“As our success continues, it is really exciting to see our support grow from $150,000 to $200,000 this year,” said Wendy Serrinio, president of the board of the North Shore Exchange. “lt is inspiring to support the critical work these 23 organizations are doing on the behalf of children and families with the greatest need.”
The following recipients in the categories of disabilities, domestic violence, education, elderly, mental health, homelessness, hunger, legal rights and social services were presented last night with checks at a reception honoring their important missions.
NorthPointe Resources: This organization empowers people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and mental illness to help them achieve their goals through comprehensive services including recreational activities, education, case management, residential programs, employment and healthcare services.
Connections for Abused Women and their Children: Connections for Abused Women and their Children, formerly Chicago Abused Women Coalition, is committed to ending domestic violence. Using a self-help, empowerment approach, the organization provides a shelter for women and children, and counseling, advocacy, and a 24-hour hot line for people affected by domestic violence.
YWCA Evanston North Shore: The Domestic Violence Services and Prevention Program of the YWCA Evanston North Shore is the only comprehensive residential domestic violence program serving the northeastern metropolitan Chicago area. Focusing on emergency interventions and long-term solutions for women and children experiencing domestic violence, its services are multi-faceted and fill a critical need in helping women break free and heal from violence, and go on to lead self-sufficient lives.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago: This organization empowers at-risk youth by providing high-impact one-to-one mentoring that enables lifelong success.
Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development (BUILD): Started in 1969 as a gang intervention program serving fewer than 200 gang-affiliated youth in one community, BUILD has grown to serve more than 3,000 youth annually. Its mission is to engage at-risk youth in schools and on the streets so they can realize their educational and career potential and contribute to the stability, safety and well-being of their communities.
Chicago Debate Commission: This organization’s mission is to advance the academic achievement, community contributions and life success of Chicago’s underprivileged youth by providing skills in reading, research, critical thinking, public policy analysis, teamwork and communications, all through the mechanism of debate.
Christopher House: This organization has a unique model of education that provides educational services from birth through high school for low-income children, as well as support services that create stable, self-sufficient families.
Embarc: Embarc is a three-year program that providescommunity-driven, experienced-based learningopportunities to low-income high school students to inspire and prepare them for collegeand career success.
H.O.M.E.: This organization helps Chicago’s under-served, low-income seniors maintain their independence by providing services such as home upkeep and safe living conditions. The organization’s free shopping bus enables seniors with limited mobility or who live in food deserts to have access to groceries, pharmacies and medical services that are essential to their wellbeing. H.O.M.E. also owns and manages three affordable housing buildings with individual apartments and shared living for those who need assistance.
Barr-Harris Children’s Grief Center: This grief center provides immediate therapeutic services to bereaved children (ages 2-18) in low-income and minority households who have lost a parent or loved one through death, abandonment or other traumatic separation. Its mission is to make these services more accessible to under-served communities, to never deny treatment for financial reasons, to increase public awareness of the immediate and enduring effects of traumatic loss, and to provide training and consultation about childhood grief for those who work directly with children or indirectly on their behalf.
Connections for the Homeless: Connections for the Homeless is a non-profit organization that helps individuals and families that are homeless or threatened with homelessness. Through a wide spectrum of services, they meet people where they are in the spectrum of homelessness. The ultimate goal for every person theyserve is to help them reach the highest level of self-sufficiency possible.
Center for Changing Lives: This organization changes lives, not just circumstances. Its mission is to provide comprehensive support to serve, empower andadvocate for community residents experiencing homelessness or housing instability so they may obtain and maintain permanent housing. Individuals working with the center build their economic capacity to achieve their vision for their life.
LaCasa Norte: This Chicago organization serves poor families and children in the Midwest by providing stable housing to youth and families, and delivering comprehensive services that act as a catalyst to transform lives and communities.
The Cara Program: This Chicago organization focuses on giving homeless and disadvantaged individuals the opportunity to secure permanent employment through a comprehensive range of job training, placement, retention and career advancement services. These services prepare and inspire motivated individuals to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty, transform their lives, and forge paths to real and lasting success.
The Night Ministry: Through an array of programs throughout Chicago, The Night Ministry meets the needs of vulnerable youth and adults, providing them with continuing care to assist in their journey from the streets or unstable circumstances to safe, stable housing. As a Response-Ability Pregnant and Parenting Program (RAPP Program) it is the only provider of shelter beds dedicated to homeless, minor-aged pregnant and parenting youth in Chicago. Its goal is to increase safety, stability, and physical and emotional health and wellness of pregnant and parenting homeless youth and their children.
Family Promise: This organization helps families with young children in homeless situations return quickly to permanent housing. They provide emergency shelter, meals, job search assistance and other support while keeping the family unit in tact while also working to address the cause of homelessness.
Greater Chicago Food Depository: Through a network of 650 soup kitchens, food pantries, homeless shelters and community programs, the Greater Chicago Food Depository distributes emergency and supplemental food to Cook County residents. This organization’s mission is to provide food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community.
Northern Illinois Food Bank: This organization’s mission is to lead the Northern Illinois community in solving hunger by providing nutritious meals to those in need through innovative programs and partnerships.
The Chicago Lighthouse — Kane Legal Clinic: The Chicago Lighthouse is one of the oldest social service agencies in Chicago. Among the many programs it offers are a school for children with multi-disabilities; job training and placement; a low vision clinic; and a manufacturing facility that boasts the nation’s sole contract to supply clocks to the U.S. government. During its existence, The Chicago Lighthouse has improved the quality of life for people who are blind or visually impaired and has provided opportunities toward increased independent living.
Uptown People’s Law Center: The mission of this organization is to establish, administer and promote programs providing legal aid to indigent persons, assisting community residents in obtaining legal services and benefits, and educating and training residents, paraprofessionals and community attorneys. The Law Center operates on the belief that educating people on their legal rights will help enable them to fully exercise self-help. Its work focuses on landlord-tenant issues, public benefits, including both public aid and social security disability benefits, and protecting the civil rights of the incarcerated.
Family Focus: Family Focus helps Chicago-area families living in low-income communities give their children the best possible start in life. The organization helps families gain the confidence and skills to be the parents they want to be through customized classes, support groups and referral services in a welcoming and caring environment, Family Focus helps families help themselves while building a relationship based on equality and respect.
Family Service of Glencoe: Supporting those who live or work in Glencoe, our localsocial agency’s mission is to provide a stronger community and meet individual and family needs through services that identify, prevent and resolve social and emotional issues.
Infant Welfare Society of Chicago: Providing services since 1911, Infant Welfare Society is committed to providing critical healthcare services in a one- center location including general healthcare, dentistry, optometry, child development and behavioral health services to children and families from under-served communities who otherwise would lack access to basic medical services.
“We want to thank those in the community who support our important mission by shopping, donating and consigning with our resale shop,” said Maxine Retsky, president of the Woman’s Library Club of Glencoe. “As you can see by this impressive list of grants, that support reaches far to help those in our own community and beyond."
For more information about the North Shore Exchange, including how to donate or consign items, how to arrange for a donation pickup, and how to join the North Shore Exchange's email list, visit www.northshoreexchange.org.
ABOUT THE NORTH SHORE EXCHANGE
The North Shore Exchange is an upscale resale shop featuring an edited collection of women’s designer clothing and accessories, as well as beautiful home furnishings and décor. As a 501 (c) (3), all of the boutique’s profits benefit charities and nonprofit organizations helping families and children with the greatest need as well as local organization, Family Service of Glencoe. For more information, visit the North Shore Exchange website at www.northshoreexchange.org.