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Give a Tuesday on #GivingTuesday

November 10, 2015

BridgeCommunities_GivingTuesday_logoNovember’s busy–we know it.

On Thanksgiving, we celebrate family and togetherness. On Black Friday, we shop the doorbuster sales. On Small Business Saturday, we shop local. On Cyber Monday, we hunt for online deals.

But on December 1, otherwise known as #GivingTuesday, we ask you to consider those most in need, and Give a Tuesday: a $35 donation to provide a night of housing for a homeless family.

When you make a gift of just $35, you will bring a homeless family in from the cold, into a warm, safe apartment in DuPage County. Not only that, they’ll be connected to all the tools they need–mentoring, financial counseling, job coaching, tutoring, counseling and more–so that they will never be homeless again. 

This year on #GivingTuesday, we need to raise $4,550–that’s one night of housing for each of the 130 families served by Bridge Communities next year. Your generous gift is critical to ensuring that we reach this goal.

Please celebrate the spirit of giving with us, and help us kick off the holiday season right: by saving a homeless family.

We’ll be in touch more this month to keep you updated on #GivingTuesday, and let you know how you can get involved and bring even more families in from the cold.

Thank you for being a friend to homeless families in your community. You’re the bridge connecting them from homelessness to hope.

#SleepOutSaturday 2015 Recap: You Made THIS The Day!

November 9, 2015
The Woodridge United Methodist Church's group arrives at Rock Out for Sleep Out

The Woodridge United Methodist Church’s group arrives at Rock Out for Sleep Out

This past Saturday, November 7, 50 groups comprising nearly 2,000 people decided that THIS is the day to help homeless families in DuPage County. All of these concerned and caring citizens joined Bridge Communities in the 12th Annual Sleep Out Saturday, and the experience was unforgettable.

20151107_184928The evening started with the first-ever Rock Out for Sleep Out benefit concert to begin the rally. This high-energy event featured musicians from School of Rock’s Glen Ellyn and Elmhurst locations, and they played their hearts out to the huge crowd of SOS groups and community members alike. “Rockin'” is an understatement!


Next on stage was the event’s emcee, Judy Hsu, anchor at ABC 7. She kept the excitement going and introduced the crowd to two courageous Bridge families who have experienced homelessness and come out stronger on the other side through your support of Bridge Communities’ transitional housing program and events like Sleep Out Saturday.


Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Naperville

The rally concluded, and the sleepers dispersed to their Sleep Out sites across DuPage County. The groups made their shelters, participated in activities and gained more empathy for the homeless when faced with the prospect of sleeping rough in the 30-degree weather.

Central Park Collage

The public #SleepOutSaturday in Naperville drew crowds of sleepers to experience a night of homelessness

For the first-time ever, there was also a public Sleep Out Saturday site at Central Park in downtown Naperville. Dozens of sleepers tried to stay warm, while Scott Mackay and Danielle Tufano, the morning deejays from 95.9 The River, kept the tunes going and boosted awareness of homelessness. (Click here to see video coverage from NCTV 17!)

Across the county, SOS participants woke up with their fingers and toes a little colder, but their hearts a little warmer after the experience. Check out #SleepOutSaturday on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to see all the groups’ posts of photos and experiences from throughout the event!

Thank YOU for joining us–this event means that the 130 homeless families served by Bridge Communities will gain all the tools needed so that they’ll never be homeless again. Because of you, they’re connected to a better future. To learn more about how you made a difference and still can, visit Thank you!

When you donate your used to car to Bridge, you save families like Steve’s

October 23, 2015
2015 Steve P carOnce Steve and his boys entered the Bridge Communities transitional housing program, they still had one major problem to overcome. It wasn’t budgeting. It wasn’t housing. It was their car.

It leaked oil, had broken down twice in the past month, and Steve could never be sure if it would start in the morning.
A car can make or break a Bridge family’s financial situation. Without reliable transportation, Steve can’t get to work every day and provide for his kids.

Fortunately, a generous friend of Bridge donated a Nissan Altima. This car not only gave Steve a reliable way to get to work and take his kids to school–it meant that his family stayed on the road to self-sufficiency.

You can help secure the success of a family like Steve’s by donating your car to Bridge Communities.

When you donate a car to Bridge Communities, you make a major difference in the lives of a family on the road to self-sufficiency. Plus, your car donation may be eligible for a full tax deduction of the used car value!

If you’d like to avoid the hassle of selling your used car, and also help a Bridge family in a major way, please contact me, Paul Matthews, at (630)-545-0610 ext.33 or

Says Steve, “I would like to thank the donor, and to everyone involved with Bridge. I couldn’t be more thankful to be able to provide for my kids and give them a good future.”  

Can we count on you to donate your used car to Bridge Communities and help another family in need?

Sleep Out Saturday Sneak Preview: Meet Jeanette

October 20, 2015
ABC7's Judy Hsu with Bridge family Jeanette and Jaden--meet them at the Sleep Out Saturday rally on November 7!

ABC7’s Judy Hsu with Bridge family Jeanette and Jaden–meet them at the Sleep Out Saturday rally on November 7!

Almost two years ago, Jeanette and her son Jaden came into the Bridge program when their world had just fallen apart.

“I was engaged to a man that I loved, that was the father of my child. And we bought a house together, we were happy—at least, I thought we were. But he cheated on me several times, and the last time he cheated on me, he got a girl pregnant with twins,” Jeanette recalls. “When I confronted him, he threw me down the stairs in front of my 2-year-old child. He kicked me and our child out of the house, and we had nowhere to go.”

Jeanette found Bridge Communities, and in the past two years, her life has been completely transformed. “I didn’t know Bridge would give me the confidence I have now,” she says. “I have a whole different perspective.”

On Saturday, November 7, Jeanette will courageously share her remarkable story at the Sleep Out Saturday rally. Join us at 505 Crescent Blvd in downtown Glen Ellyn from 6-8 PM, as we cheer Jeanette on at the rally and celebrate her success.

The Sleep Out Saturday rally is free and open to the public and will be emceed by Judy Hsu of ABC7 Chicago. The event will also feature a concert, showcasing performers from School of Rock Glen Ellyn and Elmhurst, plus a deejay, games and more!

To learn more about Sleep Out Saturday and how you can get involved, visit

The Story of Jax, Part 2: A Happy Reunion

September 29, 2015

Jax1You may remember last fall, when we shared the story of Jax, the beloved border collie mix belonging to Lisa and her children, a Bridge family. While in Bridge, Jax couldn’t live in the apartment with them, so an outstanding volunteer named Karen stepped up to the plate and volunteered to foster Jax for the next two years.

We’re happy to report a beautiful conclusion to the story for everyone. Lisa has obtained a fantastic job and her kids are doing well in school. They have graduated out of Bridge Communities and just last month purchased a new house–complete with a large, fenced-in yard for Jax. He’s been reunited with their family, and the family couldn’t be happier. Plus, Karen is still near and dear to all of them.

Says Lisa, “I would just like to say how grateful I am to have found Bridge. I had the best case manager, mentors and sponsor. And my family is truly blessed to have met Karen and her family. Without them, I do not know where Jax would be today. They are such wonderful people to take on such a big task. Karen and her family are welcome in our home any time, and we want them to continue being a part of our life.”

Congratulations, Lisa and family–we’re thrilled for all of your successes, and that you and Jax are together again!


Sleep Out Saturday: What You Need to Know for 2015!

September 23, 2015
First UMC GE 1

It’s cold. It’s uncomfortable. It’s not easy. And every year, we are so glad we did it.

Experience for yourself how Sleep Out Saturday provides the opportunity for you and your loved ones to deepen your appreciation and understanding of the hardships faced by homeless families as they enter Bridge Communities. Become vulnerable and uncomfortable for one night only and help prove we are not forgetting local homeless children and neighbors out in the cold.

Sleep Out Saturday groups of all kinds and of all ages – from individuals, to families, to youth groups and clubs in the community – will experience a night of homelessness by sleeping out in parking lots, parks and backyards. Bridge Communities provides a toolkit with age-appropriate activities to make your sleep out educational and meaningful, too.

All money raised from the event will support homeless families in the Bridge Communities program, funding the housing, employment training, mentoring, case management, plus tutoring and summer camps for kids. Thank you for making a difference in their lives.

Elmhurst FUMC1 rallyThis year’s Sleep Out Saturday event will kick off at 6 p.m. with a benefit concert in the Glenwood Avenue parking lot in downtown Glen Ellyn. At this year’s rally, you can expect another fantastic program, plus some exciting additions:

• A live benefit concert featuring musicians from School of Rock Glen Ellyn and Elmhurst

• Emcee Judy Hsu of ABC7 Chicago

• Testimonials from Bridge families and more

Join the Sleep Out Saturday movement today! Learn how you can change lives locally by participating in Sleep Out Saturday 2015 at For questions, contact Bridge’s Special Events Manager Chad Pedigo at 630-545-0610 x19 or

Ready, Set, Go! Run the Naperville Half Marathon or Marathon in Honor of Bridge Families

September 16, 2015


Ready to run? Bridge Communities is a Partner Charity for the Naperville Marathon and Half Marathon on November 8! This means you can sign up to run and fundraise on behalf of the homeless families served by Bridge Communities, and you can make a true difference in their lives.

You will be a hero for a Bridge family! To give you an idea of what $300 in fundraising for Bridge Communities means, a donation that size equals more than a week of safe housing for a homeless family.

When you sign up to run on behalf of Bridge Communities, we’ll help you along your way. You can even create a personal online fundraising page to spread awareness among your family, friends and supporters. You’ll also receive a discount code to use for registering on the Naperville Marathon website.

Signing up is easy. Visit Bridge’s marathon page to sign up, then register on the Naperville Marathon’s website.

We’ll be cheering you on November 8!


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