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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!

Thank you for transforming Simone’s future!

September 8, 2015
BridgeSalters 101_resizedWe are thrilled to share this good news with you: Simone, the teenage daughter in a Bridge Communities family, graduated from high school with over a 4.0 GPA this past spring, and was accepted into Elmhurst College.
Simone has always been a hard worker: She maintained stellar grades in high school while working part-time, volunteering at a food pantry, and participating in student council and the cheerleading squad.
Knowing that college tuition would be a financial hardship for her parents, she applied for $40,000 in scholarships and grants, and was awarded all of them. She was just $3,000 shy of covering her freshman year’s tuition. Bridge saw her great potential and decided to increase her scholarship to cover the difference, so that she can begin college free from debt.
When you give to Bridge Communities, you help deserving teens reach their potential.
Says Simone, “Bridge has assisted my family in achieving goals we previously thought were impossible, and I am very blessed and thankful for the many opportunities I have had so far. I am very grateful and honored to continue my journey of growth at Elmhurst College. Thank you.”
Thank you for supporting Bridge and connecting teens like Simone to a better, brighter future. 
If you would like to help more kids succeed, please consider making a gift to Bridge Communities. We are also in need of volunteer tutors (for children or adults) with a teaching background and/or three years’ experience in tutoring, especially for families in the Glen Ellyn/Glendale Heights area. If you’d like to learn more about this opportunity, please e-mail
You are helping Bridge families transform their lives each and every day. Thank you for making great things happen, today and tomorrow.

Feel-Good Fridays with Bridge

September 4, 2015

GardenWorksWho loves a good success story? We do! And because of your generosity and support, Bridge families achieve success professionally and personally day after day. We’ve started sharing one Bridge client’s recent success every on Facebook with our “Feel-Good Friday” tidbits. Here are just a few of the latest ones:

-Bridge client J just received word that she and her daughter have been chosen to obtain their own home through Habitat for Humanity

-Bridge client A just passed her citizenship test with flying colors

-Bridge client E just started a new job, making $16/hour

-Bridge client M got As in both classes she took at COD this summer

The Gardenworks Project volunteers helped Bridge families in our newest building plant a community garden. They’re looking forward to their own fresh, homegrown organic veggies this fall

-Bridge client K recently finished the job readiness program and soon after, she received a $2 raise at work

-Bridge client B just closed on her new condo, and is moving in the next few weeks

-We recently hosted Bingo Nights at all our LRCs, where Bridge families got to play, eat, win prizes and enjoy a great family night!

Want to read more? Check out our Facebook page,

If you’re a supporter and friend of Bridge Communities, you should feel especially good about these Fridays, because you help make great things happen for Bridge families. Thank you!

A Weekend to Remember: Thank you for celebrating the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ!

August 31, 2015

The weekend of August 28-29 marked the 7th Annual Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ, and we thank YOU for making it a success!

The Bridge Builders group of Glen Ellyn kicked off the weekend’s festivities with “Barbacoa Bajo Las Estrellas,” (Barbecue Under the Stars) a unique new event featuring Latin cuisine by renowned chef Paul Lindemuth. Nearly 100 guests enjoyed the gourmet fare, signature cocktails and acoustic music by Scott Vogg. All proceeds benefited the homeless families served by Bridge, and on their behalf, we thank you for attending this exciting event!Barbacoa Collage

The next day was the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ, featuring the Famous Dave’s Amateur BBQ Contest. This year’s event included dozens of teams from across the midwest competing in the categories of Best Ribs, Best Dish, Best Judged Sauce, People’s Choice Sauce, and with a Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Named as well. Winners were:

Best Ribs: Jack the Ribbers
Best Dish: Team Patriot – Beef Tenderloin
Best Judged Sauce: South Side Pit Men
People’s Choice Sauce: Hoggy Style
Grand Champion: Jack the Ribbers
Reserve Grand Champion: RW + B BBQ Team

BBQ Collage 2015
And, a little rain didn’t dampen our spirits–thousands of attendees from all around the community enjoyed sampling the competitors’ sauces, the fantastic live concerts, the “Piglet Playland” for the kids, our first-ever dunk tank, raffles, drinks, food trucks and more! All proceeds from this event also benefited the homeless families served by Bridge, and we thank you for helping change their lives for the better.

Another HUGE thank you goes out to all of the sponsors who generously supported the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ, and the dozens of volunteers who gave their time, energy and talent to make this year’s event a success. We couldn’t have done without you!

We need YOU! Volunteer at the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ on August 29

August 6, 2015

Final-Poster-Top-OnlyWe couldn’t serve 130 homeless families per year without you! Will you help out and volunteer at one of our most important fundraisers of the year?

By volunteering for a 3-hour shift, you will be directly helping us save homeless families in the community. Plus, you’ll get to enjoy fantastic live music, a free meal for each volunteer, and an unforgettable community event.
If you or a child needs service hours for school, scouts or religious ed, this is a great volunteer opportunity. Shifts are still available–sign up now!



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