Skip to content

Because of you, Kelly’s family is safe

October 17, 2016

kellyfamilyAs Kelly’s story shows, the living situation and security of a family can change in the blink of an eye.

After her divorce, Kelly and her three kids–Maddie, Kyle and Becca–were grateful to move into her brother’s house in Warrenville. A few years passed, life settled down, and Kelly even found love again.

Then, her brother planned to sell his home, and Kelly and her new fiance agreed to buy it. But, just days before the closing, she discovered her fiance’s infidelity. She broke off her engagement, but her troubles were far from over. Because soon, she and her children would have nowhere to live.

But, you gave them new hope when they found Bridge Communities.

Your generosity has given Kelly’s family a safe home, stability, and has even helped launch Kelly into a successful career. Read more about their inspiring story in our Fall Connections newsletter, and know that you played a major role in their success!

In this issue, you’ll also read about our latest graduate to own a Habitat for Humanity house; meet LRC volunteer Lisa Hjorth; learn more about Sleep Out Saturday on November 5, and more!

Because of you, 130+ homeless families have a safe haven with Bridge Communities in 2016, and will recover from the traumas caused by homelessness. Please consider making a gift so that the next 130 can recover, too. Thank you for being a friend to Bridge families when they need you the most.

Sleep Out or Sleep In–It’s Up To You!

October 10, 2016

SOS_2016Now is your opportunity to make #HomelessNoMore a reality for 130+ Bridge Communities families! Sleep Out Saturday is less than a month away, and there’s still time to get involved! Here’s why you’ll want to join us on November 5:

Sleep Out or Sleep In: Join the movement that stands apart and register for Sleep Out Saturday! This year, you and your group can collect pledges and Sleep Out as an individual or group in solidarity with homeless families; or, you can Sleep In and fundraise in the spirit of helping our most vulnerable families, and focus on the issues of homelessness without sleeping outside on November 5.

We Don’t Just Sleep Out–We Rock Out: You and all your friends and neighbors are invited to join us at a live community benefit concert in downtown Glen Ellyn! The concert begins on November 5 at 6 PM, featuring the School of Rock Glen Ellyn and additional guests, leading into the fun-filled and inspiring Sleep Out Saturday rally, with testimonials from Bridge families and more. P.S. Busing to the concert is provided for groups from your Sleep Out site and back after the show!

Your Volunteer Hours Count: We know you’re a valuable volunteer by raising pledges and sleeping out, and we’ll provide each member of your group with a signed certificate that shows he or she volunteered 20 service hours with Bridge Communities. (E-mail for details!)

You are Making #HomelessNoMore a Reality: Every dollar raised from Sleep Out Saturday directly assists homeless families in the Bridge Communities transitional housing program, funding the housing, employment training, mentoring, case management, plus tutoring and other programs for homeless children. YOU are giving them the tools so they will recover from the trauma of homelessness, and never become homeless again!

If you have already registered your group–thank you! And if you have not done so yet, we hope you’ll join us at Sleep Out Saturday on November 5.

Please contact or 630-545-0610 x19 with any questions. Bridge Communities is excited to welcome you to Sleep Out Saturday 2016!

Still time to sign up! Run on behalf of Bridge families on October 23

September 29, 2016


The Naperville Marathon races will be held on October 23, 2016, and YOU can be a hero for Bridge families! Sign up to run and fundraise in their honor today! Runners will also receive a registration discount to use on the Naperville Marathon website.

Signing up is easy:

-First, click here to become a Charity Hero for Bridge Communities and receive your charity discount code

-Second, click here to complete your registration on the Naperville Marathon’s website. Type in “CHARITY” as the Access Code, and then use your charity discount code when prompted.

Runners commit to raising $300 for Bridge Communities, and we’ll help you along your way: You’ll also be provided with fundraising tips and a personal online fundraising page on the Bridge Communities website.

Please contact us with any questions at, and we’ll look forward to running alongside you on race day!

Thanks for joining us at the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ!

September 12, 2016

14258146_1310907765609563_1611323934321853300_oThis year, summer didn’t end on Labor Day! The Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ returned for its 8th year on Saturday, September 10. Thousands of community members joined us for the “ProteinPalooza,” a day of food, family-friendly activities, concerts and of course, barbecue!

Attendees enjoyed the sounds of outstanding bands, including The Neverly Brothers, Expo 76 and the Total Pro Horns, Bill “The Buddha” Dickens, and the Glen Ellyn School of Rock Instructors, and noshed on perfect festival food from Steamboat Barbeque, Real Urban BBQ, The Stand, Skuddlebutts and Cap May Crab Cake Factory. The kids had a blast at the Piglet Playland, featuring a bounce house, dunk tank and more!

More than 60 teams entered the barbecue competition, and the winners were:

Best Ribs:
Birdman’s BBQ

Best Chicken:
South Side Pit Men

Best Dish:

Best Sauce (Judged):
The Fabulous Weber Boys

People’s Choice Sauce:
Hoggystyle BBQ

Glen Ellyn Cup:

To see the BBQ’s photo gallery, visit the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ Facebook page

All proceeds from the event went directly to help the homeless families served by Bridge Communities. Thank you for your support, and we can’t wait to see you next year!

The event was made possible thanks to the support of our generous sponsors:

King of the Stage:
Steamboat Barbeque

Piglet Playland:
Farmers Insurance

95.9 The River
Coldwell Banker Charitable Foundation
Eric Friedemann
Flood Brothers
Novatoo Audio Visual
Pit Stop
Sportsmed Wheaton Orthopaedics
Two Brothers Artisan Brewing

Prime Cut:
Glen Ellyn Lions Club
Harry B. Cotter Allstate Agency
House of Graphics
Illinois Barbecue Society
John Johanneson
Lekatsos Team
PJ’s Camera and Photo
Santanna Energy Services
Wheaton Yamaha Music School



We’re proud to announce our scholarship recipients!

August 31, 2016
Ryan 1We are so happy to introduce you to two outstanding Bridge kids, Daniela and Ryan. As teenagers, they faced all the same challenges as their peers–but they had to deal with the unique struggles of homelessness, too.


It wasn’t easy. It was something no teenager should ever have to worry about.


But, once their families joined Bridge Communities, you gave them the tools they needed to succeed. They had a safe home, and could concentrate on getting back on track. And, this past spring, they both graduated from high school with flying colors!


There’s more: Because of your generosity, Daniela and Ryan each started college this fall with a $1,000 scholarship!


Ryan has just entered the freshman class of Bradley University as an International Business major, and Daniela has begun her studies at Concordia University, pursuing a BA in Health Care Management.
Your support means that Ryan and Daniela could persevere and overcome the challenges that came along with homelessness. Thank you for believing in them!

Daniela and Ryan are on the road to success, but there are still more than 200 Bridge kids that need your help this year. And, with the new school year starting, it’s the perfect time for you to get involved! You can volunteer as a tutor, help out with Kids’ Clubs at a Learning Resource Center, or make a gift so that more kids like Daniela and Ryan can break the cycle of homelessness.


If you’d like to get involved and connect more kids like Ryan and Daniela to a better and brighter future, please e-mail Jill Garbaliauskas, Director of Children’s Programs, at or call  815-955-9558.


Thank you again for transforming the futures of Ryan, Daniela and all Bridge children!

How your car donation could save a family like Christina’s

August 12, 2016

IMG_2739A reliable car is a necessity for most families in DuPage County. That’s how we get to work, our children’s schools, the grocery store–almost everywhere. And Bridge families like Christina’s have the same needs.

But, there’s one key difference. For most of us, a car in need of repairs might be a hassle, or an unexpected but affordable expense. For Christina, a car in need of repairs can jeopardize her entire future.

You see, for a Bridge family, one of the most significant barriers to finding and keeping employment is unreliable transportation. If you can’t get to work, you can’t keep your job. If you can’t keep your job, you can’t become self-sufficient. If you can’t become self-sufficient, the cycle of poverty and homelessness continues.

Many client families enter Bridge Communities with no car, or cars that soon break down. But you can help. 

We currently have six families in desperate need of a car. Will you donate your used car to Bridge Communities?

Your car will be transferred directly to a homeless family, and your gift will help them get back on the road to self-sufficiency. Plus, your donated car may be eligible for a full tax deduction of the used car value.

Because Christina recently received a donated Honda Civic, she can safely get to work every day, and continue saving for a house for her and her seven-year-old son. The day Christina received her car, she passed along this message to her generous donor: “I have tears in my eyes today–thank you!”

To donate your car, please contact Tom Thiltgen at (630) 545-0610 ext. 14 or

Thank you for helping families like Christina’s break the cycle of homelessness!

We need YOU! Volunteer at the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ on September 10

August 3, 2016
Enjoy the best end-of-summer party in town from behind the scenes and volunteer at the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ! By volunteering for a 3.5-hour shift, you will be directly helping Bridge Communities save homeless families in the community. All proceeds from the event go toward the 130+ homeless families served by Bridge Communities, and we need you to help make this the biggest and best BBQ yet!
     If you or a child needs service hours for school, scouts or religious ed, this is a great volunteer opportunity. And, you’ll get to enjoy all the outstanding live music, a free meal for each volunteer, and a family-friendly community event.
    Shifts are still available, and can be found here. If you have any questions about volunteering, please contact Kaitlyn Miller at
     Thank you for being a friend to Bridge families, and we’ll see you September 10!
%d bloggers like this: