Dreams For Kids, Inc.

Rating: 4.89 stars   47 reviews

Issues: Civil Rights, Children & Youth, Human Services

Location: 820 W Jackson Bouelvard Ste 805 Chicago IL 60607 USA

Mission: Dreams for Kids replaces charity with with opportunity for at-risk youth who learn career and life skills as they build social enterprises that impact their local community and the world.
Results: The Chicago International Charter Schools accepted the Dream Leaders program into its general curriculum, teaching all 8th graders social entrepreneurship as they build social enterprises to impact the world.
Target demographics: At-risk youth in U.S. between the ages of 12 and 17.
Direct beneficiaries per year: 6,000
Geographic areas served: U.S, with local concentration in Illinois and Washington DC.
Programs: Dream Leaders program provides training in youth leadership,social entrepreneurship and service learning in class, after school and in We Are the Change® conferences. Extreme Recess provides adaptive sports activities for kids with disabilities, Holiday for Hope is a global event for homeless children, held each December.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
Write a Review

See How 3Hrs Can Help

Invite people to share their experience with this nonprofit!

Promote This Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits badges allow you to raise awareness of your favorite nonprofits on your own web sites!

Review this charity on
GreatNonprofits

Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

You can’t make this stuff up!

DFK’s Extreme Recess at Twin Lakes, WI is a day of water sports, fishing, bouncy house, water slide, plenty of sunscreen and a great BBQ lunch.

Most of the children have never had the opportunity to participate in these activities. Going from a wheelchair to a water ski and speeding along at 40 mph – at first it’s fear but the kid in all comes out in seconds using the thumbs-up signal to go faster.

As a volunteer, every year I take home a fond story or two. This year it was Thais. Exiting the bus I asked this young lady of perhaps 12 what she wanted to do first – water ski? Tubing? Canoeing? Thais looked me in the eye and said "I want to fish - I have never fished before.” Are you sure you want to bait a hook with a slimy worm I asked? “Yes” is all she said with a smile while looking past me to see where the fishing pier was located.

Within minutes Thais had caught her first fish - a 4” bluegill. She ended up with about 9 catches, one being a 10” wide mouth. And that’s no fish story!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

CROYA has had the honor of working with Dreams For Kids Extreme Recess for the past 4 years. DFK, Tom, Shelly and the rest of the staff are amazing. They provide so many people opportunities that kids would never dream of. It is so much fun to be a part of such a great day out on the lake making kids' dreams come true. The look on their faces when they get up on the water ski, tube, kayak, boat or fish is priceless!!!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved for about 4 years with Dreams for Kids. It's a great organization in terms of volunteering because everyone is extremely passionate about helping kids. You will also be sure to have a great time volunteering because you can feel the joy and happiness you are bringing to kids, whether it be for kids with disabilities or at risk youth. It just makes the time fly-by every event that I volunteer for because you are constantly engaged in activities. The organization is also operated by stand-up quality people including founder Tom Tuohy, Shelly Gonsch and crew. I've met some great people who have become friends through the years.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have more events and continue to grow the footprint of chapters across the country.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

On July 31st, I attended my first Extreme Recess event. I was blown away on many levels. The day was very organized. There was a wealth of things for the kids to do and volunteers to help them. It was clear the kids and their families were overjoyed with the opportunity to experience activities they have never or rarely participate in. I was proud to be a part of it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 4 stars  

You know you have done a great job when you see the faces of the kids that go skiing, tubing, or fishing for the very first time. It is a great day for all involved.
I would recommend a recruiter assigned to each boat that would go out and get the boats filled so more kids and their families get involved and we can serve more kids quicker. This is what I did for Mike H.'s boat in the afternoon. The fishing slowed down in the afternoon. I think we could have recruited a little better for that activity as well. I think it moved things along with Mike's boat and got more people rides. Thanks for a special day.
Tom Mullen
Kiwanis

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I was honored to be a part of the Dreams for Kids team for two months. They have a very welcoming and great team who are dedicated to service. Even though my internship with them has ended, I am certain that I have made long life friends and family and I will continue to work with them from wherever life takes me. Having attended Extreme Recess for the first time, I was touched by how happy and carefree the kids with disabilities were. It was great to see them enjoy the day and appreciate the simple joys life has to offer with no limitations. I come from Zambia where there are a lot of people who are in need of help. Seeing the work that Dreams for Kids is doing in reaching out was inspiring for me to start Holiday for Hope in my country. I learnt ways in which I can reach out to the community for help and Tom told me even if only one child shows up, I shouldn't lose hope but work towards a better turn out the next time and as I will be 'changing the world one person at a time'.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Let more people know about this great organization and get them to volunteer and help as much as they can.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Dreams for Kids is an amazing organization that provides opportunities for children who need it the most. They focus on what the child CAN do, rather than what they cannot do. The positive environment throughout the organization inspires everyone involved to be the best they can be.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Dreams for Kids is a fantastic non-profit! I participated with them during this last summer. At every single event I helped out with the kids always left with giggles and grinning from ear to ear. Dreams for Kids truly makes a difference in children's lives.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

Few companies or organizations act more or with more nobel motives than Dreams For Kids. DFK was a phenomenal fit for me because its mission aligned with my passion: spread opportunity to all children of all backgrounds, race, creed, ability... and allow them to fearlessly pursue their dreams. I am incredibly fortunate to have grown up in a cohesive, close, and objectively well off family. Because of this I have enjoyed my childhood very much; and I know that every kid in the world deserves the chance to also greatly enjoy their youth through support and the provision of opportunities that can lead them to succeed and follow their dreams later in life. This is Dreams For Kids: the national-award-winning Dream Leaders program that provides at-risk youth with the opportunities to help others while teaching critical thinking and business skills and encouraging college attendance; or the countless programs like Extreme Recess that allows many youth with disabilities their first chance to participate in sports and learn lessons that athletics instill; or providing children in nearly 100 countries with their first real Christmas celebration (and it is quite a celebration). It was an incredible experience working and seeing real results and as rewarding a summer as I will ever have. Few missions are more pure or admirable than DFK's looking to provide equal opportunities and support to all youth of the world; and I could not be more proud to say I was a part of it.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with Dreams for Kids for many years and I have found it to be the best group of people I have had the priviledge to know. They are the most dedicated and generous people in the nonprofit communtiy. I have been to many of the events and each time I tell myself I must do more with this organization. I'm glad that an organization like Great Nonprofits can tell their story.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful?