There are a lot of wonderful causes to support in the greater Chicago area. Many great area nonprofits support the environment, education, and even animals. While a number of nonprofits fill merely a community void, the great ones have clear goals, and they maximize every dollar down to the last red cent. According to Giving in Chicago, about 44% of Chicago households gave over $1,000 to charity. The top Chicago-area nonprofits include:

Alliance for the Great Lakes. Supporters have worked for 45 years to protect the legacy of the five lakes. This is achieved through advocacy, education, and restoration. The city has made a commitment to reduce pollution in Lake Erie, and the state recently passed a law to end the processing of bath scrubs and beads, which marine life often mistakes for food. There is also an annual ‘Adopt A Beach’ program where thousands of volunteers in all of the bordering Great Lake states pick up trash from the shoreline.

The Alzheimer’s Association. This organization is committed to finding a cure for the dreaded disease. Since 1980, the Alzheimer’s Association has raised more than $320 million towards funding research. The organization started TrialMatch, an online service that matches eligible patients with clinical trials.

Bridge Communities. This is one of the best non profits for the homeless in the state. The client base is specifically for DuPage County. Bridge Communities also offers clients ways of getting back on their own two feet with the help of a furnished apartment, counseling, therapy, and interview preparation.

The Greater Chicago Food Depository. This Cook County food nonprofit was started in 1979. Today, it has grown to a network of kitchens with hundreds of volunteers that serve one in six county residents. The popular mobile-produce serves fresh foods and vegetables, and free lunches to less fortunate children in the summer months.

PAWS Chicago. Before this organization came into existence in 1997, over 40,000 dogs and cats in Chicago were euthanized. Today, that number has dropped by 75 percent. PAWS has the largest animal adoption programs in Chicago. Volunteers also give free dog baths and perform other services. The surgical clinic also spays and neuters pets.

CFF Chicago.  Don’t forget to visit the excellent CFF events, from walks to wine events and the opportunity to donate at eateries, this is one charity to keep an eye on.  Constant activity, breakthroughs and new development towards treatments and cures for Cystic Fibrosis help to prove that this is a more than worthy cause.

If you want to donate to a worthy cause, Chicago has a long list of nonprofits where you can donate time, money, and services. To find out more, go the charity’s website.