g2 Signature Programs
g2's ongoing and annual programs designed to ensure consistent support for a broad swath of communities in need
g2 Personal Care Closet
The g2 Personal Care Closet is available to teachers and social services professionals who have students or clients in need. These professionals are invited to shop the g2PCC, which is stocked with essentials including soap, lotion, razors, deodorant, hand sanitizer, bandages, lip balm and more.
Professionals can sign up using this form to shop for up to three families per week during set hours on most Wednesdays and Sundays.
The mission of the g2PCC is to ensure those in need have personal care products to live healthy, happy lives. It’s Gratitude Generation helping you help others.
One of our most basic needs—having enough to eat every day—is something we often take for granted. And yet many of our neighbors experience food insecurity on a regular basis.
To cultivate our own gratitude for the food we have, and to help those in our community who need support to feed their families, g2 focuses many of our service efforts on hunger relief. Whether it's making sandwiches and meals for people experiencing homelessness, helping to distribute groceries at mobile food pantries, or stocking shelves at a shelter, g2 volunteers are helping to fill a critical need while also gaining deeper appreciation for the food that sustains us all.
Sponsor-a-Student School Supplies
Shopping for brand-new school supplies can be fun, but it can be especially meaningful for kids to choose supplies for another child—one who wouldn't otherwise have a backpack full of supplies to start the school year with.
Sponsoring students means providing them with the opportunity to start the year ready for success, with new folders, paper, writing utensils and other tools and supplies every kid needs.
Each summer, g2 holds an assembly event (really more of a party!) where volunteers fill hundreds of backpacks with donated supplies. Sponsor and shop for a student, donate to this program or just come and help us fill backpacks!
4 Your Care Kits
If you had to choose between putting food on your table or buying soap and shampoo, what would you do? While food banks and pantries are helping prevent food insecurity in our communities, they typically can't provide non-food items, including the personal care supplies that people also need to live healthy, dignified lives.
This program enlists volunteers to assemble personal care kits full of items such as deodorant, soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, shampoo, hand sanitizer, bandages and more. The kits are then distributed at local food banks to individuals and families in need. Please check out the Donate Goods page to see which item g2 is collecting this month!
Bye Bye-Boredom Bags
Started during the pandemic, this program creates activity bags for kids in need who are home from school on breaks, for eLearning or in quarantine and need constructive activities to stay busy. The bags contain activity books, games, craft projects, puzzles and small toys. This is a great at-home activity for friends and families to assemble together, or for an event like a birthday party. Volunteers—especially kids—who create bags are invited to use their creativity and think about what kinds of items other children would like!
Creating Bye Bye-Boredom Bags helps us feel gratitude for the resources we have at home and for what we can give. Want to contribute? Visit the Donate Goods page.
Valentine's Meals for Veterans
After the November-December holiday giving season is over, veterans and military service members in need typically receive less support from local charities. That’s why g2 volunteers gather before Valentine’s Day to put together hundreds of meal packages to support the Midwest Veterans Closet in Waukegan.
Packages contain easy-to-open canned meals, hearty soups, fruits and vegetables; bottled drinks; Valentine's treats; and other optional essentials like warm socks. We also like to include handmade Valentine's cards made by our volunteers!
What better way to practice gratitude for the freedoms we enjoy than finding ways to support those who served our country? Visit the Donate Goods page for details.
Project Shop & Share
Can a family of four eat healthfully on $50 per week? That's the challenge behind this program, which asks families and other groups to grocery shop on a budget. With $50 to spend, groups have the mission of purchasing enough food to provide 84 nutritious meals (3 meals x 7 days x 4 people). The groceries that are purchased are then donated to a local food pantry.
It's not an easy task, and the experience can be transformative, especially for children, who learn important lessons about budgeting, nutrition and the cost of food. Check out our Volunteer page to sign up for the next session of Shop & Share. There's no cost to participate!
Originally called Gratitude Gifts, this was the first signature program launched by g2. Recognizing that while most children enjoy gifts and pampering on their birthdays, children in temporary living situations such as foster care and shelters can't count on this simple joy. A birthday celebration, even a simply one, enables each child to feel special and valued.
Birthday Bags include the means to make a cake along with celebratory plates, napkins and candles, a goodie bag and a handmade birthday card. A gift card is included to purchase perishable items needed to make the cake, too. Each summer, g2 assembles hundreds of bags, and we accept donations of certain items throughout the year.