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Sleep Out Saturday: “It has been absolutely life-changing”

September 20, 2019

 

“You’re experiencing something that homeless people go through every day.”

“Not everybody is as fortunate as us.”

“I wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.”

“It makes you more appreciative of what you have.”

Watch the above video and see why Sleep Out Saturday participants called this night “life-changing!”

One Night, One Goal–Sign up together with your family, scout troop, school group, church, neighbors or fellow employees to raise funds and spend a frosty night outside, all to provide housing for the 130+ homeless families served by Bridge Communities this winter. Join us for the countywide Sleep Out on November 2, or choose your own date between October 5-December 7! 

Please contact margo.matthew@bridgecommunities.org or 630-403-5091 with any questions. Thank you for joining us at Sleep Out Saturday!
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Volunteer at the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ on September 7!

August 27, 2019
Volunteer BBQ 2019“Porkstock 2019” is right around the corner, and we need your help to make it a success! Please sign up to volunteer at The Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ(GEBYBBQ) as it returns for its 11th year on Saturday, September 7.
Not only is the GEBYBBQ is the largest amateur BBQ contest in the state of Illinois–it’s a full-day community celebration with food trucks, concerts, a kids’ playland and more. And most importantly, the event raises thousands of dollars to help Bridge Communities–enough to house 5 homeless families for an entire year!
***This is a great volunteer opportunity for teens who need service hours for school, church or scouts–click here to sign up to volunteer today!***
We need over 200 volunteers to help make this event possible! There are many shift options between 6:00 AM – 10:30 PM, so everyone can find the perfect volunteer opportunity.
For volunteering questions, please contact Kait Balsewicz at volunteer@glenellynbackyardbbq.org.
To learn more about the event, please visit www.glenellynbackyardbbq.org.
Thank you to our King of the Stage Sponsor
SteamBoatBBQ_logoLR

Join us at Sleep Out Saturday 2019!

July 29, 2019

SOSlogo_2019

Join us and hundreds of Bridge supporters this fall for Sleep Out Saturday. When you sleep out, donate or fundraise for Sleep Out Saturday, you’ll build a brighter tomorrow for the homeless families in the Bridge Communities transitional housing program. Register today at www.sleepoutsaturday.org!

You Pick the Date!
The countywide sleep out will be held on Saturday, November 2, but this year marks the first “You Pick the Date” sleep out event! Sign your group up to participate for any night convenient to you between October 5-December 7.

Personalize Your Sleep Out Saturday Experience
Whether it’s your group’s first year or your tenth year participating in Sleep Out Saturday, Bridge Communities is there to help you to make it the best experience possible! We offer complete Sleep Out Saturday toolkits with activities, movies and more, to make your experience memorable and life-changing.

Plus, this year we’re offering visits from Bridge Communities staffers and client speakers to your Sleep Out site, to share personal stories of homelessness and how you’re making a difference! 

If you’re looking for an experience that will

-Build empathy

-Lead to a better understanding of poverty in your community and

-Teach effective ways to fight homelessness, then

Sleep Out Saturday is right for you!

Sign up now!
Who can sleep out? Everybody! Here are the 3 types of participants:

  • Groups: Adults, children or teens from a community organization, faith-based group, or Scout troop, plus the group leaders who will supervise their group’s Sleep Out Saturday participation.
  • Sleep Out Stars: Families or individuals who are participating independently.
  • Business Leaders for Bridge: Business leaders, networking groups and young professionals looking to make a difference.

 Register or make a pledge to support a participant at www.sleepoutsaturday.org, and for more info, contact Margo Matthew at 630-403-5091 or margo.matthew@bridgecommunities.org.

Meet this year’s Celebrating Women, Transforming Lives Honorees!

March 20, 2019

On Friday, April 26, Bridge Communities will celebrate the women of DuPage County and their commitment to the community. Their incredible gifts of time, talents and treasure will be recognized, as well as their efforts to make our communities a better place for homeless families. Our Celebrating Women, Transforming Lives Spring Luncheon honors women with ties to DuPage County, and thanks them for their courage and philanthropy. Read on to meet the following remarkable women we’ll recognize this year:

Becky Beilfuss_cropIn 1989, Becky Beilfuss learned about Greater DuPage MYM (now known as Teen Parent Connection), an organization supporting teenage mothers and their children. A teen mother herself, she began volunteering to support young women who were now beginning their own parenting journey.  Becky has volunteered and worked with Teen Parent Connection for nearly three decades, creating a brighter future for thousands of young adults. She now serves as Executive Director. Becky has received several humanitarian awards, and also serves as co-chair of the Healthy Families Illinois Policy and Advocacy Committee and on the Executive Committee of Healthy Families Illinois. We are thrilled to honor her with the Transforming Lives Award.

Nydia_cropSix years ago, Nydia Rivera Paterkiewicz was staying in a women’s shelter with her three daughters after fleeing domestic abuse. But once they were welcomed into Bridge Communities, they began to rebuild their lives. While in the program, Nydia completed her associate’s degree, worked with the employment team and found a fantastic job, and healed from the traumas of homelessness. Today, Nydia and her new husband Steve are proud to be homeowners, and give back to Bridge Communities through advocating for homeless families, fostering the pets of families in the Bridge program, and hiring Bridge clients to work in their family business. We are honored to recognize Nydia with the Life Transformed Award.

Judy HsuReturning to emcee the luncheon will be Emmy-winning journalist Judy Hsu. An integral part of the ABC7 news team since 2001, Judy joined Alan Krashesky as co-anchor on the 6 PM Evening News in 2018, and continues to co-anchor the 4 PM News with Rob Elgas. In addition to her anchor responsibilities, Judy hosts a long-format interview segment on Sunday mornings called “Newsviews.” Judy hosted the Sleep Out Saturday rally for Bridge Communities in 2015, and warmly welcomed supporters of Bridge again at our last three Spring Luncheons. Judy resides in the western suburbs with her husband and four children.

Tickets are now available for this very special event! Click here to purchase your ticket or table today. We’ll see you on April 26!

 

You Can Put a Bridge Family On the Road to Success

February 20, 2019
Car Donation 2019

When Nancy’s* family came to Bridge Communities last fall, they were homeless and desperate for safe housing.

     Your generosity helped us welcome them to the Bridge family with open arms and provide them with their own apartment–thank you!

     But that’s not all. You see, the family came to us with almost no belongings–not even a car. Nancy had no way to get a job, nor to get her two kids to school and daycare. We weren’t sure how they’d be able to succeed at Bridge without reliable transportation.

     Then, a generous supporter donated a used car to their family–and changed their lives forever!

     Today, Nancy is a superstar in the Bridge program and at her full-time job. Each and every day, she is so thankful to have a car to keep her on the road to success.

     At this moment there are 11 Bridge families, just like Nancy’s family, on the waiting list for a reliable vehicle. Will you donate your used car to Bridge and change their lives forever?

     It’s easy to donate your used car to Bridge Communities. It’s tax-deductible, and you can also be proud to know that your car will go directly to a homeless family working toward a brighter future.

     To learn how to donate your car to a Bridge family, please click here, call Paul Matthews at 630-403-5104, or e-mail paul.matthews@bridgecommunities.org.

     Thank you for putting a Bridge family on the road to success!
*Name has been changed for privacy

You changed lives on #GivingTuesday!

January 10, 2019
BridgeCommunities_GivingTuesday_logoOn #GivingTuesday 2018, you gave two homeless families the gift of homes and hope. Thank you!
     You brought both of these families into the safety of their own Bridge Communities apartments, connected them to caring mentors, and put them on the path to a better future–all by the end of the year.
     One of these families is the J family. J came to us late last fall, desperate for housing for herself and her two young children. Because of your generosity, they moved into their Bridge apartment in December, and are already on the road to healing.
     Says J:
     “I am extremely grateful for all that I have been able to do with Bridge. This is the first time I have felt safe, at peace, and on the right path! My kids are the happiest I have ever seen them, thanks to all the love and support I received from Bridge, the gifts and the Christmas tree. Not only did my kids get several gifts, but they were happy to have a place to sleep peacefully with no fear!
     “The best gift I received for the holidays was seeing my kids happy, safe and with no fear in their eyes. Thank you for your support, it is changing my life in so many ways! Can’t wait to see what more I can achieve with the support of Bridge 😊.”
     We can’t wait to see, either–and we’ll update you throughout the year on J’s progress, too. In the meantime, click here to meet more Bridge families, and learn how you’re changing lives for homeless families in our community.
     Thank you again for helping us welcome J’s family into Bridge on #GivingTuesday!

Hope and healing: Ambar’s story

December 11, 2018
Ambar headerWhen you support Bridge Communities, you are giving homeless families much more than an apartment. You are giving them everything they need to heal from the traumas of abuse and homelessness.

So today, we’d like to tell you about Ambar, who could use your help more than ever.

For years, she had suffered from abuse both at home and in the workplace. Ambar soldiered on in order to provide for her two children. But when she lost her job–and soon after, her housing–it was more than she could take.

She was desperate. Numb. And alone.

But friends just like you changed Ambar’s life when she was welcomed into Bridge Communities.

In the months that Ambar has been in Bridge, she has worked hard to heal from years of trauma–and she is succeeding thanks to the support from friends in our community. Says Ambar, “Believing that no one would harm me has been so hard because I haven’t trusted anyone for a long time.”

Today, Ambar is on a great path forward. She now has a job where she is valued and respected. And she and her children have grown closer as a family.

But she has many months ahead of her before she’ll be ready to graduate from Bridge. And it’s only with your help that Ambar can cross the finish line.

Ambar and her children need you. Please make a gift to Bridge Communities today, and end homelessness for Ambar and 130+ homeless families this year.

“Most people would only say thank you, but my way of being grateful is by succeeding,” Ambar says.

We have no doubt that Ambar is strong and determined enough to succeed. And with your help, she will graduate to a home of her own.

Thank you for giving Ambar the opportunity to spread her wings and take flight.
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