Highland Park Neighbors Magazine Articles


Program Overview – Improving the Quality of Life in Our Community

For over 30 years, the Highland Park Community Foundation (HPCF) has provided annual grants to nonprofits and governmental agencies that support residents and enhance the vitality of the Highland Park and Highwood community. These grants focus on maintaining and enhancing programs for residents that pertain to education, human services, senior services, services for individuals with disabilities, and the creative & cultural arts.

Creative and Cultural Arts

Arts and culture are not luxuries, they are essential commodities with social, economic, and health benefits. They add vibrancy to our lives and community. We are proud of the fine arts, music, writing, and literature programs and resources available to Highland Park and Highwood residents. For our community to reap their full benefits, however, there needs to be equitable access to them and expanded opportunities for their growth.

HPCF is pleased to support and promote creativity at a grassroots level by investing in recurring festivals, events, and programs that promote arts and cultural participation, celebrate diversity, foster connections, and provide creative experiences for residents of all ages. These activities benefit individuals and families and build a better and stronger community.

HPCF Grantee: Bitter Jester Foundation for the Arts


Education brings dreams to life, creates lifelong learners, engages tomorrow’s leaders, and more. Early childhood education promises long-term and long-lasting benefits for individuals and society as a whole. Extracurricular activities improve academic performance, create self-esteem, promote the development of social and emotional growth, and provide essential life skills.

There are Highland Park and Highwood residents who cannot afford to send their young children to preschool or enroll their older students in after-school or weekend activities. There are parents who need after-school care for their children so they can work later hours to make ends meet. Our public schools and local nonprofits help, but even they require additional money to run the programs these families need and deserve. We are proud to make the impossible possible by providing critical gap funding for programs that nurture our community’s youngest learners and strengthen their families.

HPCF Grantee: JCYS George W. Lutz Family Center

Human Services

Organizations such as local food banks, legal aid clinics, mental health providers, agencies that assist with housing, and organizations that serve youth and older adults are the glue that holds communities together. Qualified professionals who focus on issues that promote positive functioning in a community are essential to creating and delivering these programs and services. While there are some very well-known and well-funded human service organizations, many of the organizations that deliver critically needed services for Highland Park and Highwood residents fly below the radar and struggle financially to meet their needs. At the same time, children and adults who receive human service assistance face significant health and safety risks if the organizations they turn to have insufficient funding and support.

Thanks to the generosity of our donors, HPCF is proud to provide funding for organizations and programs that provide critically needed human services for our residents.

HPCF Grantee: Big Brothers Big Sisters

Senior Services

Seniors deserve the opportunity to age in place, be safe in their homes, and enjoy life in our community. Being active and engaged also improves their social, emotional, and physical health. Yet, they often need help with daily routines, getting around town, participating in activities, and connecting with friends.

Finding the help they need, determining how to pay for it, solving legal issues, and discovering community support are also challenges for many seniors. These issues dissipate, however, when adequate and appropriate programming is accessible and affordable.

We are committed to ensuring positive outcomes and improving the overall quality of life for all residents of Highland Park and Highwood, and are proud to provide funding for organizations and programs that serve our senior residents.

HPCF Grantee: Southeast Lake County Faith in Action Volunteers

Services for Individuals with Disabilities

Individuals with disabilities and their families seek programs and services of all kinds. The opportunities they pursue promote mental, emotional, and physical health; independent living; and a better quality of life. All individuals living with disabilities deserve to live with dignity and have the supports they need to fully participate in our community.

Still, there are residents with disabilities who find themselves on wait lists for services and programs. Many have trouble accessing housing, transportation, respite, personal assistance, and day services – all of which are critical to maintaining a purposeful life and one in which they are contributing to our community and making it a great place to live. Inadequate funding for services and programs has devastating effects on these individuals and their families as well as the greater community.

HPCF supports organizations that work to make our community inclusive and accessible to all. Our grants in this area have expanded to include programs that provide art therapy, respite for parents, and independent living in our community.

HPCF Grantee: Center for Enriched Living