Helping Create Positive Change
“Everyone has something to give, starting with something as simple as a smile or hug” says Anne Hoffman, the founder of Creatively Caring. Anne, an Illinois Certified Educator, with experience in Visual Art, Art Therapy and Reading, loves teaching her two daughters about the importance of giving. So she started Creatively Caring, the 501(c)(3)charity because she believes “there must be more to life than just playdates”. The non-profit organization’s mission is to work with local businesses and non-profit organizations to enrich the community through fun, family service projects. Families with children of all ages are encouraged to participate in the projects which help people, animals and the environment.
To help support their mission, Creatively Caring hosts a Meetup group which offers families an opportunity to get together with like-minded people whom share the same spirit of giving. When Anne looked for a place to have outings for their Meetup group, she happily found Nibbles Play Café in Wheeling. “It is a warm, inviting, safe place. The kids can play and the parents can chat.
Plus, it has the most kid-friendly bathrooms anywhere.”
Nibbles Play Cafe combines owner Kathleen Weinberg’s three passions: serving families with children, party/event planning for children, and food. She feels there is a need in the community for a place where parents can go to sit and relax with good food while their children play. Kathleen says, “It is essential to provide a setting which parents can feel good about that is clean and safe and that fosters the child’s imagination.”
With her background in working in nonprofit organizations that serve families with young children, Kathleen recently considered changing Nibbles Play Café to a nonprofit organization. She thought about how best to make Nibbles succeed. At the same time, she got to know Anne Hoffman better and developed a strong respect for Anne’s integrity and drive to make Creatively Caring successful
as an organization that stays focused on meeting its mission. “I believe strongly in the mission of Creatively Caring of teaching children to give to others. It is really needed at this time.” says Kathleen.
The two women then developed an innovative plan! Nibbles Play Café and Creatively Caring will support one another by working together to enrich our community through fun, family service projects and events. During the Nibbles New Year’s Eve Party on December 31st, Kathleen and Anne will make the official announcement. Nibbles will be sponsoring Creatively Caring by offering a place to host their events, store supplies, and have a working office space. Creatively Caring and Nibbles will offer patrons monthly Make Two: One for Me, One for You service projects with paid admission. For Creatively Caring special events, such as the recent Clothing Drive and Crafts Day, Nibbles will offer participating families free admission to Nibbles.
As a bonus, since Kathleen is a founding member of the North Suburban Childrens Business Network, they have offered Creatively Caring scholarship for membership. NSCBN is a community of local child-centered businesses that share ideas and support one another.
If you would like to help Creatively Caring further their cause, they are always accepting in-kind, monetary, space and supply donations. In-kind donations can include post-seasonal items and décor. They also need facility space to host public community service projects. Supply donations can be such items as: clean baby food jars, tissue containers, greeting cards, pine cones, ribbon, art supplies or just about any recyclable item that can be used for projects. Monetary donations are also important to their cause.
Your family can participate in any of Creatively Caring events. Their public events are listed on Facebook while you have to join their Meetup group for many more events. Community service projects can range from intergenerational hour at a local assisted living facility to park clean-ups. One of the more known ones is their popular Make Two: One for Me, One for You event. Anne says “there are make it, take it events everywhere, we want to put a twist on that concept and give those art projects real meaning.” Creatively Caring encourages each child to make two projects; one to donate to a cause and one to take home and share with their family. Leigh Shaver, a member of Creatively Caring, explains community service to her young son as “We are making people smile!” She goes on to say, “It is so important to their future, to raise them with a giving heart and a sense of community.”