The Lincoln Foundation: A Labor of Love

The Lincoln Foundation began as a heartfelt gesture of one man tryng to help those less fortunate than himself. In 1985, Chicagoan Lowell Myers got the idea of supplying materials to hearing-impaired school children. Deaf from birth, Myers was for many years the nationís only hearing-impaired attorney. With both a hearing-impaired wife and daughter, Myers understood very well that the special needs of deaf children frequently exceeded available resources. Initially, schools were contacted to see what the children needed. Items such as comic books and baseball cards were identified, and businesses were asked to contribute these gifts. Donors responded positively, and so did the children.


But it was Myerís son, Ben, who took his fatherís good-will gesture and created The Lincoln Foundation. At first, donations were stored in a basement, and they gradually expanded to include a wide array of items such as office supplies, housewares, building materials and clothing. In 1994, the mission of the organization was expanded to serve all non-profit organizations. According to Ben Myers, "The boys clubs started calling and needed help. We had accumulated a large and diverse inventory by that time, and decided there was a larger pool of people out there who needed what we had." Currently, nearly 60,000 square feet of space houses the large Lincoln Foundation inventory.

And the rest, as they say, is history.






Introducing the Lincoln Foundation. . .

The Lincoln Foundation provides a wide array of goods at a nominal cost to non-profit organizations. A non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, the Foundation is the only organization of its kind in the Chicago area. With nearly 60,000 square feet of warehouse space filled with merchandise ranging from furniture to fan belts, the Foundation benefits both small and large non-profit groups. Customers can walk in and obtain large quantities of an item, or just a handful.


Thanks to the generous donations of numerous major corporations, the Foundation distributes its wares at a

70-90 percent discount over normal retail prices. Located at 6525 N. Clark in Chicago, the Lincoln Foundation is open for business Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. through 5 p.m.


How the Foundation Functions

The Lincoln Foundationís sole purpose is the distribution of donated goods and services to non-profit organizations. The Foundation earns no profit from its business, and much of its work is done by volunteers. Earnings from the distribution of merchandise are used to cover the cost of staff fees, rent, utilities and transportation of the merchandise.


30-Day Return Policy

All merchandise obtained from the Lincoln Foundation can be returned for a full money refund within 30 days, provided the item is in the same condition as when it was acquired.

The Lincoln Foundation Advantage

The Lincoln Foundation makes giving easy. We maintain our own fleet of trucks, which enables us to provide extremely fast service to all donors within a two hour drive from Chicago. From the time you call us with your donation, we guarantee pick-up from your dock within three days. Because our trucks are dedicated to this purpose, you wonít have to deal with unpredictable or delayed pick-ups. It also means you can better plan your schedule and maintain precious dock space.


Tax Incentives for In-Kind Giving

Donations to the Lincoln Foundation are tax deductible as allowed by the Federal Tax Code. In addition, section 170(e)(3) permits manufacturers of products to take a total tax deduction equal to the cost of inventory plus half the difference between cost and fair market value, not to exceed twice the cost. Hereís an example of how this works: If you donate an item to the Lincoln Foundation that costs your company $1 to make and that normally sells for $2, you can deduct a total of up to $1.50 on your companyís tax return.

Be sure to contact your tax adviser for details on how this works for your company.

Extending the Mission of GivingÖ

The Future

The Lincoln Foundation recently has acquired a building for warehouse and office use. This 23,000 sq. ft. facility allows the foundation to continue its current distribution level while planning for future growth.


The Lincoln Foundation Web Initiative

In addition to its traditional role as a low-cost supplier for Chicago-area non-profit organizations, Foundation management hopes to expand its mission to include a free service to Chicagoland arts and community organizations. This will include the coordination of Internet technical expertise, web site development and maintenance.

Gifts from Santa

Every year the employees, directors and volunteers of the Lincoln Foundation participate with the Chicago section of the U.S. Postal Service to make Christmas a little nicer for local children. Letters mailed to "Santa - North Pole" are collected by the central post office and delivered to the Lincoln Foundation, where staff and volunteers help Santa by answering his mail with various gifts and toys.


How Did the Lincoln Foundation Get Its Name?

Abraham Lincoln is well-known for many humanitarian initiatives during his presidency. Perhaps lesser known is the fact that he signed a bill authorizing the first college for the deaf. Galluadet College in Washington D.C. now functions exclusively for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. More than any organization, this federally-supported university has made ground-breaking contributions to the deaf community. Whether directly through attendance or indirectly through research innovations emanating from the school, hearing-impaired people have benefited richly from Galluadet.



Lincoln Foundation Donors

Bearse Fabric Company


American Greetings

Armor-All Home Care


Brill Brothers Clothing Co.

Clothes Time


Dutch Boy Paints

Fellows Computerware

General Electric

Globe Computer Supply

Hackengers Hardware Company




Kodak Corporation

Lenzip Zipper Company

McNeil Pharmaceutical Corporation


National Lambert Corporation

Old Mill Woodworking

Olympic Paint & Stain

One Price Clothing

Owens Corning

Reitters Drapery Company


Sander Woodworking Company

Steiner Glove Company

The Sara Lee Company

Sears Roebuck and Company


Specialty Wire and Manufacturing, Inc.

Steel Works


The Disney Company

The Gillette Company

United Coatings

United Stationers

Viking Office Supply

Wicker World


Zellerbach Corporation


Lincoln Foundation Customers

ADK Party
AidsCare, Inc.
Alberta McCain Extension
Alliance of Logan Square
Arlington Heights Senior Center
Arthur Avenue Neighborhood
Association of Jewish Blind of Chicago
Baptist Ministers' Conference
Better Boy's Foundation
Black on Black - Love Culture
Blackhawk Extension
Boone County Easter Seal Center
Boy Scouts of America
Boys & Girls Club of Chicago
Brahma Kumaris World Spirit
Casa Aztlan Social Services
Catholic Charities of Greater Chicago
Center for New Television
Chabad House
Chicago Actors' Ensemble
Chicago Artists' Coalition
Chicago Chamber Musicians
Chicago Chamber Orchestra
Chicago Child Care Society
Chicago Christian Industrial Society
Chicago Cultural Center
Chicago State University Foundation
Chicago Teachers' Union
ChicagoLand Discussion Group
Children's Memorial Medical Center
Children's Support Systems
Circle Family Care, Inc.
Circle Family Service
City of Hope
Clemente High School
Columbus Maryville 63
Convent of the Holy Spirit
Cornerstone Services, Inc.
Cook County Hospital
CPS Curriculum Department
Creative Flair Communications
Debra's Place
Department of Streets and Sanitation
Diane's Community Shelter
Diane's Shelter
Dirksen Middly School
Dirksen PTA
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School
DuPage Easter Seal Treatment Center
Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center
Easter Seal Society of Metropolitan Chicago

Ecumenical Affairs Institute
El Seudero de Dios
Elaine Better Foundation
Erie Community Center
European American Association
Evanston YMCA
Fort Smith Training Center
Foundation Housing Corporation
Foundation of Crippled Children
Freeman Fashion Academy
Gage Park High School
Gail High School
Gallery 37
General Robert E. Wood Club
George M. Eisenberg Club
Girl Scouts of Chicago
Good News Church
Guardian Angels of Chicago
Habitat Upper Midwest
Hebrew Theological College
Helping Hand
Henry County Association
Henry Horner Club
High Ridge YMCA
Iglesia De Cristo Misioner
Illinois Environmental Council
Infant Welfare Society
Illinois State Historical Society
Jayne Shover Easter Seal Foundation
Jewish Family Services
Jimmy Swaggert Ministry
John L. Yancey Club
Joseph Academy
Julia Lathrop Club
Kankakee County Youth Club
Kid's Kastle
Knowledge of Economics Emporium
L.I.F.E. Christian Fellows
Lake County Easter Seal Society
Lamb's Farm
LaSalle County Easter Seal Society
Lawndale Extension
Lee County Easter Seal Commission
Leonas-Kriaucelionas Foundation
Leone Park Gymnastics C.P.
Lithuanian World Center
Little Village Club
Logan Square Club
Louis Valentine Club
Lubavitch Chabad
Make-A-Wish Foundation
Margaret Cooper Extension
Marshall Suare Club
Maryville Academy
Medical Research Jr. Board Foundation
NCJD Chicago Convention Council
Neighborhood Housing Services
Ner Tamid Corporation
Ner Tamid Congregation Israel
North Suburban Peace Initiative
North Shore Harmonizers
Oak Park Clinic Infant Welfare Society
Opera San Benedetto
Orchard Village
Pace Institute
People's Church of God
Philadelphia Church
Queen of Angels Church
Rascher Park
Redmoon Theatre
Renaissance Adult Day Care
Robert R. McCormick Club
Robert Taylor Club
Sarah's Circle
Schreiber Park
Schwab Rehabilitation Hospital
SEDA-Women, Infant & Children
South Shore Baptist Church
South Suburban PADS
St. Ignatius Church
St. Ita School
St. Sylvester Church
Sunshine Activity Center
Test Positive Aware Network
The Arts Matter Foundation
The Blues Before Sunrise
The Center of Concern
The Chicago Foundation on Aging
The Children's Place Association
The Civic Federation
The Fox Nation
The Joseph Campbell Foundation
The Meeting Management Society
The Night Ministry
The Tabernacle Food Bank
The Time is Now
Tilden School
Travelers & Immigrants Aid
United Way of Chicago
U. of Illinois Scholarship Foundation
Uptown Habitat for Humanity
Urban Gateways
War Against Racial Division
WCYC Public Radio
West Side Ministers' Conference
Westside Baptist Church
Westside Baptist Ministers' Conference
Westside Planning and Devlpt. Commission
Windows of Opportunity
Women's American Organization
Women's Self-Employment Program
YMCA Metro Chicago
YMCA of Evanston
YMCA Trailblazers
YMCA Trailblazers (Oak Lawn)
YMCA Trailmates


Lincoln Foundation Board of Directors

Ben Myers, President, Lincoln Foundation

Principal, Myers & Associates Law Firm

Chicago, Illinois

Doreen Bonaldi

Chicago, Illinois

Joyce Wankovsky

Skokie, Illinois