My wife, Andrea, will be running the 2012 Chicago Marathon on October 7th. She decided awhile back to raise money for a charity while doing so and chose Children's Oncology Services of Illinois. COSI runs camps catered exclusively to children with cancer or that have "beat" cancer: One Step Camp. The program covers all camp costs, premise being many parents are overloaded with medical bills as is. The camp runs for a few weeks in Lake Geneva each summer and winter on George Williams College campus. Camp can seem trivial to some people, but if you've been to summer camp and then can imagine the benefit to these kids realizing they aren't so "different" after all... Well, we strongly believe this is a great group of people to work with and get behind.
Times are tough - we certainly understand that. Further, everyone has a limited amount of charity dollars they already give. The main qualifying factor in selecting COSI over other charities was the way they operate. Far too many charities operate inefficiently - often with just pennies on the dollar getting to the actual cause. This one is different. Staffed almost entirely with volunteers (medical staff, counselors, etc) the money gets where it is supposed to: the kids.
One Step Camp Main Site: http://www.onestepcamp.org/programs/summer-camp.php
Info Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN-0O0zCk8s
Andrea's Donation Page: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/andreawaite/