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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Dreams for Kids, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Civil Rights, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Youth Community Service Clubs

Mission: Dreams for Kids trains and mentors youth as social entrepreneurs, providing practical education, real world training and contemporary job skills as they create enterprises that provide solutions to society’s critical social issues.

Results: We have launched Youth Enterprise Solutions (YES), a national program of social entrepreneurship learning for youth, hosted on our education partner's Global Learning Models, delivered by teachers in school and by trained mentors after school. The 10 lesson curriculum provides practical business skills such as marketing, sales, making a pitch, creating business plans, act. At the conclusion of the curriculum, students can apply their new skills to create a social enterprise, or work on an existing one, and be enrolled in our new Center for Social Entrepreneurship, to feature the resources of leading entrepreneurs and academics.

Target demographics: 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: Youth Enterprise Solutions, (YES), a program that provides students with a 13-lesson social entrepreneurship curriculum that was created by nationally recognized entrepreneurs and academic leaders and is delivered through peer to peer mentoring and reinforced by professional mentors in the community and our trademark, We Are the Change® conferences. Youth-led Social enterprises, Extreme Recess, provides adaptive sports activities for kids with disabilities and Holiday for Hope, a global event for homeless children, held each December.

Community Stories

92 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Scott160

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids has never let itself be tied down by one mission. They have grown and morphed as the needs of the community presented themselves. They work tirelessly for all children in need- both the underserved and the affluent. Their most recent endeavor has given me hope for this next generation. Let's set the not-for-profit world AND the business world on their ears with a new crop of leaders that see the value in successful, sustainable business models that give back to the community. I can't wait to see the fruits of their labors at work in our city and worldwide.

Comments ( 1 )

Tom Tuohy Thank you for recognizing our goal and being part of our mission. Our new Youth Enterprise Solutions ( YES) program launches this fall and gives us all hope for the generation we have been waiting for!!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids, Inc teaches children skills to have a social impact as entrepreneurs. It's an incredible organization dedicated to cultivating a future of compassionate people.

1 Tatiana B.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great cause carried forward by best in class practices and caring people.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Tremendous organization that cares so much about its target! Great events which engages and motivates children dealing with economic, physical, and mental difficulties.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Thrilled to be a part of Dreams For Kids. To help children believe in themselves and to know that anything is possible is truly a magical experience and one that we can all learn from.

2 Jeffery J. J.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started working with Dreams for Kids Associate Board 7 years ago. Now I’m a member of the Execetive Board. I’ve met really great people some I see only once a year and others at board meetings. It’s been a fun and enriching experience being able to give back to the youth of Chicago while meeting otger likeminded professionals.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

A great cause, clarity on the mission, passionate and inspiring leadership, and execution on achievable goals are the core tenets of what I believe makes a charity successful. Dreams for Kids exemplifies this and it has been a truly rewarding experience volunteering for this organization.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Hi - I learned about Dreams for Kids through the University of Chicago Alumni Board Connect program. When I met the Founder and staff, I must say, i became more than passionate about the cause and the impact they were having on children all over the country. Even just locally, with the Holiday for Hope Event, to see 1000s of at risk and underprivileged children receive a day of activities, fun, toys, and most importantly, HOPE, was something that words can't describe. Later in the year I would become directly involved with Extreme Recess - where children with disabilities have the opportunity to participate in water sports and other activities that would seem "impossible". Lastly, the YES program may just change the world - and we are looking forward to implementing that in schools around the globe

2 Jonny I.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

D4K is ammmmmAZING cause with REAL positive impact for the kids!!! And the people who work there and volunteer and board members are friends and THEY ALL CARE!! A LOT!!! Keep up all the GOOD yall!!!! We're honored at CLOZTALK to rep your charity logo apparel at https://cloztalk.com/collections/dreams-for-kids -- all the BEST to the whole team and keep helping and inspiring the kids!!! :) Jonny

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids does such powerful work all year round. Volunteering for the Holiday For Hope event is what made me become so passionate about the work this organization is doing. When you replace charity with opportunity, you notice a different in the community and children you are working with and that’s exactly what DFK is doing.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids positively impacts lifes of thousands of kids per year through its unique events. Holiday for Hope event allows those children to celebrate holidays who otherwise would not have an opportunity. Extreme Recess event inspires kids with disabilities buy giving them a very unique opportunity to water ski. I highly recommend DFK and its mission.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreams For Kids was such an amazing organization to work with. They commit to providing an unforgettable experience for the children and communities they serve. And to think this isn't the only foundation the team works on? Simply put, Dreams For Kids just wants to make the lives of the people they serve better.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreams For Kids stand by their name, and truly put the kids first by creating memorable experiences. Their summer event, Extreme Recess Water Ski was touching to be apart of. Not only was I able to help out with the event logistics, but I was able to see the pure joy given to the children and their families. DFK is an incredible organization to be apart of!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Dreams for Kids, Inc Organization is doing great work for the City of Chicago and surrounding communities. Since becoming a part of the organization it's opened my eyes even more to seeing and understanding what an impact this organization is having on thousands of lives of families. I'm so proud to say that I'm part of an organization that doesn't say that they care, they show it with community involvement, and love.

1 Clara T.1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I worked with many non-profit organizations in my career and DREAMS FOR KIDS is the one that stands out! I first met them at a Christmas event and I was touched by how caring and deeply involved everyone was! It felt like a super large and extended family partying together and taking care of each other with love and compassion, respect and empathy! It was hard to tell who were the leaders and organizers, and who were the guests... as everyone was taking charge and also enjoying the party in the very same way, with the same level of enthusiasm and commitment. The kids were shining joy for a Christmas celebration that some of them might have not had at all, if not with Dreams for Kids. As a guest/videographer for the day I truly felt grateful and also part of the family. The same youth that Dreams for Kids offer opportunities to through their programs were the ones taking care and entertaining the younger children, and that was their way to celebrate Christmas: what a wonderful message and generous skill to learn! I kept in touch with a couple of kids whose lives were changed by Dreams for Kids: not only have they become first class human beings and successful adults but they constantly verbalize how immensely DREAMS FOR KIDS has impacted their lives forever by offering them real OPPORTUNITIES! Highly recommend DFK to donors, prospective volunteers, and kids in search of answers and a rewarding life!

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

What I love about Dreams for Kids is that their programming provides opportunities for kids to both serve and be served. They learn accountability and responsibility while getting better self-awareness. This type of experience pays back sevenfold as they grow into adult members of the community. The founder Tom Tuohy has more than just big dreams for this organization. He has big plans. Those plans are making an incredible impact.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids puts on great programs throughout the year. The impact that each event has on all of the children involved is immense. The first time I volunteered for Dreams for Kids, I was blown away by the entire event. Every child in attendance had a smile on their face, and I was so grateful I was apart of it. Getting involved with DFK was one of the best decisions I've ever made!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dreams for Kids, Inc. has been one of my favorite nonprofits for years. I learned about them by chance in 2008 and have been involved as a volunteer ever since. From its humble beginnings at Women/Children's shelter creating Christmas, to an organization that now celebrates Christmas with a 1,000 kids! Also DFK has evolved with the times by creating Extreme Recess, the Dream Leaders program, Social Entrepreneurship, and DFK organizations throughout the USA and other countries around the world. They truly have brought back the concept of HOPE to all that participate one day a year to every day of the year. I look forward to continuing to assist in the evolution of DFK as we continue to meet the needs of our communities and beyond.

Comments ( 1 )

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Tom Tuohy 07/22/2017

Thanks for all the years of service and contribution Ron! You have a made a big difference!

1 Sandy50

Client Served

Rating: 5

When I think of Dreams For Kids, the image that comes to mind is a pebble thrown into water and the numerous ripples that come from just one pebble. This is an organization that is committed to the “ripple effect.” The world is truly a better place, as those individuals who have had the opportunity to work with Tom Touhy and the staff at DFK will surely make an impact far and wide. Dreams For Kids is a smart organization with a big heart! Check out the impressive Dream Leaders on the website – no doubt their ripple will be powerful and lasting!

Comments ( 1 )

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Tom Tuohy 07/22/2017

Thank you Sandy! You are part of that ripple!

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am the mother of a 12 year-old boy with autism. Finding recreational opportunities for my son and our a family is very challenging to say the least, and then we found Extreme Recess! Spencer had the amazing experience of snow skiing this winter, something that I would have never thought possible. Dreams For Kids/Extreme Recess not only provided a great day of skiing, it gave me renewed hope for the future - anything is possible! The sky is the limit for my guy! The Extreme Recess volunteers and staff were not only only knowledgeable, but displayed a level of compassion and patience that was heart-warming. Can't wait for the the summer ski program at Twin Lakes!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've known Tom for many years and have had the privilege of watching DFK grow and change. I have also been able to help support some of the events both financially and by recruiting volunteers.

As someone who has worked in the non-profit sector for many years, I appreciate DFK's client-centeredness and fiscal responsibility. There is a level of excellence, efficiency and common sense that is far too rare in the NFP world.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Tom and his staff truely impact the lives of his kids and their families. Trust and credibility are two things that stand out about DFK. Those in need are well served with and amazing passion from all who come in contact with DFK.

Bob G