Custom Cares Charities: Grants for Chicago

OVERVIEW: Custom Cares Charities is the funding entity of Chicago’s Perry Mandera and his trucking business, Custom Companies. Top funding interests are children and youth, youth sports, and veterans.

FUNDING AREAS: Underserved children and youth, veterans, education, youth sports, health

IP TAKE:  Mandera is a fascinating character with diverse interests, and a good name to know around Chicago. Basic needs for children are always on CCC’s radar.

PROFILE: Custom Cares Charities (CCC) is the charitable vehicle of Chicago businessman and philanthropist Perry Mandera, a pioneer in the transportation industry who established his own transportation company at the age of 23 and founded Custom Companies in Northlake, Illinois. Mandera graduated from a Chicago public high school, joined the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves, and served as the Republican Ward Committeeman for the 26th Ward in Chicago. Today, his company's annual sales exceed $200 million. Grantmaking addresses underserved children and youth, veterans, education, youth sports, and health.

CCC primarily supports underprivileged children and youth. Veterans, prevention and cures for cancer, and youth sports are also interests. Personally and through CCC, Mandera has supported the Walter and Connie Payton Foundation and the Jesse White Tumblers through board membership and donations. He has provided transportation and donations to deliver thousands of winter coats to needy children in Chicagoland and has supported victims of natural disasters in Illinois, the Gulf Coast, and California. CCC also supports youth sports teams and has sponsored over 100 of them in the Chicago area and throughout Illinois. Mandera himself has coached youth teams for basketball, football, and baseball. He has also supported and managed boxing competitors that have competed in the Olympics. CCC and Mandera regularly support Hiring Our Heroes and Marines for Life.

CCC grants tend to range from $500 to $9,000. Local groups that have seen CCC’s support include the Illinois State Crime Commission, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, the University of Chicago Medical Center, and Toys for Tots. View a list of past grantees on the funder’s website. Many of Mandera’s philanthropic pursuits continue to be centered on Chicago, the surrounding suburbs, and elsewhere in Illinois. The months around Thanksgiving and Christmas are especially popular times for CCC grant distributions. As a 501(c)(3) corporation, CCC accepts donations from the public.

The CCC website does not provide grantseekers application forms, deadlines, or guidelines. It is unclear whether the funder accepts unsolicited grant requests. The staff contact information to get in touch with this funder is and 708-338-5272.


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