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Pearls of Wisdom from the Bridge Builders

August 6, 2018

GEBBQ2015 222The Bridge Builders are a dedicated force to be reckoned with. They make things happen: great things.

In 2003, Glen Ellyn resident Stephanie Pierce wanted to give back to her community and help local families get back on their feet, so she gathered her friends and neighbors and founded the Bridge Builders, an auxiliary group of Bridge Communities made up of active and passionate women in Glen Ellyn.

In support of their efforts, the Bridge Builders have put on amazing fundraising activities enjoyed by all. Like the epic Garage Parties spearheaded by Deb Ritter – a middle of the winter freeze attended by scores of people coming out in the snow for a good cause. Deb remembers the thrill of the chill and raising a red solo cup to gather donations. Deb’s interest, from being in the housing industry, has always been to help other less fortunate to secure a safe home.

Rani McKee has been a Bridge Builder for 12 years, co-chair of the Glen Ellyn Backyard BBQ and a Bridge tutor. She tells of the Bridge Builders’ involvement in Bridge’s annual holiday party held for families at the DuPage Children’s Museum. This gathering’s highlight is Santa’s Closet, an effort where donated gifts are collected all year. This magical closet allows Bridge clients to pick out whatever gift they would like for their family and all the gifts are then wrapped by Bridge Builders that night. Rani remembers a special young girl named “T,” a 12-year-old who chose only what she needed each year and never more. Fast-forward six years and “T” returned to the party as a college student. That is the best gift “T” could give to Bridge, but she continues to give back. Now “T” attends the holiday party, helping others select and wrap gifts!

Carrie Morris has been a Bridge Builder since the group’s early days. Carrie speaks of the Bridge Builders as being an auxiliary that is all about assisting the families as they go through the program with activities like: babysitting, Christmas parties and giving moms a break as they juggle education and learning new skills. She feels the three most important things Bridge Builders provide is: keeping the families together, teaching skills for success, and educating the children so they can launch and be independent. Carrie eloquently and thoughtfully spoke of her Bridge experience, leaving us with this thought: most of all, to be kind to our neighbors and love one another.

The Bridge Builders plan to continue their hard work and efforts to support Bridge Communities, and we couldn’t be more grateful to have such amazing supporters in our community. We salute them and their dedication. Thank you, Bridge Builders!

Thank you to our video & blog volunteers Lisa Sallwasser and Geoff Bevington for their contributions, and to our 30th Anniversary Media Sponsor Compass Mortgage! 

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