2020 January Impacts

Basic Human Needs


$5000 was donated to Northern Illinois Food Bank, a non-profit organization with a goal of solving hunger in a 13-county service area. As a result of NIFB’s year-end matching campaign, the Foundation’s donation translates into $80,000 worth of groceries for the 1 in 6 people who struggle with hunger in Illinois. The Foundation is a frequent supporter of NIFB’s work.

We also launched our NEW Volunteer Day Program by serving at NIFB on January 16. Fifteen volunteers joined together to pack and sort 7075 pounds of food providing 5895 meals for hungry neighbors!

Founded in 1985, DuPage Pads is the largest provider of interim and permanent housing (in DuPage County). When coupled with housing, Pads’ supportive services and employment programs, Pads helps individuals work toward becoming self-sufficient. As a longtime supporter of Pads (it received the first donation from the FT Cares Foundation five years ago), the Foundation donated $5000 to help end homelessness in DuPage County.

BEDS Plus Care has grown into a leader in reducing and ending homelessness throughout Southwest Suburban Cook County through partnerships with other service providers, public and private financial support, and strategic addition of evidence-based practices to house, stabilize and foster independence for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.  A donation of $1010 was made to BEDS Plus Care as part of their “Soup and Bread Event.”

The mission of The GardenWorks Project is to promote organic suburban agriculture to improve the well-being of our community, the environment, and those facing food insecurity. We empower, educate, and support all food growers in their efforts to nourish their families and neighbors in need. The Foundation was proud to renew our partnership with GardenWorks with a donation of $5000.

DuPage Habitat for Humanity offers families a variety of housing solutions. Through homeownership, home repair, and our Neighborhood Revitalization programs, DuPage Habitat partners with families to help build or improve a place they can call home and find the stability and security they need for a better future. The Foundation became a 2020 “Golden Hammer” sponsor with a donation of $5000. As part of that sponsorship, First Trust employees will be given the opportunity to participate in a Habitat build scheduled for May 2020.



$5000 was donated to Austin’s Central Texas Food Bank, the largest hunger relief organization in Central Texas and serving 21 counties. The donation will provide 20,000 meals to neighbors in need. The Foundation is also a frequent supporter of CTFB.

As part of our on-going support to help lift up Austin residents off the streets, a $10,000 donation was made to Mobile Loaves & Fishes for the Community First! Village. The Village is a 51-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for the disabled, chronically homeless in Central Texas. Since 2005, this transformative residential program has been a staple of Mobile Loaves & Fishes and has become the largest community-based model in the country lifting homeless men and women up off the streets into community and home.

Founded in Austin in 2000, Saint Louise House is a grassroots organization which provides transitional housing for the community’s women-led homeless families. A donation of $5000 was made by the Foundation in support of renovations and improvements to Saint Louise House’s housing locations. The Foundation continues to support the work of this organization which is making a difference in the lives of women and children.


Australia has suffered from fires since September 2019. However, more than 130 fires have occurred since December 20, 2019 alone. To date, 15 million acres have been destroyed. The country has deployed 3,000 Army reservists — along with their largest naval vessel — to help evacuate residents from the coast. The U.S. and Canada have also sent firefighting teams to Australia to aid in efforts. To put the situation into perspective, Australia's fires are seven times larger than the ones California experienced in 2017. Metropolitan areas cities such as Sydney and Canberra have set record temperatures recently, reaching as high as 120 degrees. Once-blue skies are being replaced with smoke and ash.

The Foundation made a donation of $3000 in support of the firefighting efforts of Convoy of Hope. Convoy of Hope was founded in 1994 by the Donaldson family. Their inspiration for starting the organization can be traced back to the many people who helped their family after their father, Harold, was killed by a drunk driver in 1969. Today, more than 115 million people have been served throughout the world by Convoy of Hope. Convoy of Hope works through churches, businesses, government agencies, and other nonprofits to provide help and hope to those who are impoverished, hungry, and hurting.