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Our 2015 Honorees: Celebrating Women, Transforming Lives

March 23, 2015

This year, two very special DuPage County women will be honored on Friday, April 24 at the Bridge Communities Spring Luncheon: Celebrating Women, Transforming Lives, and we wanted to share a little bit about them with you:

PHendershotWith a passion for helping people identify their strengths and the types of environments that capitalize on these talents, Peg Hendershot is the executive director of Career Vision in Glen Ellyn. She sets the strategic direction for their career programs, which are based on this not-for-profit organization’s extensive research on aptitude-based career decision making. Prior to joining Career Vision in 1982, Peg ran an outplacement agency and managed a program for hard-to-serve youth and disadvantaged populations. She also chaired DuPage County’s Education to Career Initiative and served as vice president of the DuPage County Workforce Board. Peg finds her work with Bridge Communities particularly rewarding. Having been a single mother of four young sons when she came to Career Vision, Peg understands first-hand what it takes to raise a family. She also knows how important it is to find work that plays to one’s strengths — a key to success and satisfaction, both in career and life. We are thrilled and honored to award Peg Hendershot the Transforming Lives Award.

Ann Marie photoAnn Marie Andexler, mother of four, came to the Bridge program in a desperate need of housing for her family and could not afford the expenses on her own. Thrilled to be accepted into the program, she took advantage of every opportunity to help her and her children. She continued to strive to improve life for her family and was accepted into the Habitat for Humanity program becoming a home owner in Glen Ellyn. She has moved up in her career and is now holding a salary position at her company. Ann Marie has felt in her heart to give back to others as she has been given and she continually volunteers with both Bridge and Habitat. With her voice of encouragement, she has spoken of her heartache and how love, care and dedication can bring a new hope in other’s lives. We are incredibly proud of Ann Marie and delighted to award her the Life Transformed Award.

A limited number of tickets are still available for our Spring Luncheon on Friday, April 24 at the Danada House in Wheaton. Click here to purchase yours today!

For more information about our 2015 event, please contact Chad Pedigo at (630) 545-0610, ext. 19 or chad.pedigo@bridgecommunities.org.

From Homelessness to Hope: Bridge Communities 2014 Annual Report

March 19, 2015

Cover_2014In the past 26 years, you’ve helped save more than 600 local families from homelessness. You’ve stepped up as part of our Bridge family year after year, and for that, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Our clients can’t always thank each of you in person, so we’re passing along their stories of gratitude inside our 2014 Annual Report. Please keep an eye out for these inspirational stories, and know you played an instrumental role in bridging the gap from homelessness to hope.

We’ve also prepared a 90-second video to summarize our 2014 Annual Report. Please enjoy, and again, thank you for helping Bridge families grow stronger, together.

Get on the run! Bridge Communities partners with Naperville Marathon

February 26, 2015

NVMRCharity Partner logo

Bridge Communities has signed on as a Participating Charity for the Naperville Marathon and Half Marathon, slated for November 8, 2015! This means that this year, runners can sign up to run and fundraise on behalf of the homeless families served by Bridge Communities. Even better–participating runners receive a code for a $20 discount for agreeing to run on behalf of Bridge!

Runners commit to raising $300 for Bridge Communities, and we’ll help you along your way: in mid-March, you’ll be provided with a fundraising toolkit and a personal online fundraising page.

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

 

Why the CCAP $300 million shortfall is a crisis–and how you can help

February 5, 2015
BridgeCommunitiesLogoIllinois is facing a budget shortfall, and as a result, the Child Care Assistance Program (CCAP) is underfunded by $300 million. Due to this, many daycares and childcare providers may be asking families–including Bridge clients–to pay more for daycare until the state budget is repaired to include this funding. Please click here to read more about this issue.
More than 80% of Bridge families pay for their daycare through CCAP. If this program does not receive funding, their weekly daycare costs may increase from around $30/child to more than $200/child.
We urge you to contact your local legislator to share why childcare is important to Bridge families. Here is sample text you can use when writing your e-mails or making your phone calls:
  • My name is (insert) and I am in (NAME OF YOUR LEGISLATOR) district. I volunteer with Bridge Communities, a nonprofit organization providing transitional housing to homeless families in DuPage County.
  • I am very concerned about the underfunding of the Child Care Assistance Program and the impact it has on Bridge Communities families, and all families in Illinois.
  • The Child Care Assistance Program is underfunded by almost $300 million and is on the verge of collapse.
  • For many of the families, solving this child care crisis will be the difference between them keeping their jobs or having to stay home with their children, or worse, leaving their children home alone or with a sibling.
  • I am contacting you to urge you and the General Assembly to work with the Governor to solve this crisis.
Click here to look up your local legislator’s contact information.
Thank you for helping advocate for Bridge families.

Save the Date: Celebrating Women, Transforming Lives on April 24

February 3, 2015
CWTLOn Friday, April 24, 2015, we will honor two outstanding women in our community: client graduate Ann Marie Andexler; and community advocate and Career Vision executive director Peg Hendershot. Please join us as we hear their inspirational stories and learn of their dedication to helping people in need.

Tickets are now available! Click here to purchase yours today.

Thank you for putting your trust in Bridge Communities to create a better future for the more than 128 families that are served this year. We hope to see you on April 24!

Our Hero: Kristin Tauchen, Bridge supporter and LRC volunteer

January 27, 2015

KTauchen2_cropWhile Kristin Tauchen and her family lived in Minnesota for the past decade, they were active volunteers at an organization that provided transitional housing for the area’s homeless population. So, when they moved back to the western suburbs, they knew they eventually wanted to get involved in a similar organization.

“We were getting settled back in here, but that part of our lives was missing,” Kristin says. Last summer, she was preparing for her daughter’s 2nd birthday party, and knew she didn’t want to have all 75 guests show up with gifts. She did an internet search and came upon Bridge Communities’ Giving Party, and asked guests to instead bring gift cards and quarters to donate to Bridge families. The result was more than $900 in donations!

Soon after, she met with Bridge CEO John Hayner to discuss other ways that she and her family could help out at Bridge. It was obvious that volunteering to lead at Bridge’s Glendale Heights Learning Resource Center with the Kids’ Club would be a great fit. Kristin then met with the other volunteers and kids to see what kind of activities to plan. This year, they have already made duct tape crafts, and they’ll be decorating sugar cookies and making other crafts for Valentine’s Day. Kristin also plans to set up a supply closet of household items–paper towels, toilet paper, toothpaste, etc–at the LRC so that Bridge families can get items as needed.

“What I have come to learn is, I’m not sure it matters what activity we do—it’s more about the time we’re spending and the conversations we’re having with the kids,” Kristin says. “As soon as I walk in at 7 and see the kids smiling, it’s a good feeling. A big part of our life is now back.”

Interested in getting involved at a Bridge Learning Resource Center? Contact Sharon Drucker, Coordinator of Children’s Activities, sharon.drucker@bridgecommunities.org.

We couldn’t have done it without you!

January 23, 2015

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We called, and you answered–because of your generous donations, we exceeded our $150,000 goal, and six new Bridge families will have a roof over their heads this month. Thank you!

Friends like you are the reason that 108 homeless families thrived in Bridge’s transitional housing program in 2014, and even more will transition from homelessness to hope in 2015. We’re also pleased to share that your generosity means that Bridge families will continue to receive tutoring, job coaching, kids’ activities, counseling and more.

Next month, keep an eye out for our 2014 Annual Report, and learn firsthand how you made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of children and parents, right in your community.

Again, thank you for saving the lives of Bridge families when they needed you.

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