UPDATE on award recipient - Dion's chicago dream

Dream Team Partners,

“Uncle said I’ll never sell a million records; I sold a million records like a million times.” Taking inspiration from this Jay-Z lyric, Dion’s Chicago Dream has defied the odds. When we started, purchasing, packing, and delivering a million pounds of fresh produce seemed a distant dream. Yet, here we are, commemorating the day we achieved just that, thanks to partners like you.

Your unwavering support has been pivotal in meeting and exceeding our goals. With your help, we’ve managed to surprise the Thompson household and ignite a transformation towards healthier, self-sustaining communities. The attached photos from Dream Day are a testimony to our collective impact. I’ll send over more photos and videos next week. 

Here’s some coverage from today:
Dream Day Op-Ed:
Our Chief Dream also penned a thoughtful Op-Ed that was published today that touches on lessons learned from this journey to 1,000,000lbs.

There will be many new ways to engage with Dion’s Chicago Dream in the coming months. Keep your eyes out for more emails from me. We look forward to your continued partnership to dig deeper and expand our reach. Let’s deliver a million pounds “like a million times” more together.

Thank you for being a Dreamer & a trusted partner,

Robert Emmons Jr. 
Chief Partnership Officer 🔗
Dion’s Chicago Dream
Cell: 773-750-2514



Please read about the four organizations receiving Fall Grants this year.
Carbon180 is a new breed of climate NGO dedicated to bringing together the people, resources, and vision to realize a carbon-removing world. Our mission and vision guide the work we do and the world we aim to create.

At GRID Alternatives, we believe that a rapid, equitable transition to a world powered by renewable energy needs to benefit everyone. We are working across the United States and internationally to build community-powered solutions to advance economic and environmental justice through renewable energy. 

GRID Alternatives is 501(c)(3) certified non-profit organization based in Oakland, California, with eight affiliate offices serving all of California, Colorado, Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland and Delaware. We also have a national Tribal Program, and an International Program serving Nicaragua, Nepal and Mexico.

ITDP is a global organization at the forefront of innovation, using technical expertise, direct advocacy, and policy guidance to mitigate the impacts of climate change, improve air quality, and support prosperous, sustainable, and equitable cities. We have worked with over 100 cities in more than 40 nations to design and implement transport and urban development systems and policy solutions that make cities more viable, fair, and livable.

The Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP) is a public interest nonprofit organization advancing energy efficiency, beneficial electrification, and clean transportation in Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming.

In collaboration with utilities, state and local governments, environmental and community groups, businesses, national laboratories, federal agencies, and other energy experts, SWEEP promotes programs, policies, and funding to help mitigate climate change and its impacts, lend support to underserved and disadvantaged communities, and save people money on energy bills and transportation costs.


  Dion’s Chicago Dream was among the three organizations awarded an unrestricted grant by our Foundation on May 20, 2023 as part of our new GM process focused on Food Insecurity. Mr. Dion Dawson just shared an article he wrote that was published in “The Chronicle of Philanthropy.” It describes what his organization is doing to address needs within its community and how the process should be considered by charitable organizations.


NEW GRANT MAKING PROCESS award recipient - Dion's chicago dream

UKRAINE RESPONSE award receipient update

World Central Kitchen (WCK) was one of the organizations that received funding from the Foundation at the outbreak of the war in Ukraine. You can read more about them if you scroll down on this page. WCK recently shared this video and we wanted to pass it along to you as evidence of what our grant recipients do with our funds.



award recipient UPDATE

We want to highlight three organizations that have had a meaningful impact on the individuals who are the beneficiaries of their good works.


Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was awarded a grant by the Foundation in the Spring of 2021 in support of their Adolescent Protection Collaborative (APC) – Medical Home for Sex Trafficked Youth program.  In their recent accountability report submission, the APC noted that they met or exceeded all their goals over the past 16 months of operations. In addition, the report confirmed that they received about 40 referrals and totaled 94 in-person visits and over 350 telephone contacts and presented its preliminary data at 2 medical conferences and in a recently recorded episode of CHOP’s Primary Care Perspectives podcast.


We also got a 2022 Year End Update from the RYR-1 Foundation, for whom a grant was awarded in the Fall of 2019. Its 2022 Update reflected that the impact of the grant has been to continue the critical support of individuals affected by RYR-1-related neuromuscular diseases. The OEMFFF grant resulted in the production of an informative handbook titled “Clinical Care Guidelines: What Patients & Families Need to Know about RYR-1-Related Diseases” for patients and families affected by RYR-1-related diseases.


Most recently, we received an update from TGTHR regarding the success that the organization has experienced since our grant in the Fall of 2020. TGTHR reports that they assisted 284 young people, including providing housing for 82, serving 26,245 meals to and assisting 186 with education/employment opportunities, and facilitating 1,001 counseling sessions for those young people in need.


Please navigate to the OEMFF website Members Area / Documents / Accountability Reports to read these updates and the CHOP Accountability Report as well as all the Accountability Reports we received in 2022


Our Foundation is proud to have supported the brave people of Ukarine by contributing to three wonderful organizations who brought needed resources directly to the field. Please read these brief summaries of their stories. You can click on the logo to visit each organization’s website.

World Central Kitchen

Founded in 2010, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is first to
frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community
crises. WCK has served more than 100 million fresh meals to people impacted by
natural disasters and other crises around the world.

In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which has
caused a food and humanitarian disaster by forcing one-third of Ukraine’s
population to leave their homes and stay in formal or makeshift shelters within
Ukraine and bordering countries, without access to fresh food, WCK began
serving hot meals along the Poland/Ukraine border within hours of the initial
invasion. Since then, WCK’s efforts have scaled rapidly and now centers on four

Supporting refugees inside and outside Ukraine;
WCK has set up a hub in Lviv and has expanded to 500+ cities and towns.

Providing food relief in recently liberated
towns through meals and food kits; WCK works with local restaurants, caterers
and food trucks to provide fresh meals to shelters, and transportation hubs.
They have also set up a kitchen in Przemysl to prepare up to 10,000 meals each

Distributing food products and produce to areas
under Russian attack to alleviate starvation and agribusiness supply chain
disruptions; WCK is supporting communities under bombardment by flooding the
area, particularly the area adjacent to the Russian-controlled Donbas region,
with food products and produce.

Supporting Ukraine’s crippled food systems; since
Ukraine is one of the biggest producers of wheat, corn and sunflower oil, farms
in need of seed purchasing support are being identified to get seeds into the
hands of farmers.

WCK has spent approximately $240 million in response to the
humanitarian crisis in and around Ukraine, and anticipates having a long-term
presence to support Ukraine, with their response adapting as the conflict and
humanitarian needs shift.

To access their website, Click Here.

International Rescue Committee

Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people affected by humanitarian crises to survive, recover and rebuild their lives. They deliver lasting impact by providing health care, helping children learn, and empowering communities to become self-reliant, always seeking to address the inequalities facing women and girls.

Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, IRC staff were on the ground in Poland working with partners to monitor the situation and identify where they could be most effective. They have now scaled their efforts to match the scale of the crisis, providing aid directly and with partners. For example, the IRC is working with the Polish Red Cross to provide sleeping bags, blankets, folding beds and other supplies; they have also helped the Red Cross to purchase medical equipment, first aid kits, stretchers, emergency blankets and bandages, for teams operating at refugee centers in Ukraine and along its border.

Five other ways IRC is helping people impacted by the war in Ukraine include:

·       Providing direct cash payments to Ukrainians. Giving cash gives people the opportunity to define and meet their needs themselves, as well as supporting the local economy.

·       According to the United Nations, two-thirds of children in Ukraine have been displaced from their homes. IRC supports children with its Safe Healing and Learning Spaces approach that has been rolled out in refugee shelters; it is intended to provide a caring and predictable environment where children can go during the day.

·       Providing mental health support. With IRC support, in-person and remote support by trained psychologists is being provided to refugees in Poland who are in vital need of trauma counseling.

·       Protecting women and girls by training staff members from partner organizations to assist in protection and safeguarding. Since the majority of those fleeing Ukraine are women and children, there is the risk of human trafficking, and other forms of physical violence.

·       Distributing critical information by working with partners to provide information and evacuation assistance to people fleeing Ukraine, as well as providing information on how to access legal aid, housing and employment assistance

IRC is consistently awarded top marks by charity watchdog groups for its efficient use of donor contributions and the effectiveness of their work.

To access their website, Click Here.



Selfreliance Foundation

Founded in 2005, The Selfreliance Foundation actively supports Ukrainian community organizations, and has distributed over $5.9M to churches, community and cultural organizations, museums, schools, youth organizations and the like. The Selfreliance Foundation Ukraine Relief Fund was established by Ukrainian immigrants in the heart of Chicago’s Ukrainian Village in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine; the purpose of the Fund is to channel money into vetted, trustworthy 501c3 groups that are helping Ukraine on multiple fronts, all with humanitarian purposes (including medical and food supplies in Ukraine, refugee assistance, etc.).

Since the Ukraine crisis has begun, the Selfreliance Foundation has distributed donations to five organizations:

·       Ukrainian Medical Association of North America which works to collect and ship medical supplies to Ukraine.

·       Revived Soldiers Ukraine whose mission is to provide aid to the people of Ukraine and assist injured soldiers

·       the United Ukrainian American Relief Committee that focuses to provide vital medical supplies, shelter and food to those displaced by war

·       Help Razom, a volunteer organization founded in Chicago whose goal is to provide maximum support with humanitarian aid to Ukrainians in need

·       UCARE, Inc (Ukrainian Children’s Aid and Relief Effort, Inc) whose efforts center on providing food, clothing and necessities to Ukrainian children.

To access their website, Click Here.

Please Note:

The Oscar & Elsa Mayer Family Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or requests for funding.