Charity community

Welcome to the Giving Issue 2016

Thursday, December 15, 2016 HALFSTACK MAGAZINE

Welcome to our Annual Giving Issue readers!

I want to wish you all love and peace during this season of change and hardship. I also wanted to open this note with a sincere thank you for continuing to support our creative journey. This publication has grown tremendously over the years and in part it is because all of you out there. It has also grown because of the amazing team of people who tirelessly share their passions with all of you through their creative visions that they bring to life on these pages. I am humbled to work beside such a fierce groups of creatives.

These last few months, the election really put us through the ringer. This past year has been tumultuous in Chicago and beyond. We’ve witnessed war, we have seen bigotry and we have seen hate rear it’s ugly head. Despite the fact that we've seen some harsh things, we have also witnessed the true spirit of kindness that allows us to put faith back into humanity. So many people around the world are making an impact both large and small and many are continuing to speak out against injustice, fight for the helpless and speak for those who can’t.

As I personally reflect on this last year, I find that life has really been put into perspective for me. I found I have grown the most and found beauty in some of the hardest and most difficult times I have faced over the last 3 years. I have found that I am most grateful and fulfilled when I am doing things that don't just benefit me, but that benefit others. So, I continue to forge forward and in the spirit of charity/inspiration/empowerment for others, I bring to you my favorite issue each year: The Annual Giving Issue.

Throughout the pages of this release, you will find stories of inspiration, kindness and of communities making an impact to change the world around them. You will find stories of strength and survival. Our cover story was inspired by the theme of the Divine Feminine. This theme is a testament to the strength of women worldwide. A reminder that is needed more today than we could ever imagine. Our cover features the beautiful Destiny – she is the woman behind Kaiden’s Day – an event meant to pamper and give mothers who have lost a child to SIDs some much needed TLC. After enduring the loss of her infant Kaiden to SIDs, Destiny found solace in helping other mother’s who have faced the same heartbreak. Her story is a testament of strength and compassion.

You will also find stories of amazing organizations that are making a difference in the city of Chicago and beyond. Jen writes about the Streetwise – the Chicago magazine giving homeless men and women across the city a hand up not a hand out. She also spotlights the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Books for Women in Prison and The Power of Choice – an organization working to inspire youth to stay drug and alcohol free.

Jen Oquendo shares a moving feature on The Night Ministry and Hiral highlights an empowering organization working to increase opportunities for those with Albinism. Jennie Velasco highlights a local small business owned and launched by a Chicago based Latina: Juicy Luzy and Jen Gordon shares her intimate conversation with Bob Weir after his recent show at the House of Blues.

The Beauty team went all out this issue spotlighting great brands that give back and a full round up of seasonal must tries for both men and women. Our fashion team has a great rundown of seasonal trends and the always humorous WTF column from Senior Style Editor: Stella Quimby.

This issue is a culmination of all the things that inspire our team: creating beautiful work and making a difference. We hope it inspires you as you read through it. Remember, we can choose to be affected by the world or we can choose to affect the world. Think about what you can do today to make a positive impact on the world around you.

Thank you,

Jennifer M. Lezan-Veguilla

Editor in Chief

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