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#GivingTuesday: How to help charities of Chicago athletes, teams

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo gives back to the community through the Rizzo Family Foundation. | Chicago Cubs photo

Chicago is home to a great many, charitable athletes.

Many participate in events through their team’s charities, but some have their own foundations to raise money and awareness for worthy causes.

Some teams, such as the Bulls and White Sox, are in a rebuilding mode and have rosters full of younger players. Many of those players don’t have their own foundations or charities. But teams with more veteran rosters who have earned more money and have had more chances to set up their philanthropic efforts.

On #GivingTuesday, we wanted to highlight a few of the charities and organizations from Chicago athletes and sports figures where fans could donate and help make a difference in the community.

Cubs

• Cubs Charities — The official Cubs charity partners with programs and organizations to provide increased access to sports opportunities and target improvements in health, fitness and education for those at risk. Donate here.

• Anthony Rizzo — The Cubs first baseman runs the Rizzo Family Foundation, which seeks to raise money for cancer research and to provide support to children and their families battling the disease. Donate here.

• Joe Maddon — His Respect 90 charity provides children and families opportunities “to develop championship attitudes through sports, academics and community involvement.” Donate here.

• Kerry Wood — The former Cubs pitcher runs The Wood Family Foundation, which works to improve the lives of children in Chicago. Donate here.

• Theo EpsteinThe Foundation to be Named Later, run by the Cubs president and his brother Paul, is dedicated to improving lives through education, leadership and the healthy development of youth and families. Donate here.

• Jon Lester — Short for “never quit,” the NVRQT campaign, run by Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, helps to raise awareness and money for children’s cancer research. Donate here to help the Cubs pitcher’s campaign.

Blackhawks

Blackhawks charities — Focuses on health and wellness, education and housing, striving to serve local citizens and impact the lives of youth and their families in and around the city of Chicago. (link). Donate here.

Duncan Keith — Keith Relief (link), which was founded in 2011, is dedicated to alleviating the financial and emotional burdens of families and individuals dealing with medical crises. As a partner of Ronald McDonald House Charities, it sponsors a transplant floor dedicated to pediatric transplant patients at Ronald McDonald House near Lurie Children’s Hospital. To donate to Keith Relief, make a donation to Blackhawk charities (here), and add “Keith Relief” in the “Reference / Invoice” field.

In August 2017, Keith Relief partnered with The Okanagan Similkameen Neurological Society in Penticton, British Columbia, to donate funds for neurological society families who are experiencing financial crisis in caring for their children. Donate here.

Brent Seabrook — Since 2008, Seabrook has hosted the annual Brent Seabrook Celebrity ICE Bowl, which benefits the Inner-City Education (ICE) Program. The ICE program was established to help low-income children obtain educational and hockey opportunities not otherwise available to them. Donate here.

Jonathan Toews —  In 2016, he launched a campaign benefitting The Kitchen Community, which builds Learning Gardens in Chicago-area schools to connect kids with real food, increase academic achievement and improve community engagement. While Toews’ campaign has ended, you can still support the cause. Donate here.

Bears

• Bears care — The Bears charity seeks to improve the quality of life for people in the Chicago area, especially disadvantaged children and their families, through programs supporting education, youth athletics and medical research and health awareness programs focusing on breast and ovarian cancer. Donate here.

• My Cause My Cleats — This NFL-wide initiative lets players paint their cleats to represent a cause that is important to them. Players can wear the cleats during Sunday’s game and then auction them online after, with the proceeds going to the individual charities. Here are the participating players and their causes.

Bulls

• Bulls Charities — The young Bulls don’t have any player-specific charities, but Bulls charities provides support to Chicago-area nonprofits that benefit four areas: youth education, youth health and wellness, violence prevention, and military and first responder support. Donate here.

White Sox

• White Sox Charities — The team charity helps a multitude of local organizations, including those fighting against cancer, dedicated to improving the lives of youth through recreation and education and those offering support to children and families in crisis. Donate here.

Follow me on Twitter @juandeplata.