ST. CHARLES – Casey's Safe Haven Horse Rescue and Sanctuary doesn't want to see any horse suffer.
"Our mission is to help every equine that comes through our doors," said board member Nancy Young. "Unless we are full to capacity, we never turn down a request, regardless of age or health. Every equine deserves dignity, self-worth and love."
Casey's Safe Haven was one of several groups represented at Giving Back, a nonprofit awareness event held Nov. 27 at the Arcada Theatre. The event, held on Giving Tuesday, was presented by the St. Charles Chamber of Commerce and Shaw Media, which publishes the Kane County Chronicle.
Ron Onesti, CEO and president of the Arcada Theatre, emceed the event. Eighteen diverse organizations signed up to speak at the event.
That included St. Charles-based Embrace a Family, which offers assistance to single mothers.
"Single moms often feel socially isolated and some have no extended family in the area," founder Tory Haines told those in the audience. "We are here to help them. We provide a single mother with day to day, hands on support in the areas of need which they have identified."
That includes mentoring, financial assistance and mom networking. Another St. Charles-based organization, Project Mobility, offers recreational events using specialized bicycles for people with disabilities.
The group's mission is personal for Hal Honeyman, who owns The Bike Rack in St. Charles with his family. His son Jacob has cerebral palsy.
"There are many benefits to adaptive cycling that are physical, social and emotional," Honeyman said. "We have many testimonials. We know we change people's lives. We change lives one bike at a time."
Dressed as the late Australian conservationist and “Crocodile Hunter” Steve Irwin, Kiwanis Club of St. Charles President President Jonathan Gripe talked about what the group does. Kiwanis is a global organization of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.
"Currently we support nearly 50 organizations that support kids," he said. "Many of those organizations are here today."
Dropping the Irwin act, he issued a challenge to those in the audience.
"If you're not doing something and if you're not involved in one of these organizations, get involved," Gripe said. "And if you are involved in something, get involved in something more...You've seen what these organizations can do. Just imagine what could happen if you got involved in any one of these groups and what could happen in this community because of you."
St. Charles Chamber President Jim Di Ciaula said the purpose of the event was to "raise the awareness" of the nonprofit groups and the work they do..
"It's humbling to be in a community with so many people who care so much about others and to see all you do each and every day for hundreds and hundreds of people," he said at the conclusion of the event. "I just want to thank all of you for all that you do."