THANKS to all who made our 2019 Compassion Foundation a big success!  We are so grateful to all of you, and due to your support, we’re able to continue helping those in need in the Fox Valley area with monetary grants.  

The 2019 Compassion Foundation Grant Applications will be taken beginning October 1, 2019 through November 30, 2019.  Please click on our “Grants” page to apply.

Click here to go to the grant application page. 

Together We Can Help

The Compassion Foundation was founded to help fund organizations who help those most in need. Consider donating to The Compassion Foundation in Aurora, IL and your contribution will go towards helping thousands of people worldwide. Check out our latest events and see the unique options that you have to donate.

Compassion Foundation

The Compassion Foundation provides grants to non-profit organizations that share our commitment to helping those in need. Located in Aurora, IL, the Compassion Foundation serves Kane, Kendall, and Western Dupage Counties. We rely on volunteers to help us raise support for grants as well as donations and sponsorships.

Since it’s inception in 1989, the Compassion Foundation has granted funds to over 500 agencies, impacting hundreds of thousands of people in our community.

Our grant application is currently closed until mid-October. For funding guidelines and additional information see our Grant Application page.

Make A Donation

The Compassion Foundation relies on the generosity of people like you. When you donate to Compassion, you support many organizations working to change lives in our community. If you would like to contribute, visit our Donate page for payment instructions or contact us by sending an email to carliskas@comcast.net. Click here for a list of our 2017 grantees. We are indeed grateful for your support.

Impacting Lives Through Compassion

Your support changes lives. Watch the video on the left to see the impact.

Click here for a list of our 2017 grantees.

The Compassion Foundation Story

There are thousands of charitable institutions spread across the USA. Each one of them has a unique story behind them. The Compassion Foundation is no different.

In the Fall of 1984, after spending 24 years working as a pastor, teacher, and administrator in Papua New Guinea, Fr. Joseph Muller, MSC, was asked to serve as Development Director for the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart whose national headquarters is at 305 S. Lake Street in Aurora, Illinois.

When he accepted the job, Fr. Muller set four goals for himself:

-To help people to understand what the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart were doing to make the world a better place.

-To involve as many lay men and women as possible in the ideals and goals of the MSC.

-To promote friendship with these people.

-To explore ways of fundraising to assist the work of the MSC.

In 1988 he approached Steve Andras, a longtime friend of the MSC, about the possibility of creating a golf benefit to generate interest in the MSC and funds to support their efforts. Steve said he would give it some thought. He did. He arranged a meeting with John Grember, who had handled public relations for the Hawaiian Open, and who was currently involved in organizing the first golf benefit for the Need foundation. John took time to outline in writing what was involved in managing a large benefit. The outline made it clear that a committee of enthusiastic and knowledgeable people had to be formed. Steve suggested we invite Al McCoy, Tim Brennan, Roy O’Neil, Vince Konen and Bob Grady. Fr. Muller invited Dr. Ed Garrity, Bob Sharpener and Maribeth DesJardine

In the initial meeting of December, 1988, and in the early meetings of 1989 members discussed the purpose of the event, as well as its management. Some felt that we would receive limited support if the public knew the profits were going to a catholic institution, for solely religious purposes. They felt that people in the area would participate, if they knew that the profits would be used to help the poor and needy of the Fox Valley – as well as other people around the world – irrespective of their creed.

The discussions inspired Fr. Muller to suggest the creation of a foundation that would be based on the ideals of Christian Compassion for all people. Members liked the idea and quickly brain-stormed on a name for their new babe. The Compassion Foundation was finally settled on as the best and clearest expression of what we stood for. A logo was also fashioned to convey our message at a glance.

After the by-laws were drawn up, an application was made by the State of Illinois and the federal government for recognition as a tax-exempt, non-profit organization. Temporary recognition was granted by both, for a five year trial period.

Dr. Ed Garrity was elected as the first president of the foundation, with Steve Andras as vice-president and Fr. Joe Muller as secretary/treasurer. All members agreed to serve for at least three years.

In conjunction with the work of putting the foundation on a solid legal basis members concentrated their efforts on making the first fundraiser, a golf benefit, a huge success. They determined that their annual event would only be held at one of the best courses in the greater Chicago area. Everything would be done first class for the participants who would be asked to contribute $300. Cantigny, a newly opened golf course on the McCormick estate had drawn rave reviews. So members approached the McCormick directors and asked to hold our benefit there. We were told that only 3 non-profit would be selected each year for admission. The Compassion Foundation was one of them. Members were elated and set about drawing up an attractive invitation, soliciting sponsors, patrons, and players. The event attracted 120 players. When it was over the foundation had a base of $27,500 to begin its charitable work.

During the review meeting of the event a move was made to look into the possibilities of holding the 1990 benefit at the new Arnold Palmer course in Naperville, White Eagle. Fr. Muller went to see the owner, Mr. Moser, and received a friendly welcome and assurances of help. Members were elated and began preparations to hold their benefit there. Lexus was contacted and they agreed to provide a donation and gifts for the chance to display their new models. The Compassion Foundation was also given the right to select two players to compete in a three day competition in Palm Springs: The Lexus Champions for Charity. 126 players came, competed, and enjoyed themselves. A representative from the United Way was invited to the banquet to receive the first check from The Compassion Foundation to help the relief efforts in the wake of the Plainfield tornado.

Members determined to give annual interest on the earnings to applicants approved by the Board Members of The Compassion Foundation. Distribution would take place annually in the November meeting, although a featured beneficiary would receive a prior grant during the golf banquet. Since 1990 eighteen applicants have received help from the foundation. Another 6-8 will also receive assistance in November of this year (1993). By that time the grants warded will total more than $23,000.

To continue building the capital base of TCF members decided to hold their golf benefits of 1991 and 1992 at White Eagle. They also created a new fundraiser with the help of Ana Grember and Irene Richardson. “Ports of Call,” a gala evening of dining, dancing, entertainment, and casino gambling was highlighted by the presence of the Bears’ Ron Rivera and Jim Morrissey. It proved to be a smashing success.

At the request of players the golf committee of TCF investigated the possibilities of holding their 1993 benefit at a different course. Since Orchard Valley was nominated as one of the finest courses to be built during 1993 members decided to hold their annual event there. As usual, it proved to be a success. Although the field was smaller than anticipated, sponsors and donors proved to be outstanding in their generosity, a tribute to their belief and confidence in the foundation.

As The Compassion Foundation moves into the future, its ideal of offering help based on need, not creed, continues to motive its members and the people they contact. TCF serves as another sterling example of what can be done when noble ideals are shared, believed in and acted up. Members started with nothing but these ideals and have built up a foundation which promises to endure and positively affect the lives on many people.

Fr. Joseph T. Muller, MSC

Founder of The Compassion Foundation