Our Story, Mission & Vision

Our Story

On July 11, 2012, I attended a networking breakfast that would change my life. The presenters showed a video of the Hesed House that was so heartfelt it brought tears to my eyes. I knew if people could see that video, they would be inspired to get involved. That is when the idea for I Support Community came to me. I imaged a “Netflix” of nonprofits: a place where you could emotionally connect to local charities through video and learn how to get involved.

A month later I left my full time job as a CPA and founded I Support Community. I want my children to grow up with the “human” skills necessary to thrive in their schools, lives and jobs. Giving back and having a broad perspective of the world is a big piece of that.

We started by filming charities’ stories and housing them on our website, creating a resource for education and inspiration that would empower others to build character through volunteering. In January 2014, we added monthly programming on the weekend to connect kids and families to local causes. The events focused on the issues facing the community, the charities addressing those issues and the ways the children could help.

In 2015, we took our weekend concept and piloted it at Elmwood Elementary School in Naperville, IL, and had an incredible response. Over 65 permission slips came back for 25 spots in the program for K-2nd graders. Clearly other parents felt the same I did and wanted their kids to grow up to be good people who care for others. The school program grew rapidly, and by early 2018, our board knew that empowering kids through character and volunteerism needed to be our sole focus. It was at that time that we rebranded to become Inside Out Club DuPage. Since that time we’ve continued to engage more kids and families. We’ve been privileged to serve thousands of children a year. 

Marion Ruthig

Founder & Executive Director


Our Mission is to empower kids to live each day with good character

We empower kids ages 3-12 to live life with good character (“inside”) – being brave enough to ask questions, showing grit, resilience and determination, allowing others to belong unconditionally, embracing their authentic selves, choosing kindness and more – and to care for themselves, others, animals and the planet (“outside”). Inside Out Club programs are unique, combining character education (social and emotional learning – SEL) with service learning and community engagement. Our programs are offered at schools, on weekends, online and through local partnerships to thousands of children a year.  Will you join us?

Our Vision is that each child we serve gives back and makes a positive impact on the world around them