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December 06, 2023
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My Joyful Heart
What’s Up Wednesday
Updated On: Nov 334, 2022

What’s Up Wednesday

Over the last several days you received emails for Black Friday Deals, Shop Local Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Giving Tuesday.  Well, we didn’t want this message to get lost in the clutter in your inbox. 

This is a What’s Up Wednesday message where we will highlight What’s Up with charities we are raising funds for during our IBEW 21 Toy, Coat, Blanket and Toiletries Drive. Please donate on What’s Up Wednesday here.

Never 99

We are starting with an organization founded by IBEW 21 Chicago OEMC Police Dispatcher Minka Giles. Never 99 helps Chicago’s most vulnerable citizens. Their mission and goal is to provide those who are homeless with the essentials that many of us take for granted each day, so that they can focus on getting the additional help they need to combat their homelessness.

When asked why Minka named her organization Never 99, she said the idea stemmed from work. You see, “I’m a dispatcher for the Chicago Police and I can never send a 99 unit into a bad situation by him or herself, they always need an assist. And as a dispatcher, there are always two of us assigned to a zone, so we always have someone by our side. And that’s exactly what Never 99 means, that you’re never alone, that there’s always someone there, someone by your side.”

Never 99 was featured in a recent Chicago Sun-Times article that you can read here; learn more about Minka and her phenomenal efforts at

My Joyful Heart

Recent studies show that the number of homeless kids and kids living in poverty is on the rise in both the city of Chicago and the suburbs. My Joyful Heart provides assistance for this often overlooked group – children in need in our own backyard.

Dianne Carroll returned to work after the holidays in 2001. She listened to coworkers share stories about the gifts their families received and how they got more than they needed.  The thought of the two children she helped that year and that they probably needed more than she had given, weighed heavy on her heart; and she wanted to do more.  Today, they are helping almost 1,100 children and that number is growing. 

There are five gift events for the kids every year their gift bags include kids shoes, clothes, and coats as well as school supplies and daily essentials like soap and toothpaste. And what makes them unique?  No gift bags are alike children are individually shopped for from our inventory of new items.  Learn more about Diane and My Joyful Heart at

Let’s all do what we can to help those in the communities where we live and work by donating today on What’s Up Wednesday.

Donate Today!

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