inquiry and promote civic responsibility.
Due to COVID-19, the Education program was disrupted. A grant from North Shore Gas is helping to rebuild WT Education’s program capacity so that it can foster more high-impact arts education programs with Chicagoland area students of all ages.
Writers Theatre >
Mothers Trust Foundation
North Shore Gas supports Mothers Trust Foundation (MTF), which provides funding to meet critical needs such as housing
stability for low-income children and youth in Lake County. MTF provides assistance for specific needs identified for specific children.
MTF partners with over 266 agencies: all Lake County schools and townships, social service agencies, and dedicated professionals who
identify children whose needs cannot be met by the current system. The goal of MTF is to provide assistance quickly and help children
when no one else can. Since their inception in 1998, MTF has served 47,250 children with assistance totaling $4.7 million.
Mothers Trust Foundation >
North Shore Gas supports Reading Power, an organization providing individualized, one-to-one tutoring during the school
day for at-risk students in prekindergarten through second grade. Their mission is to accelerate children’s literacy learning and to develop
a love of reading and writing. This year, Reading Power plans to have over 200 tutors serving nearly 400 students in underserved areas of Lake County.
Reading Power >
USO United Service Organizations
Naval Station Great Lakes is the Navy’s largest training installation and home of the Navy’s only boot camp.
North Shore Gas provides funding to the United Service Organization (USO) to support programs
and provide crucial items needed to keep the USO Great Lakes centers a warm, friendly and welcoming home away from home.
Last year, USO Great Lakes provided over 80,000 instances of support to military service members and their families.
USO United Service Organizations >
Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves
North Shore Gas is proud to fund the Outdoor Classroom at the new net-zero-energy Environmental Education Facility at Edward L.
Ryerson Conservation Area. Expected to open in summer 2023, the Outdoor Classroom will deliver school field trip and public programming to around
25,000 students each year. The classroom is part of a new education center at the Ryerson Woods. The building will produce enough renewable energy
to meet its own annual energy consumption requirements, reducing the use of nonrenewable energy. It is on track to be the first public building in
Lake County to gain net-zero certification through the Passive House Institute and only the third such facility in Illinois. The building and
classroom will inspire the 250,000 who visit Ryerson Woods each year, and it will raise the sights of all Lake County residents by demonstrating
the viability of sustainable building technologies in our region.
Preservation Foundation of the Lake County Forest Preserves >
Angel Tree — A Safe Place and United Way of Lake County
Each year, North Shore Gas employees donate hundreds of gifts for children associated with local community agencies. This year, North Shore Gas chose A Safe Place and United Way of Lake County, as Angel Tree partners.
In addition to Angel Tree, North Shore Gas supports A Safe Place, the leading advocate for eliminating domestic violence and human trafficking in northern Illinois. A Safe Place provides comprehensive support and services to help victims and their families break the cycle of violence and flourish in safe, healthy environments.
Additionally, North Shore Gas supports United Way of Lake County’s Better Together early childhood development program. Better Together was developed to increase the services available for North Chicago families with children from birth to 3 years old. The program builds a community where parents can learn how to become their child’s first teacher and provide a safe place where children can develop the readiness, physical and cognitive skills crucial to their education.
A Safe Place >
United Way of Lake County >
211 of Lake County
211 connects people to critical services and North Shore Gas was one of the founding partners.
Available 24/7/365 and administered by United Way of Lake County, 211 helps individuals, families, and providers navigate and connect with a wide range of local health and human services, including mental health services, addiction support and rehabilitation, crisis counseling, supplemental food programs, shelter and affordable housing options, employment and education support, financial help, disaster information and relief, and much more.
North Shore Gas service technicians carry 211 cards and have encountered customers in need of social services. Having the cards to hand out to customers has empowered our employees to help our customers in need.
If you or someone you know is in need of a critical service, dial 211 or visit 211lakecounty.org.
211 of Lake County >
Beacon Place supports children and families in the southeastern portion of Waukegan through a community center and programs that focus on health, nutrition, fitness, academic support for grades K-12, and the development of life skills that allow each individual to achieve their goals and dreams.
North Shore Gas provides a grant to support the following programs and services:
- Education and Enrichment, which provides academic support to help children achieve grade level in reading and math and provides the enrichment activities that higher-income households take for granted.
- LAUNCH, which provides students in eighth through 12th grades with academic tutoring and opportunities to identify their interests, learn life skills, and prepare for high school and post-high school education and work.
- Summer programming that provides children with a day camp experience and access to healthy nutrition.
- Mom's Group, which provides mothers access to support, fitness and nutrition classes, and other topics of interest.
- Parent University, which meets monthly to address parent needs and interests.
Beacon Place >
Erie HealthReach Waukegan/Healthy Start for Lake County Families Project
North Shore Gas supports Erie HealthReach Waukegan’s Healthy Start for Lake County Families Project,
which provides pregnant women with high quality prenatal, labor and delivery and postpartum care. The project
seeks to help children facing health inequities get a healthy start to life. In addition to prenatal, delivery
and postpartum care, mothers and children receive oral healthcare, case management, vaccinations, back-to-school
checkups, developmental screenings and a range of other patient support services. This year, about 3,000 patients
will be served through the program. Erie HealthReach opened in 2014 to meet the need for comprehensive primary care
in Lake County. More than 64% of patients receive Medicaid and 26% are uninsured.
Erie HealthReach Waukegan >
The Lake County Community Foundation
The Lake County Community Foundation (LCCF) seeks to improve the quality of life in Lake County by
providing civic leadership, promoting collective philanthropy and partnering with its grant recipients.
North Shore Gas supports the foundation’s small business growth initiative to nurture
small businesses owned by people of color in priority ZIP codes. The program provides a combination of
financial, relational and human capital to help small-business owners meet their growth goals, while
enriching the surrounding economic ecosystem. With support from North Shore Gas and
other funders, LCCF is currently completing a pilot with Drip and Culture Co., a coffee shop in Waukegan.
The Lake County Community Foundation >
Ravinia Festival’s Reach Teach Play
North Shore Gas is a longtime partner of Ravinia Festival, the nation’s oldest outdoor festival.
Our support for Ravinia’s Reach Teach Play initiative supports music education programs for 18,000
area public school students. The programs include: orchestral training and performance opportunities
for elementary school students in Waukegan; access to summer concerts at Ravinia for area students
through partnerships with 200 social service agencies; musician residencies and special classroom
performances at area schools; tickets for students and their families to attend a Chicago Symphony
Orchestra concert; an opportunity for thousands of students to perform on Ravinia’s stage; and
KidsLawn, a fun, interactive musical play space at Ravinia. Each year, Reach Teach Play touches
more than 75,000 community members through its programs and performances.
Ravinia Festival’s Reach Teach Play >
LGBTQ+ Center Lake County
Launched in 2020, North Shore Gas is proud to support the LGBTQ+ Center Lake County, whose mission is to “make Lake County a place for LGBTQ+ folx to thrive!”
The Center has quickly become the central hub in Lake County for LGBTQ+ resources, supporting individuals, families and community partners with programming,
social/cultural events and referrals to therapists, medical resources, legal support, STI/HIV testing, gender affirming care and more. The center’s SafeZone
training curriculum helps employees of local organizations learn about LGBTQ+ identities, gender and sexuality as well as examine prejudice, assumptions and
privilege. The center also holds weekly support groups to provide the chance for community members to connect over shared experience and hardship while
supporting one another.
LGBTQ Center Lake County >
Plant Giveaway at Chicago Botanic Garden
North Shore Gas is a proud partner of the Chicago Botanic Garden and its mission to cultivate the power of
plants to sustain and enrich life. This year, we will be once again sponsoring the Garden’s Plant Giveaway program located in the
Regenstein Fruit & Vegetable Garden. Staff and volunteers share information about a featured plant and encourage visitors to take
seeds or a seedling home to plant.
Chicago Botanic Garden >
Lake Forest Open Lands Association
North Shore Gas supports the Center for Conservation Leadership (CCL) at the
Lake Forest Open Lands Association,
a conservation and educational organization devoted to the acquisition and stewardship of natural landscapes.
CCL is an outreach program that engages and empowers area young people from diverse underserved communities.
The multi-year program begins each summer with a three-week experience where students acquire environmental
literacy, learn scientific assessment methods, and develop teamwork and leadership skills, all in the context
of a stewardship ethic. The students are paired with adult mentors who guide them in individual conservation
stewardship projects to implement in their communities. A key element of the projects is educating the community
about conservation and recruiting additional members of the larger community to participate in the projects.
The students present detailed accounts of their projects at various occasions during the year.
Lake Forest Open Lands Association >
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago
North Shore Gas supports the Business and Entrepreneurship Services of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago,
which serves Lake County and the rest of the Chicago region. The program fosters the growth and acceleration of businesses — especially
those owned by women of color — by addressing the unique barriers faced by these businesses, such as discrimination, lack of access to funding,
and a need for technical assistance and mentorship. Services include one-on-one business advising, coaching, a dedicated curriculum, and access
to tools, resources and information to help clients conceptualize, launch, sustain and grow their businesses. North Shore Gas
also provides employee volunteers to conduct mock interviews of students enrolled in the CONSTRUCT program, which prepares enrollees for careers
in the construction industry.
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago >
A Safe Place
As the leading advocate for eliminating domestic violence and human trafficking in northern Illinois,
A Safe Place provides comprehensive support and services to help victims and their families break the cycle
of violence and flourish in safe, healthy environments. Services provided include: a 24-hour crisis line;
emergency shelter with food, clothing and case management for families; abuser intervention; long-term and
transitional housing and support services; individual and group counseling; court-ordered supervised visitations
and monitored custody exchanges; legal assistance with orders of protection; and education programs for community
groups and schools. In addition to providing general support, North Shore Gas partners with
A Safe Place annually to provide holiday gifts to children from families in need.
A Safe Place website >