My heart strings are pulled easily, so I couldn't resist headlining the growing list of innovative start-up companies in Chicago that are doing well by doing good.
Though big companies print regular volumes touting their social responsibilities, I find that young people seem to intuitively leverage technology to do good at the grass-roots level.
** Sleevecandy , an Evanston-based start-up, aggregates thousands of pre-owned T-shirts from Salvation Army stores and lets bargain hunters sort them by collector, vintage or accidentally ironic status categories.
For anyone like me who has lived in the Lake View neighborhood, a major fashion statement among the blue-haired, pierced-nose set comes from a great surplus or second-hand store. I secretly wish I could be so daring.
Sleevecandy got its start when four T-shirt enthusiasts -- then-MBA students at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management -- decided they wanted to help the Salvation Army get more profit from its inventory. Sleevecandy donates 30 percent of each sale to the Salvation Army's rehabilitation programs.
** The Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce has expanded its disability-awareness training under the new name, Disabilityworks Training Institute. The institute now has two full-time staff members, in addition to four other staff people who continue to lead periodic training sessions.
The lead trainer is Joe Chiappetta, author of "The Back Pain Avenger," a non-medicated memoir of his rehabilitation from a lifetime of chronic back pain. Chiappetta helped found and served as statewide coordinator of the EmployAlliance network of job developers. He serves on Chicago's Mayoral Task Force on the Employment of People with Disabilities and facilitates the Workforce Developer Network in Chicago.
One in five Americans has a disability, and their unemployment rates are far higher than the national average.
Welcome to Digital Second City Scoops, my new blog that will provide insights into innovation in Chicago, and accompany my renamed, 11-year-old technology column, Digital Second City Scene.
Besides sharing comments, I welcome your news and insights -- consider it the Sun-Times' version of innovation news crowdsourcing.