Friday, May 22, 2009

Best Memorial. Get involved and stay involved.

I posted this message on my blog at Fox Chicago TV, and would like to post it in hundreds of other places. Maybe you can help me, by passing this message on.

As we head into this holiday weekend, there will be thousands of parades, speeches, blogs and other services giving recognition to the men and women who have sacrificed their lives and bodies for the freedom we enjoy. As a veteran, who was lucky enough to go through my three years in the Army with nothing more than a few hangovers, I appreciate these memorials.

However, as a commander, in the War against Poverty, I want to add my own message.

Leaders Wanted

I've spent 35 years leading a volunteer based tutor/mentor program in Chicago, connecting inner city youth with workplace volunteers. I've given much of my time, talent, income, savings, and family life, to this cause. I've spent weekends, evenings, lunch hours, Sunday mornings, holidays, and other precious moments, trying to find ways to make tutoring/mentoring programs have a greater impact on the kids and volunteers in my own programs, and in other areas of the Chicago region where kids need these programs.

Thus as I've written my blog articles each Memorial Day and Labor Day and Veterans Day for the past few years, my message has been the same.

How much are people who don't live in poverty, or who lead businesses, faith groups, political organizations and/or media willing to sacrifice, every day of the year, to make sure kids living in high poverty neighborhoods have an expanded network of support that a tutor/mentor program like Cabrini Connections, or like others you can see in our Program Locator database.

Many of the men and women coming back from service overseas will be coming back to the neighborhoods where tutor/mentor programs are needed. Not having enough supports for their children, siblings, and neighborhoods is just one more problem that our veterans will face. We must do better than this and it won't happen without consistent sacrifice and service for many years and in many places.

Most of the men and women in service have learned to use maps to understand where the enemy is located, and to plan the distribution of troops, supplies, etc. We want to teach leaders in this War on Poverty to use maps, the same way generals do.

If you agree and want to get involved, come to the Tutor/Mentor Leadership and Networking Conference next Thursday and Friday, May 28 and 29, in Chicago.

Or reach out to a tutor/mentor program with a donation to help them do their work.

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