As 2022 comes to a close and Breakthrough Technologies' Community Action Network (BT CAN) celebrates its second year, it’s exciting to look back on all the amazing opportunities we had to make a positive impact and partner with organizations that are helping people throughout our community.
BT CAN brings together team leaders and BT staff who are passionate about making a difference and helps them find community service projects, donate their time and money, and network with other individuals who enjoy giving back and helping others. "Our company has been dedicated to community engagement for 15 years,” shares Doug Wilson, Managing Partner of BT. “To continue to build a philanthropic culture, we created a team who is committed to making a difference in the places we live and work every day.”
Our key focus is promoting K-12 education, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs, and initiatives for science and math in Chicagoland and use volunteerism, direct assistance, and micro-lending to accomplish our goals. We align these gifts with specific missions and campaigns that are education-based, as well as with local organizations that enrich our communities. Through our impact-focused giving, we aim to increase the reach of these organizations.
The non-profit organization, Donors Choose, offers an important avenue for finding opportunities to support teachers and students and donate directly to classroom projects. Using the website's filters, we can determine where science learning support is needed by region, topic, teacher, amount, and equity-based needs. So far this year, BT CAN has funded equipment to raise chickens, procure classroom pets, and purchase supplies for science dissections, gardening projects, and water filtration systems. One of our favorite aspects of giving is the letters we receive from happy teachers and students who update us on how their projects are going.
Here are BT CAN’s most memorable highlights of 2022:
In February, we met an extraordinary artist and activist, Tonika Lewis Johnson, who presented "The Folded Map Project" to us as part of our "Lunch and Learn" series. The Folded Map Project is an interactive, city-wide effort to create awareness of inequity and enact change in Englewood and beyond. The Folded Map project "visually investigates disparities among Chicago residents while bringing them together to have a conversation." After this fantastic presentation, many staff members were inspired to be a part of the project and BT CAN donated to Englewood Schools.
In June of this year, our company volunteered time to pack food at Feed My Starving Children, a non-profit organization that sends nutritional meals to impoverished families in other countries.
This summer BT CAN supported Girls4Science in their summer science programming that included science lab learning, dissections, and urban farming at Metro Farms. Girls4Science is a nonprofit organization dedicated to introducing girls in Chicago, ages 10-18 years old, to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) experiences. One of our staff members was able to visit Metro Farms with the middle school students to see the wonderful work of Treana Johnson who has created an aquaponics farm in Chicago that is a STEM learning center as well as a community garden.
This fall, staff members were invited to sign up for a Health and Charity Challenge of their own making for the month of September. If you completed your challenge, BT supported an organization of your choice in your name!
In October this year staff participated in a super fun Game Night Charity Raffle. "Tickets" purchased went to Feeding America
Direct support and winter clothing and supplies went to Connections for the Homeless.
Direct support for the Highland Park Community Foundation’s July 4th Highland Park Shooting Response Fund.
To help charitable giving make twice the impact, employees who donate money to non-profit organizations get a matching donation from BT.
We’re looking forward to another great year of supporting education in 2023 as we expand our BT Team to include new members, new ideas and new inspiration for creating positive change in our community.
Happy New Year!