How are the children? How are the families?

The truth is, our families are struggling. Things were tough before the pandemic, but now, more than ever, things are more complicated and challenging.

However, Mike Shaver, Children’s Home & Aid CEO recently noted, “We are seeing tremendous resilience, strength and hope among the children and families we serve and outstanding generosity from our community. It is incredibly inspiring for all of us.”

Here are three stories to illustrate his point:

First Things First: Helping our families get the most critical and immediate needs.

The Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund is a collaboration between the United Way of Illinois, the Alliance of Illinois Community Foundations, and the Office of the Governor. We were honored to receive a $350,000 grant from this fund – dollars that allow us to directly support those hardest hit by the pandemic.

These funds have provided thousands of families with essential needs such as diapers, infant formula, cleaning supplies, groceries, and transportation assistance. The grant also helped bridge the technology gap, providing tablets, cellphones and hot spots to families particularly in rural communities to allow them to stay connected to their families, schools, and have access to virtual support.

I Can Help Too!

Keeping Teens Safe, Engaged and Fed

Despite the bad news that often comes from Englewood – a Chicago community stricken with increasing crime and poverty – every day we see the hope and determination of the youth and families we serve. Children’s Home & Aid staff and volunteers make this a reality as do long-time friends and supporters like Carol Bernick who do #WhateverItTakes to support our families. We are grateful to Carol for her generous donation that provided meals to youth participating in our violence prevention programs.

With Carol’s help, we partnered with a local restaurant, Dan’s Soul Food & Café, to offer lunch to teens. The popular “Six Dolla Holla” menu gives our teens a hot meal, while also supporting an important neighborhood restaurant.

A Spring Without Live Events

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we, were forced to cancel our in-person events – including the Champions for Children luncheon, Woman’s Board spring luncheon and Bloomington area’s “For the Love of Children” luncheon. These events generate around $700,000 for Children’s Home & Aid, providing funds critical for creating healthy, thriving individuals and families.

But our generous donors came through in a big way — Our Woman’s Board Spring Luncheon converted to a virtual campaign, hitting its goal within two weeks. The Bloomington luncheon also went virtual, and we are halfway to reaching that goal.

Our annual Champions for Children luncheon, now moved to a daylong digital day of gratitude on June 11, has shown us the resilience of our generous supporters have stood by our side doing #WhateverItTakes to continue helping our children and families thrive during these challenging times. Corporate supporters including CDW, ITW, Exelon, BMO Harris Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Discover, Wintrust and CTS Impact – just to name a few – have not wavered in their support of our work. Similarly, our dedicated Trustees continue to give of their time and resources.

Children’s Home & Aid supports 30,000 children and families across Illinois and we rely heavily on the generosity of our community. We are beyond grateful for all the emergency response grants from the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund, the United Way of Rock River Valley, and the DeKalb County Community Foundation. These and several others have helped us to meet the most critical and increasing needs of our families.

Join us on June 11 for our “Day of Gratitude” – a daylong celebration and recognition of the many people and partners who are doing #WhateverItTakes to help our children and families thrive! To learn more visit: