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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Brain Disorders, Counseling, Epilepsy, Health, Mental Health, Public Health

Mission: The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

Target demographics: Individuals with epilepsy, their families, and their friends

Geographic areas served: Chicagoland and 43 northern and central Illinois counties

Programs: "Care and Counseling," "Parent Link," "Friends Helping Friends," "Advocacy Through Education," "Support Group Network," "Seizure Smart Diet," "Shining Stars," "Camp Blackhawk," "Studio E," "Interpretations Writing Initiative," "Community Epilepsy Clinics," "Operation Outreach," "Employment Services," and "Continuing Frontline Research"

Community Stories

32 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Epilepsy Foundation has been doing regular pick ups for us for about five years now. They have always come the day they commit to and the workers doing the pick ups have been really nice overall. We've had a great experience so far. A couple of times, I have called to check and make sure that they were coming that day for a pick up, and they were very nice about it, and the pick up was done that day. We will continue to donate to them!

Rosalind S.

Donor

Rating: 1

I will never ever donate clothing to this organization. After they called me and scheduled a pick up; I gathered up clothes and shoes. They never showed up to pick up the goods. When I called the next day I wasn't even on the schedule. Got to do better.

Gregg R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love the EFGC they help me Spread HOPE Helping Other People with Epilepsy as one who got lucky and became seizure free 5 years ago after having a Left Frontal Lobectomy at Tampa General Hospital. I then was able to come to this are a and go back to work again, soon after I got the Governor of Illinois to make November Epilepsy Awareness Month Officially. Soon after Kurt Florian of the Foundation came to meet me and hear my story. I then got together with the Northwest Suburban Community Action Board and began doing lots of Volunteer work with them and the Foundation. Since then each year I have made it my mission to continue keeping November officially Epilepsy Awareness Month. So Far it has been the case and again this November we are Officially pushing Purple Awareness to all!

Gregg Rosenthal

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

EFGC help our family learn more about our son's condition and show him that he can live a full life without any fear. Our son has been seizure free for over 3 years now.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Camp Blackhawk allows children with epilepsy go to summer camp for a week and be like any other child. The camp is free for every child!

Previous Stories
3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Epilepsy Foundation for over 20 years. I am always amazed how caring and helpful the staff members are to the individuals that they serve. The Foundation offers so many programs to a wide variety of people living with epilepsy. I have attend Camp Blackhawk as a volunteer for several years and enjoy watching the children who are attending the camp participate in so many actitvies that they may not otherwise be able to participate. It is an outstanding way for children living with epilepsy to attend camp in a safe environment for them.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The programs and services provided by the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago are extraordinary. The Epilepsy Foundation helps people with epilepsy, their families and supporters overcome the challenges of seizures. This organization makes such a difference that I wanted to work for it.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago has been a huge support to our family. Our son was diagnosed with Epilepsy in Februrary of 2014 when he was 8 years old. I elected no cost seizure recognition and response training for our school staff as well as student seizure education. We have also benefited from educational advocacy during IEP meetings and accommodation requests, clinical scheduling for new doctor visits and family/caretaker seizure recognition/response training. I have been a member of a community action board "CAB" in the northwest suburbs as part of the foundation since 2014.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization! A great community. Thankful for camp Blackhawk.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is absolutely AMAZING!!! Because of them my daughter who was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 9 has grown into a confident 21 year old senior in college majoring in Social work. She also has recently got her drivers license and first car. Camp Blackhawk, teen groups seminars anything you need are provided at no cost. They are the kindest, most professional non profit group I have ever known!!! Thanks Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was diagnosed with Epilepsy 8 years ago as a breadwinning working mother of two children under the age of 3. It ended what was a successful career and landed me back in Chicago where I grew up, dealing with an uphill professional battle I never imagined. The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago worked to help me make professional contacts that changed the outlook for me, all while making sure I knew I had their support with my health as well. I was introduced to what is now my boss and employer thanks to EFGC and I will soon be running the Chicago marathon to raise as much as possible to show my appreciation. I can never thank the team enough!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank you to the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago for all they do to support families with Epilepsy. If it wasn't for the Epilepsy Foundation we would have never been able to afford to send our son away for camp. Besides having Epilepsy our son has profound Autism and is non-verbal so they made accommodations to have a one-to-one aide with him at all times. This gave us peace of mind knowing he would be well cared for.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The foundation has been there for my family, as my daughter was diagnosed at age 7 with epilepsy. They have been there to help get her help at school, have meetings for parents for support, have fun trips for the kids and the camp for my daughter, which i never thought i would be able to send her anywhere without me. They are definitely wonderful in all they do for everyone!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The EFGC has made such a positive impact on my family. From helpful web resources, to informative workshops for educators and caregivers, to knowledgable and helpful staff members, EFGC is the best!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago has been a great resource for our family and offers amazing services and events.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My first Nuerologist I talked to about my seizures told me to live with it without a diagnosis. Still not sure about that being a diagnosis I called the epilepsy foundation and the director picked up the phone and most importantly LISTENED to my story and agreed it wasn't a diagnosis. She gave me a list of hospitals with specialized care in treating epilepsy. I am currently under the care of a great Nuerologist and working on a plan to help take care of me! All this happened because the foundation listened and helped with a solution. I don't want to think where I would be without them!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son attended Camp Blackhawk which was amazing for him, and all other kids with epilepsy! This foundation offers so many support activities for both children and their families.

Donor

Rating: 1

Don't bother scheduling a pickup, they won't come.

Donor

Rating: 1

I had a pickup scheduled for today..received a confirmation and spoke to them YESTERDAY!! I had to have other people carry out eleven boxes and place them in front of my house...VERY, VERY VISIBLE from the street. The boxes were out by 6:15 AM this morning. No one came. When we called we were told the driver came by and there was nothing there????? Each and every box was labeled with EPILEPSY FOUNDATION in large letters on white paper!!!!!!!
We will never donate to Epilepsy Foundation again.

Comments ( 1 )

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bjshoemaker 06/09/2016

Please accept our apologies and contact us at 630.465.6512 for further review. We want to do all we can to resolve this error. Thank you.

Kathy232

Donor

Rating: 1

You people may be doing great things for epilepsy but take me off your mailing list of "FREE DONATION PICK-UPS" !! I called and scheduled a pick up this last Monday for today. I have lots of items from mirrors, lamps, brand new/never used baby stroller, baby gates, baby clothes, women's clothes, a very little used bike, small book shelf, several wall wood shelves, wood & rattan night table, weight bench w/weights, a new decorative area rug, and a bunch of other stuff which you obviously didn't want too bad. When I scheduled the pick-up I said it was too much to just leave out in the drive way especially with the weather now. But I told them I had the day off so that I would wait until they came if they could just please ring the door bell. She said ok no problem. I know the time is between 8am and 7pm so I got up early at 7:45am ( I work a later shift at the hospital so I usually sleep in a little later) and sat here waiting. I just called at 2:25pm to get an up date to see kind of when they would be here because being my only day off until next week some time there are other things I need to get done if possible. SO when I called, the guy on the phone said there was some kind of problem and he'd have to reschedule my pick up. WHAT?!!! You people left me sitting here 6 1/2 hours waiting for you when there are many other things I need to be doing AND you couldn't even make a phone call to let me know someone screwed up?!! Who knows how long I would have sat here, til 7:00pm even, if I hadn't called you for an update on my pick-up!! How disrespectful of someone else's time!! How incredibly incompetent of you!!! I'll find another charity that actually wants the donation and who are responsible and competent and actually do what they say they will!!

Comments ( 1 )

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bjshoemaker 11/16/2015

Dear Kathy, Thank you for your recent attempt to donate used items to our organization. We apologize for the inconvenience and look forward to resolving any errors. Please contact us at your earliest convenience: 630.465.6512 or info@epilepsychicago.org.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

This group and its "independent incorporated affiliate" called Epilepsy Chicago or Friends of Epilepsy Foundation of Chicago have relentlessly harassed me and apparently thousands of others by making repeated phone calls, day and night, weekdays and weekends - Sunday night at 9:30! - and when asked to stop, first say that they are a non-profit and don't have to stop harassing phone calls - and then hang up. I have received dozens and dozens of phone calls from 630 812 2460 all identified as "Epilepsy Chicago" and they refuse to stop. Google the number and see the endless lists of complaints. No one should contribute to an organization that spends its money on phone banks endlessly calling non responsive non-donors. Poorly managed, totally indifferent to their effect on the general public.

4

Donor

Rating: 1

This was the worst experience I have ever had! I put usable donations out for them to pick up, they were nicely boxes and stacked. they showed up and threw the boxes to the back of the truck on top of all the other things in there. I am sure most of the stuff is unusable now! All and any glass will be shattered for sure.I wish I had video of this, you would be applaud also. They also left several items in my driveway! This is not garbage! DO NOT DONATE TO THIS ORGANIZATION! There are many other charities and organizations that will actually appreciate your donations. Very Sad!

3 Jenna10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My building, AMLI 900, has worked with the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago to offer residents the opportunity to donate to the great cause. The Epilepsy Foundation sets up bins in our back loading dock area for residents to bring down clothing and small household items to donate. This has been an extreme success in the building and residents look forward to donation. Our original plan was to have the donations bins available for one month only, but because it was such a success we now offer them for a week, once a month, and residents know they can bring items down to donate. The Epilepsy Foundation has been very helpful with coordinating dates and pick up times and we always look forward to working with them.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I was encouraged by a friend whose wife has epilepsy to support through participation in the annual golf outing fundraiser a couple years ago. I've golfed in the event for three years now and they are all very well run, fun events. Interestingly since my participation I've learned of at least three other friends who have family members with epilepsy. I have encouraged all of them to get involved with the foundation.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a Board Member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago I am very involved in the development of our supporters through various activities such as our 5k Runs and annual Golf Outing, which benefit Camp Blackhawk; the summer camp where children with epilepsy can just be camping "kids" without the stress of something happening relevant to their particular condition. I find personal satisfaction in the fact that I can help families that are unfortunately not able to fund a summer experience for their child; and that we can somehow fill that void. Every child deserves to be a "kid", and hopefully we make that happen for a week each summer. I've been involved for over 5 years, ever since my friend, Kurt Florian shared his story with me; I too have a family member with Epilepsy, and understand the battle people may be confronted with.

4 Yesenia M.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for almost 2 years. My neurologist always suggested that I should find a group or foundation that would give me a sense of what others dealt with the same issues. As time opened up, I decided to give it a chance. I met some wonderful people as a volunteer. All the staff is quite friendly and are willing help others and the cause to improve epilepsy. Being a Hispanic, I would like to encourage all the Hispanic Community to be involved in the cause and break the taboo within our culture. Therefore, I will like to ask all the Hispanic Community to be a part of it.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Epilepsy Foundation for 7 years. The first year I was a client who was discriminated from a previous employer, and was eventually terminated. I was then introduced to the Epilepsy Foundation from my Neurologist who suggested that they could possibly help me out. The Staff at the Epilepsy Foundation was very understanding and very helpful with my situation. They have guided me through some very tough situations in pursuing my litigation with my previous employer, and with there assistance, guidance, and support for a year I finally won my litigation. I would also like to extend a big Thank You to the Staff and especially Client Services ( Mary Jo, and Meredith) for all your support and understanding.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Cadence Health and have worked with the EFA of Chicago for many years. This organization has served a pivotal role in the care of countless people. Epilepsy is medical condition that often carries signficant social challenges and the EFA has been there to help with their support. I regularly provide an abundance of material that the Foundation provides to my patients and direct them frequently to the Foundation's resources. The many support groups the EFA has throughout Chicago land offer easy access for people with epilepsy to find additional support. The EFA also has been a consistent provider of educational initiatives to consumers through northest Il.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I became aware and then quite familiar with the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago because of my daughter who has Epilepsy. She has volunteered there the past few years and they have been so welcomingly to her that it has impressed me to no end. From the moment I met everyone as well, they have made me feel right at home. Most important, they truly care about making everyone who has Epilepsy feel they can accomplish anything. Such a dedicated, awesome and caring group of people. Camp Blackhawk for kids is so rewarding-I get chills looking at how much fun the kids are having. They will bend overbackwards for all families and this is what makes the foundation a top notch group-we must find a cure!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago for over ten years and have been amazed at the work all the employees do. The passion and dedication in helping people with Epilepsy cannot be describe in words alone. Everything is done to assist people and their families with Epilepsy at no cost to them. Thank you to all the employees - Phil, Kurt, BJ, Erin, Tracy, Meredith, Jose, Mary Jo. Allan, Bob, Morgan, Debbie, Kim, and Frank at EFGC for your hard work and thank you - thank you to all people / companies who have donated money. We could not survive without you.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The organization is full of wonderful people. Their dedicated to the cause on a daily basis is truly amazing. It has been such a wonderful experience to be a part of this team over the last 5 years. I have no direct personal connection with epilepsy, but my experiences with the foundation and the great people of the foundation were so very supportive to me and my family when my son contracted salmonella at birth and struggled his first few months of life. My interactions with this great organization taught me how to deal with this. I am so thankful of what the foundation has given me and it is an honor to be a part of your great team.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

For the past few years, I have been volunteering at the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago. As a person with epilepsy, I find being at the foundation to be extremely comforting. Everyone here is so genuinely kind and caring, and ready and willing to help with anything that they possibly can. Two years ago, my friends and I produced a benefit concert to raise money for the EFGC. Although I was only a volunteer, people at the foundation volunteered THEIR time to help me. They helped us secure insurance for the event, they provided us with educational materials to give to audience members, they helped find donation items for a raffle at the event, etc. We absolutely could not have done it without them. Recently, I began the new Youth Council, and the foundation has been incredibly supportive. They help us with funds, advertising, resources, etc. Now that I am on the Youth Council, I spend a significant amount of time volunteering, and I get no greater joy than being here at the foundation. The EFGC has given me a place where I am accepted, where I feel normal, where I can be myself, and where I can help make a difference. They have made an enormous impact on my way and have helped me in ways I cannot describe, and I want nothing more than to give back to them as much as I possibly can.