Our mission is to develop kids with character inside and out. We believe individuals with a foundation in character and volunteerism will make a better future for everyone.
We do this through our Inside Out Club: in schools, on the weekend, and at home (online).
Our Inside Out Club educates individuals starting at age three on the issues in our community, the charities addressing those issues, and provides a way for them to help. Through this education individuals learn empathy, compassion and gain a broader perspective of their community. They become ambassadors for local charities and are empowered through the knowledge and experiences gained through this program.
We create charitable experiences where individuals connect emotionally to a cause or organization and can relate that information to their own lives. This connection inspires them to get involved.
Learn more about how we educate kids, click on the Inside Out Club tab above. To see upcoming events, please click here.
I Support Community (ISC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Naperville, Illinois that I founded in 2012 to educate community members on local charities through video stories. I started ISC for two reasons: I really wanted my children to understand how fortunate they are and be engaged in the community, and I believed if I were inspired by a charity’s story, others would be too. We started by filming charities’ stories and housing them on our website thereby creating what I like to describe as a “Netflix” of nonprofits; a resource for education and inspiration that would empower others to get involved.
In 2013 we added monthly programming to reach adults in our community by hosting events focused on the issues facing the community, the charities addressing those issues and the ways people can help. Soon afterwards, in January of 2014 we added monthly events for children ages three to twelve, which we called our Kids Crew.
In March of 2015 we took the Kids Crew concept and launched it as an after school Charity Club at Elmwood Elementary School. Over 60 permission slips came in for just 25 spots offered to K-2nd graders. Clearly other parents felt as I did and were looking for this type of education for their children. The Club consisted of monthly meetings lasting an hour and fifteen minutes that taught the students about a local charities through activities, video and discussion.
The survey responses indicate that the first year was a big success: 100% of the students had fun, their parents would sign them up again and they all believe that learning empathy and compassion are critical for children’s development. The majority of those surveyed continued the conversation at home and said their child talked about what they learned days or weeks afterwards.
Given this response, we shifted our focus from video storytelling to educating children through our weekend program, Kids Crew and school program, Charity Club. In late 2016 we renamed both programs to the Inside Out Club to better capture the Club’s intent and focus of developing character inside and out.
The school program is now throughout DuPage County reaching hundreds of students. Our long term goal is to have this club in every elementary school in DuPage County that does not have a similar program.
If you’d like to become a part of our story, please check out the How You Can Help tab at the top of this page.
– Marion Ruthig, Founder
I love the entire concept of this club and what it promotes to children. My son has autism and things such as empathy and collaboration are hard concepts for him to understand. I was absolutely thrilled when he was presented with an opportunity to be a part of the Inside Out Club. He truly enjoyed it and was thrilled to tell me what he had learned after each session. I hope this program continues so he can participate again next year!
After my son’s first meeting, he told me they were doing “important things” for the community. I think this was the first time he felt like he had a real impact on his community. His view of his world and the world in general grew 3 sizes that day!
It helped my child realize that even as a child she can make a difference.